(8/3/2008 – TMRZoo.com) Let me start off with saying I am a huge Rolling Stones fan. Shine A Light starts off by trying the patience of even the most hard core fan. The first 5 minutes of the film is a discussion about the setlist that goes nowhere. Finally we get to the opening song Jumping Jack Flash. It seemed like there was 6 people on stage with six different concepts of the Stones classic. While I see where Keith Richards was going with his choppy rhythmic guitar accompaniment, he simply seemed lost at time.
By the end of the second song “Shattered” the band seems to gel. Three songs deep the band pulls it together even Keith begins his return from “Planet Richards”. Mick Jagger shows he still is a hell of a rock n roll front man.
Jagger’s energy carries the film as does guest appearances by Jack White, Christina Aguilera and Buddy Guy. Ron Wood and Charlie Watts also bring their musical “A” game helping to make this an enjoyable DVD.
There is some great archival footage between songs documenting some of the dark past of The Rolling Stones. Scorsese one of the darkest directors in history fails to capture the darkness surrounding this band in the present. Richards is blowing chord changes with Buddy Guy and improvising lyrics in songs .
Scorsese had a chance to Shine A Light on the scars and bruises of alcohol and drug addiction. For most of the DVD Richards seems to be put up with as an annoyance they must deal with. The cost of doing business as The Rolling Stones, is Keith Richards.
Arguably one of the greatest guitarists alive at one point in time, the author of not only rock anthems but also albums like Some Girls, Exile On Main Street and Sticky Fingers. Sadly has become a cartoon of himself. When he hacks the beginning riff to “Start Me Up’ and “Satisfaction” I have had enough. Spielberg couldn’t have added enough special effects or CGI to sell the fact Keith Richards is still valid to the music world. The photography is sharp and clear enough to see Mick Jagger’s fillings. The sound in most places is great but the mix does get jumpy in some spots.
For the most part this is a great director and a great band both putting a mediocre performance out there.
Street Date: July 29, 2008
Pricing: $19.99 U.S./$21.99 Canada (DVD)
$29.99 U.S./$39.99 Canada (Blu-ray)
Runtime: 122 minutes
U.S. Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language, drug references and smoking