McLean: Starry Starry Night
(1999/MVD DVD)/The Golden
Age Of Musicals (1937 -
1957/Film Chest DVD Set)/Love
Me Or Leave Me
(1955/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Motley
Crue: The End - Live In Los Angeles
(2015/Blu-ray + CD Set)/Rolling
Stones: Havana Moon (Live
In Cuba 2016/Blu-ray + 2 CD Set/both Eagle Vision)/The
(1954/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)
C+/C/B/B-/B-/C+ Sound: C+/C/B/B & B-/B & B-/C+
Extras: C/D/C+/C+/C+/C- Main Programs: C+/C+/C+/B-/B-/C+
Me Or Leave Me
Blu-ray and Student
DVD are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
a diverse new set of music titles, from Pop to Rock, Standards to
Musicals and concerts...
McLean: Starry Starry Night
(1999) is a show from the famed singer/songwriter of the hit that
serves as the title of this release (about painted Vincent van Gogh)
and his big #1 hit ''American Pie'' remaining one of the longest #1
hits or hits of any kind in music history. This short show (from the
Paramount in Austin, Texas) gets padded with interview segments that
are fine, but break up the pace of the music.
include Castles in the Air, Jerusalem, Crossroads, You Gave Me a
Mountain, Crying, Singin' the Blues, Vincent (Starry, Starry Night),
Angry Words, Raining in My Heart (with Nanci Griffith), And I Love
You So (with Nanci Griffith), Fashion Victim, If We Try, It Was a
Very Good Year, You're My Little Darlin' and American Pie.
home film footage of the 1975 Hyde Park Concert, plus music clips of
performances from shows in the 1970s (from film, but could use HD
transfers), 1980s and 1990s (from analog videotape) worth your time.
All add up to the history and evolution of the artist, so with the
extras, this is worth a look.
Golden Age Of Musicals
(1937 - 1957) is a new DVD set from Film Chest DVD featuring a mixed
bag of mixed-quality copies of 17 feature film musicals, some of
which have been issued several times being in the public domain and a
few that have even debuted on Blu-ray. Not an awful 'crash course'
set to grab, from WWII propaganda to comedy, the films include...
American Co-Ed with Frances Langford
War With The Army with Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis
Girl with Frances Langford
Duke In Tops with Ralph Cooper
Fabulous Dorseys with Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey and Janet Blair
Inspector General with Danny Kaye
Are Funny with Jack Haley
Piper Of Hamelin with Van Johnson
O' Gold with Jimmy Stewart & Paulette Goddard
Buckaroo with Harry James & The Andrew Sisters
To Bali with Bing Crosby & Bob Hope
Wedding with Fred Astaire & Jane Powell
Chorus with Fred Astaire & Paulette Goddard
To Sing About with James Cagney
Door Canteen with an all-star cast
Is The Army by Irving Berlin with an all-star cast
The Clouds Roll By with Judy Garland
not a bad group of films, including some hits, but a few are shorter
than you may expect. A paper
pullout on the films in the DVD case is the only extra.
Vidor's Love Me Or Leave
Me (1955) is a big budget
backstage musical biopic of singer Ruth Etting, slightly
Hollywoodized in the person of Doris Day, getting her big break
because a tough gangster (James Cagney playing to type) gets obsessed
with her and goes all out to make her a star. Too bad he is
controlling and abusive with her and everyone else, crass and of
course, even dangerous. Much of this is predictable (and maybe too
safe) but MGM wanted a hit for the cash they were spending, but it
lands up on the screen.
problem is that you get a so-so script interrupted (eventually,
thankfully) by music numbers that make the rest of the film seem
dated, despite us getting a mid-1950s film set in the 1920s. Warner
Archive has decided to issue this exclusively in an upgraded Blu-ray
and the results pay off... if you're here for the music. This also
runs a bit long, but it is a great showcase for Day and definitely
worth a look.
include an Original Theatrical Trailer and three vintage short films
with the real life Ruth Etting: A
and A Salute To The
Theatres, which shows how
amazing she was and why a guy might go nuts for her.
Crue: The End - Live In Los Angeles
(2015) has the original band members back together for the last time
as if they never broke up (anything like that was brief enough),
going out on top in excellent form, proving they were never
going to land up a played-out legacy band. The musicianship has
actually improved if anything and lead singer Vince Neal still has
his voice in tact for sure. I was surprised at how they sounded as
good as they ever did, making this an impressive show indeed.
include 1) Girls, Girls,
Girls, 2) Wild Side, 3) Primal Scream, 4) Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S),
5) Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away), 6) Rock N Roll Part II + Smokin'
In The Boys’ Room, 7) Looks That Kill, 8) Mutherf***** Of The Year,
9) In The Beginning + Shout At The Devil, 10) Louder Than Hell, 11)
Drum Solo, 12) Guitar Solo, 13) Saints Of Los Angeles, 14) Live Wire,
15) T.N.T (Terror 'N Tinseltown) + Dr. Feelgood, 16) Kickstart My
and 17) Home Sweet
to forget how much fun these guys could be. This is definitely
worthy of a singular previous Crue show on Blu-ray we covered years
ago at this link...
they give it their all here knowing they wanted to go out on top.
