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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » MTV Video Music Awards - Rock
MTV Video Music Awards - Rock
Paramount // Unrated // August 5, 2003
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted August 15, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

MTV's self-promotion skills have never been in question; however, while countless "Real World" documentaries have offered material that was likely never aired on the network, these two entries into the music DVD genre are made up of many moments that have likely aired a few times on the network in various "Best Of" specials. MTV's VMA (Video Music Awards) are about to roll out once again in New York City on August 28th, and these two DVD compile some of the more entertaining performances at the VMAs in recent years.

As for hip-hop, Britney Spears takes a spin with a giant snake in her energetic performance (although the one of the same song in her Las Vegas show was better) of "I'm a Slave For You" and Shakira shakes in a rather all-over-the-place (but entertaining, nonetheless) performance of "Objection Tango". Performances by Nelly ("Country Grammar") and Naughty by Nature ("Hip Hop Hurray") are also entertaining, but I question the inclusion of the Brian Setzer Orchestra - they're fun, but who knew they were classified as hip-hop? Songs from Jamiroquai ("Virtual Insanity"), MC Hammer ("U Can't Touch This") and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony ("Crossroads") are also included.

The rock edition is also a bit of a mixed bag, but standout performances from Pink ("Just Like a Pill"), INXS ("Suicide Blonde") and U2 ("Please") are entertaining enough. Nothing wrong with Blink 182 or Lenny Kravitz, but I think many might share my opinion that these songs were played a few too many times during their peak. Songs from Jewel ("Angel Standing By", Marilyn Manson ("Beautiful People"), Silverchair ("Tomorrow", Vines ("Get Free") and Stone Temple Pilots ("Pretty Penny") are also included.


The DVD

VIDEO: All songs are presented in 1.33:1 full-frame and generally look quite good. Although sharpness is inconsistent, all of the songs look at least moderately well-defined. Edge enhancement wasn't noticed, nor was any pixelation. Colors looked bright, vivid and didn't show any concerns.

SOUND: The songs are presented in Dolby Digital 2.0. The audio quality is fairly decent, but I was a little disappointed that the audio quality was nothing to write home about. The songs lack high end and really don't have much in the way of low-end, either, coming in at or around broadcast level. Played back in Dolby Pro Logic II, a few of the songs did have a decent amount of envelopment ("Slave 4 U"), but others simply didn't.

EXTRAS: The hip-hop DVD has a brief featurette/interview with pop songwriters Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, who offer brief suggestions/tips on breaking into the business. Also on the hip-hop DVD is a featurette on record scratching with Rob Swift, a performance of "Mas" by Kinky and a Res music video ("They Say Vision"). The rock DVD has monologues from hosts Chris Rock (very funny), Dana Carvey (good, appearing as President Bush) and Dennis Miller (who chose him?) as supplements.

Although these features are okay for what they are, the supplemental section on both DVDs seem like wasted potential. MTV has aired plenty of moderately informative programs regarding the making of their shows, including a few shows regarding a behind-the-scenes look at the VMAs. Nothing like that appears here. Commentaries by the VMA producers might have also been of interest.

Final Thoughts: There's a few enjoyable performances scattered throughout these two DVDs, but both programs seem rather thin for the $19.99 retail price ($34.99 for the 2-pack). There also seems like room for plenty more supplements regarding the VMAs, as the supplemental sections on both discs are limited. Hardcore fans may want to pick these up, but they'd be advised to wait for a price drop - $9.99 seems more reasonable for these than $19.99.
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