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Rolling Stones Four Flicks

Rolling Stones Four Flicks
1:33 flat full frame
? min.
Street Date November 11, 2003

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

This may or may not be a new one: The Rolling Stones and a DVD distributor called TGA have made a lavish Stones concert disc set, available only at Best Buy stores or through the Best website. This would seem to be a limiting factor, cutting down on consumer access to the product, but perhaps the accountants for the so-called Fossil rockers added up the numbers and decided they'd be better off this way than to let middleman distributors take all the money and tell them later how surprised they were. The Stones didn't earn and keep all those mansions and cars for nothing.

Rolling Stones Four Flicks is a giant four-disc boxed set that will no doubt thrill any Stones fan. Instead of one concert, they have three entire shows, plus hours of extra performances, short subjects and longer featurettes about the rest of their world tour.

We get plenty of closeup access to 'The boys', and when they get so close, there's no hiding their advanced ages. They're all wrinkles beneath their sweat bands and stage haircuts but they still rock like old times. The docus show a lot but don't get into their existence between tours - living ordinary glitz-free lives at home away from all the fru-fru of performing.

For these docu cameras, the individual Stones drop their old media image of aloofness and disdain. Back then they were often paraded for an uncomprehending and critical press, and now they're the ones in charge of their media image. They're also too mature to pretend their act is the refined work of sensitive artists, when they're obviously at the center of a massive commercial enterprise. They realize that they're entertainers and no longer rebels.

Interesting that the 'bad boy' Stones would be the ones to still be at it practically 40 years later. The drummer's short hair makes him look like the level-headed old guy behind the counter at your hardware store, but the overall tone of the group is fine. As performers they maintain a consistent level of dignity through all the glitz and put-on rock-out histrionics.

I can't help but think that Mick Jagger's Knighthood controversy, with his bandmembers going public with negative words about selling out, is just a benign form of embarrassment, or perhaps PR for the group's image. Seeing Jagger with his grown daughters and son would be amusing, if he weren't a public performing star like dozens of other recipients.

The concerts are excellently shot and the audio can be chosen between simple stereo and 5.1. The only surprise is finding out how many goodies are to be had on the 4 discs ... it's obviously going to take more than a few minutes to shuffle through all the choices. I couldn't guess the set's full running time. The Menus are unusually friendly; in the bonus extras menu, there's an option to play the straight concert and still access the 'select-a-Stone' and commentary features.

I list the full contents here, as some official postings on the web seem to vary:


Disc 1:

Tip of the Tongue, a you-are-there-with-the-boys docu showing the scope of the 2002 World Tour. It starts glitzy and then comes through with enough detail to feel like we're getting an inside track.
Licks around the World (22:03): This montage docu emphasizes the locale context of each country they perform in ... in USA there's a lot of footage of Bill Clinton introducing them for a Global Warming fundraiser - $5,000 a seat. It's amusing to see them in Tokyo trying to inspire a call-response thing, when the huge audience is too polite and reserved! In India, Mick carries a cloth to wipe the perspiration from his face, and then has to perform in a downpour. Lots more fun in Germany, etc.
Select-a-Stone - Monkey Man (3:44) is a multi-angle function performance. The angle choices appeared at the left of my screen, but I don't think my player was cooperating as the Angle Button didn't work.
Bonus Tracks (Called The Bootlegs in the Menu, but simply individual performances): Beast of Burden, You Don't Have to Mean It, Rock Me Baby, Bitch, I Can't Turn You Loose, Extreme Western Grip, Well Well.
Fan Club is an invite to put the disc in a DVD-Rom with Web access and learn about the Stone's 'elite' fan membership.
Disc 2:

Select-a-Stone Band Commentaries engage talk-tracks (with recording cutaways) on three performances, Street Fighting Man, Happy and It's Only Rock 'N' Roll.
Custom Setlist allows the viewer to re-arrange the main concert songs in a personal order.
Sheryl Crow and the Stones (2:26) is a sidebar with multiple interview bites from her and the Stones about her performances with the group.
Making the HBO Special is some promo-type fluff for and by the Cable Channel and the interaction between the group and the director.
New York City, Madison Square Garden: Intro (incl Miss You - Dr. Dre Remix 2002), Street Fighting Man, If You Can't Rock Me, Don't Stop, Monkey Man, Angli, Let it Bleed, Midnight Rambler, Thru and Thru, Happy, You Got Me Rocking, Honky Tonk Women, Satisfaction, It's Only Rock 'n Roll, When the Whip Comes Down, Brown Sugar, Jumpin' Jack Flash.
Disc 3:

More Band Commentares on Gimme Shelter, I Can't Get No Satisfaction and Sympathy for the Devil.
Custom Setlist;
AC/DC and the Stones (4:20) is about the other groups playing with the Stones;
Jumbotron Animation (4:15) highlights the R-rated sexy Anime on the giant screen for Honky Tonk Woman.
London, Twickingham Stadium: Brown Sugar, You Got Me Rocking, Rocks Off, Wild Horses, You Can't Always Get What You Want, Paint, It Black, Tumbling Dice, Slipping Away, Sympathy for the Devil, Star Star, I Just Want to Make Love to You, Street Fighting Man, Gimme Shelter, Honky Tonk Women, Satisfaction, Jumpin' Jack Flash.
Disc 4:

More Select-a-Stone Band Commentaries for Start Me Up, Honky Tonk Women and Jumpin' Jack Flash
Custom Setlist;
Solomon 'The Rev' Burke (3:30) is this concert's 'guest performer'; it's from Los Angeles in November of 2002 and has a lot of jokes about the performer's size. Burke surprises Jagger by bringing out a huge heavy cape for the singer to wear.
Playing the Olympia covers the Paris venue and stresses their eagerness to use new or different material in the theater setting.
Select-A-Stone: Angie
Paris, Olympia Theatre: Start Me Up, Live With Me, Neighbours, Hand of Fate, No Expectations, Worried About You, Heartbreaker, Stray Cat Blues, Dance (Pt. 1) , Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, That's How Strong My Love Is, Going To a Go-Go, The Nearness of You, Before They Make Me Run, Love Train, Respectable, Honky Tonk Women, Brown Sugar, Jumpin' Jack Flash..

Remember, this can't be found at Amazon or normal DVD outlets. At the present it's a Best Buy and exclusive.

On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor, Rolling Stones Four Flicks rates:
Concerts and Docus: Excellent
Video: Excellent
Sound: Excellent
Packaging: Folding four-disc card and plastic case
Reviewed: December 16, 2003

DVD Savant Text © Copyright 2007 Glenn Erickson

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