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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Music > Rock > Controversy > Drama > Sibling Rivalry > Melodrama > Concert > Hard Rock > Biogr > The Beatles and India (2021*)/Fabulous Baker Boys (1989/MGM*)/Megadeath: A Night In Buenos Aires (2005/Cleopatra*)/Searching For Mr. Rugoff (2019/Deutchman Blu-ray)/20,000 Days On Earth (2014/*all MVD

The Beatles and India (2021*)/Fabulous Baker Boys (1989/MGM*)/Megadeath: A Night In Buenos Aires (2005/Cleopatra*)/Searching For Mr. Rugoff (2019/Deutchman Blu-ray)/20,000 Days On Earth (2014/*all MVD Blu-rays)

Picture: B-/B/B/B/B- Sound: B-/B-/B/B/B- Extras: C/B-/D/C/C- Main Programs: B-/C/B/B/B

The next set of releases are mostly music related, but also include an amazing documentary on one of the most important independent film distributors of all time, whose output included some key films in which music were very key...

Ajoy Bose's The Beatles and India (2021) is a documentary that I have been curious about, trying to chronicle the time the band travelled to the country to take in spiritual teachings and how that affected their work, more vulnerable than usual as their manager Brian Epstein had just suddenly and unexpectedly died. With a big groups of stills, film footage and new interviews (including two surprises I will not spoil) attempts to tell the untold story.

Sadly, this does not include any actual Beatles music, though several songs are discussed. Whether everything that is explained and concluded here is accurate can be up for debate at times, though the description of the program on the back of the box might be overdoing it by saying this totally shaped (or reshaped) the band, which I would highly disagree with. Otherwise, it is a very good program worth a look.

Extras include a trailer, then & now stills video, fan interview and behind the scenes featurette.

Steve Kloves' The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) is finally back in print on Blu-ray after this older limited edition went out of print:


When the film arrived, it was well-promoted and had a great trio of stars in Jeff Bridges, Beau Bridges and Michelle Pfeiffer, set in the world of dead-end nightclubs, it was a moderate hit, yet I was very disappointed and did not think it worked. Helping the film, it has no less than Michael Ballhaus, A.S.C. (GoodFellas) as its Director of Photography, so it looked as good as its leads and that still did not do it for me. Thus, it is a film that is not for everyone, but anyone interested (like my fellow writer) might land up liking it more than myself, so check it out if you have never seen it just to be on the safe side.

Save the Twilight Time booklet that has not been reprinted, all the extras are the exact same as that label's now out-of-print edition, most surprisingly including the isolated music score usually missing when other companies reissue Twilight Time titles now unavailable.

Megadeath is a classic heavy metal band and if you are a fan then you'll want to check out this new one disc re-issued concert experience on Blu-ray from Cleopatra Entertainment. A Night In Buenos Aires, which was filmed live at Obras Stadium, Buenos Aires, Argentina, on October 9, 2005.

Songs performed at the show include Blackmail the Universe, Set the World Afire, Wake Up Dead, In My Darkest Hour, She Wolf, Reckoning Day, A Tout Le Monde, Hangar 18, I'll Be There, Tornado of Souls, Trust, Something That I'm Not, Kick the Chair, Coming Home, Symphony of Destruction, Peace Sells and Symphony of Destruction (Alternate Version).

No extras, but the concert captures the band in its later prime, so fans should be happy.

Ira Deutchman's Searching For Mr. Rugoff (2019) is the biggest surprise here. In the 1960s, going into the early 1980s, you had a few hundred independent distributors of all kinds of arthouse, documentary and independent films, but the one company name that kept turning up was Cinema 5 (also sometimes written as Cinema V) and the number of innovative, important and groundbreaking classics they handled remain mind-boggling and could go a few rounds with even the major studios today.

They included The Rolling Stones in Gimme Shelter (where music leads to murder,) Nicolas Roeg's amazing, original The Man Who Fell To Earth with David Bowie (which few people still seem not to understand as this posts, even with a new cable TV sequel,) Robert Downey's Putney Swope, Costa-Gavras's Z and too many other masterworks to list here. However, the man behind the company that made all this possible, Donald Rugoff (pronounced ru-goff) is barely documented and director Deutchman (a former Rugoff employee) decided to change that and the result is this amazing documentary.

Turns out the man's family had built a movie theater empire while he was growing up, one he continued, but then he made the fateful decision to go into film distribution while still running some of the most innovate, groundbreaking and customer-friendly movie theaters ever. Fortunately, his great taste and his amazing knack of picking winners when no one else could see the potential of many a film was uncanny and changed cinema history for the better forever.

With a strong set of clips, stories, interviews, rare footage and much more, this is one of the best documentaries on the film industry you will see and I just wished it was longer. This should be required screening in all film schools worldwide, but serious film fans should put this one on their must list and just sit and be amazed at what you see for a strong, non-stop 94 minutes. Despite his flaws, Donald Rugoff is an unsung groundbreaker in film history and its is great to finally see his story and the results, told so vividly and well. See it!!!

A trailer and nine bonus interview pieces are the extras worth seeing after watching the film.

No doubt that Nick Cave, originally with the punk band The Birthday Party and now with The Bad Seeds, is one of the greatest singer/songwriters Australia has ever produced and very much a survivor of the industry worldwide. Wish he had more mainstream success in the U.S., but he continues, even after the horrific loss of two of his sons. Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard's 20,000 Days On Earth (2014) captures the man in a unique way, going back and forth between interviews, vintage footage, stage performances and other surreal moments.

I had heard about this film for years and am glad I not only finally caught up with it, but that it is as good as many people said and I thank them all for not ruining it for me. The format is a little different and sometimes, I was not certain if some things being said were a put on, but there are some very pleasant, unexpected cameos and the music is always top rate making it a nice video companion to the DVD (and hopefully a Blu-ray version at some point) of the music video collection of The Bad Seeds, with clips so good, it further mystifies me their lack of success ion 'the states' and a little more.

A trailer is the only extra.

Now for playback performance. The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Beatles can be a little soft often, in part due to some footage being old and rough, but other clips look good, while its DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 surround mixes can be a mixed bag with some audio sounding better than others and the limited music passable. Again, no actual Beatles songs here.

Rugoff, with the same framing, also has some clips that show the age of the materials used, but most clips look great and when combined with the newly HD shot footage, holds up better. The lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 surround mix is not bad.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Boys is the same HD master as the out of print Twilight Time edition, but looks a little older since we last saw it. Its DTS lossless 2.0 Stereo mix has been replaced by PCM 2.0 Stereo with Pro Logic surrounds, but the soundtrack sounds the same.

Megadeath: A Night in Buenos Aires is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and two lossless options in PCM 2.0 Stereo and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 surround mixes that sounds fine. The image can be a little grainy as this was captured with some outdated cameras, but the presentation itself is fine.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Earth also can show the age of the materials used, but most if it holds up well and is pretty consistent. Its DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is not bad and has a consistent enough soundfield.

- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Megadeath)



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