Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shine a Light: Grade B

Shine a Light (2008)
Rolling Stones; Martin Scorcese. Director Martin Scorcese

As concert films go, this one is cinematically excellent. It captures the Stones on their “Bigger Bang” tour and displays the Stones’ shtick. If you’re a Stones fan, you’ll like the music. I found it disappointing. Mick and the boys simply do not have the vocal talent of long-ago youth. Tunes are highly compressed in tonal range, the voices used more as rhythm instruments now. The music is a mere shadow of its former greatness. Mick struts and prances with elbows above his shoulders, pretty amazing for a 60 year old dude. But what lifts the film above average is the beautiful photography, directing, and editing. It demonstrates again that Scorcese is a master. Comparisons to The Last Waltz (1978) are inevitable. This one doesn’t even come close in terms of musical content and entertainment value. This is about Scorcese and his extremely high level of skill in making a concert film. The content is merely so-so.

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