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DVD Review: Shine A Light
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Shine A Light DVDShine A Light
Featuring The Rolling Stones
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Paramount Home Entertainment
Release Date: July 29, 2009

Masterfully captured by Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, Shine A Light sheds some light on the worldwide musical phenomenon that is The Rolling Stones.

In the initial planning for the film, one gets the sense of watching two very similar superegos — Scorsese and Stones frontman Mick Jagger, squabble over camera techniques and lighting arrangements which very much put a damper on the opening performances. Jagger seemed to be breathless and a bit robotic, if not downright bored, through the first set. Fortunately, he seemed eventually to get used to the melting hot movie lights and learned to avoid lingering in one place for more than a few seconds for fear of serious burns; he also must have adjusted to the video cams on the mini cranes which he felt would block the views of the audience members nearest to the stage and gave in to his sheer talent, which resulted in an unforgettable concert after a seemingly shaky start.

The musical documentary features footage from two concerts filmed in 2006 at the Beacon Theater in New York City and includes fiery duets with special guests Christina Aguilera doing “In Between The Sheets,” Jack White on “Loving Cup,” and the legendary Buddy Guy whose smoking rendition of Muddy Waters’ “Champagne And Reefer” accompanied by Jagger on harmonica was for me the highlight of the concert.

A special featurette shows raw, behind the scenes uncut interviews, then and now and classic band clips encompassing the over 40-year life span of this “bad boy” super group, who has thrilled audiences worldwide thereby earning the title of “Greatest Rock Band In The World” through talent, charisma, and sheer staying power.

Interviews with guitarist Keith Richards, drummer Charlie Watts, guitarist Ron Wood, as well as clips of the Clintons (Bill & Hillary) on stage during rehearsals were fun and revealing, too. My favorite clip was an early 1960s interview with Keith Richards where a British Reporter asked him, “What do you do just before you go on stage and perform for an audience of one hundred thousand people?” and Richards replied, “ I wake up.” Now that says it all!

Aside from a long list of their hits including “Jumping Jack Flash,” “Satisfaction,” “Just My Imagination,” “Some Girls,” “Far Away Eyes,” “Brown Sugar,” and “Shattered,” there are also four bonus performances not shown in theaters: “Undercover Of The Night,” “Paint It Black,” “Little T&A,” and “I’m Free.”

Master director Martin Scorsese has done it again with his unique ability to shine a Light on the best rock band on the planet!

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