Stones: Havana Moon is a
new Blu-ray + 2 CD set of the free concert (!) the band performed
Live in Cuba earlier in 2016. With so many fans trapped their since
they formed (!!!), it is a grand, excellent gesture and they deliver
a solid show that includes classics like 1)
Jumpin' Jack Flash, 2) It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It), 3)
Out of Control, 4) Angie, 5) Paint It Black, 6) Honky Tonk Woman, 7)
You Got the Silver, 8) Midnight Rambler, 9) Gimme Shelter. 10)
Sympathy For The Devil, 11) Brown Sugar, 12) You Can't Always Get
What You Want and 13) (I
Can't Get No) Satisfaction.
With a new studio album actually on the way, the band can still pull
it off, even with Mick Jagger's voice in good shape. The results are
not their best show, but its a smart, strong, honest one and I'm glad
it was recorded... legally.
for both Eagle
foldout DigiPak case packagings include illustrated booklets for each
concert on Eagle's usual high quality slick paper, the bonus CDs if
you want to include them, then the Crue
add Interviews and amusing looks at Nikki's Flamethrower Bass and
Tommy's Drum Rig. The Stones
add five bonus live music performances worth having here including
All Down The Line,
Before They Make Me Run,
and Start Me Up.
conclude with Richard Thorpe's The
Student Prince (1954)
with the title role split between two men: up and coming Edmund
Purdom (who did not get to be a big star despite several key roles in
MGM films and leads like this) acting and no less than Mario Lanza
singing for him, a royal who does not think he is above 'commoners'
with Ann Blyth as the female lead a decent supporting cast including
John Eriksen, Louis Calhern, Edmund Gwenn, Evelyn Varden and Richard
the script is uneven, but I like the cast and the money is on the
screen. However, despite the great singing all the way to legend
Lanza, the songs are not very memorable. Doing so-so business for
MGM, who worked to make this a big screen event film, Warner Archive
has issued it on DVD. The results are more hit than miss, but I love
the ambition of the production and it is worth a good look, flaws and
Original Theatrical Trailer is unfortunately the only extra.
1.33 X 1 on Night
is from old analog NTSC analog videotape and has flaws including
softness, some video noise, video banding, cross color and
staircasing. But that's still better than the various, usually
inaccurate aspect ratios all over the Musicals
set. Some might not mind, but in an age of 4K Ultra HD and so many
restored Musicals on video, it is hard to watch. The sound is the
same story, with all DVDs offering lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 sound,
barely stereo on Night
and monophonic with background noise, some pops and clicks on the
it is nearly 60 years old as we post, the 1080p 2.55 X 1 digital High
Definition image on Leave is the best performer here, shot on
Eastman Kodak color negative 35mm film stocks with older CinemaScope
lenses (and their distortion tendencies). Note it is the older,
wider scope frame, so it is wide, but this has been impressively
restored and the materials are in great shape.
the Motley Crue and Rolling Stones are surprisingly
presented in 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers
and not 1080p. Guess venues and producers are waiting to upgrade to
4K Ultra HD cameras, so these look good if not as consistent as they
could or should, though the 4K Blu-ray for Michael Scheinker
(a first in the format and all concert releases in the U.S. market)
we also reviewed had its share of flaws, so some new thinking in
shooting concerts in HD (versus film) needs to be thought out.
Otherwise, these are about as good as any of the dozens of 1080i
releases we've seen over the years.
leaves the anamorphically
enhanced 2.55 X 1 image image on Student,
another MGM CinemaScope musical, but this one shot on Ansco Color
35mm negative film. Like Leave,
MGM was doing their own lab color to avoid paying for dye-transfer,
three-strip Technicolor prints of the film. Though this one can use
some work, I like the look and use of color. MGM used Ansco (part of
GAF at the time' the film division folded in 1977) on about a dozen
or so films before passing on the stock's use, but each film shot in
it yielded different results than Eastman/Kodak or any other stocks
of the time (DuPont, Agfa, soon Fuji) would have, resulting in
interesting, surprising results worth your time. Sad MGM didn't
continue with them.
for sound, having covered the other DVDs, Student offers lossy
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo with some signs of traveling dialogue and
sound effects, as the original sound master was 4-track magnetic
stereo. Hopefully those tracks have survived so we can get a sound
upgrade, but this is not bad for its age at all.
also originally offered 4-track magnetic stereo on its original 35mm
film prints, but Warner has come up with a very impressive DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 5.1 lossless upgrade mix from those tracks and though
some of the elements and dialogue show their age, the music is
amazing. I will add that I have NEVER heard Doris Day sound this
good singing in my life and this now is very strongly likely
(especially with no 180-Gram audiophile vinyl or Super Audio CDs of
her work out there) and easily the highest fidelity representation of
her singing ever issued in any format!
if you are not a fan of her or her kind and type of music, this now
stands as the top evidence that she really is one of the greatest
female vocalists of all time. Singing a bunch of key standards here,
this showcase has her giving it her all and you too will be stunned
if you hear her singing on this disc on a properly-calibrated home
theater system. Oddly, she reminded me of Whitney Houston just for
that power/control/range combination.
it is obvious that either Motley
would be the sonic champs here and they are, but instead of a Dolby
Atmos 11.1, DTS: X 11.1 or even 7.1 mix in either format, but Eagle
and the bands have stuck with a now more traditional (imagine that)
mixed and presented DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless codecs that
sound really good. However, the Stones
just edge out the Crue
at times where they could have received a higher sonic rating for how
impressive this one can get. Still, excellent and some of the best
sonic representations of both bands ever. Their PCM 2.0 16/44.1
Stereo CD counterparts that are not as good, but not bad for the
order either the Love
Me Or Leave Me
Blu-ray and.or the Student
DVD, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive