Neil Young Journeys Blu-ray offers solid video and great audio in this enjoyable Blu-ray release
In May of 2011, Neil Young drove a 1956 Crown Victoria from his idyllic hometown of Omemee, Ontario to downtown Toronto's iconic Massey Hall where he intimately performed the last two nights of his solo world tour. Along the drive, Young recounted insightful and introspective stories from his youth to filmmaker Jonathan Demme. Demme, a long-time fan and collaborator, captured these tales of Young's childhood and masterfully weaved them together with his mesmerizing music including songs from the 2010 album Le Noise and powerful renditions of classics including "Ohio", Hey Hey, My My", "I Believe in You" and previously unreleased songs "Leia" and "You Never Call." Through the tunes and the tales, Demme portrays a personal, retrospective look into the heart and soul of the artist.
For more about Neil Young Journeys and the Neil Young Journeys Blu-ray release, see Neil Young Journeys Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on October 25, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
One of the preeminent names in music and one of the most respected filmmakers working in Hollywood today collaborate to create Neil Young
Journeys, a hybrid Documentary/Concert film that intercuts Young performing several of his most cherished hits, new releases, and previously
unreleased songs with candid footage of the acclaimed artist driving from his hometown of Omemee, Ontario to Toronto for a live performance at
the legendary Massey Hall. It's simple but effective filmmaking, perhaps made for a specific audience but a generally pleasurable experience for
longtime Neil Young fans
yearning for an intimate portrait -- or something resembling an intimate portrait -- of their musical hero. Neil Young Journeys is shaped more
by its music than it is face time with Young. It's an interesting piece that should work well for newcomers and longtime Young fans both; there's a
something in here for everybody, and at the very least the dominant concert scenes should offer audiences either a taste of Young's style or a new
performance through which to enjoy their favorite songs, depending on how well they already know Young and his music.
From the passenger's side of a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria, filmmaker Jonathan Demme films music legend Neil Young's May 11, 2011, +/- 134
Google maps!) drive from Omemee, Ontario to Toronto's Massey Hall. Young and the camera follow behind Young's brother's Cadillac for
relaxing, evenly paced drive down memory lane. Young embarks on a driving and walking tour of various sights important to him in his youth, such
family and friend homes, places where he fished, and the spot from which he ate tar off the road (don't ask, just watch the movie). Young and
Demme even pass by an elementary school named for Young's father. The film is dominated, however, by Young's Massey Hall performance to
There's an interesting dichotomy within Neil Young Journeys, and that's both its wide and limited appeal. The films' concert footage
which comprises the bulk of the brief sub-90 minute runtime -- is utterly fantastic; it sounds great, is well photographed, and offers a nice array of
Young's music. The music is alone worth the cost of the film, and it should please all but the most ardent of Young's critics (does such a person
On the other side is the relaxed introspection that might satisfy Young's most fervent, gotta-know-everything-about-him fans. Casual viewers,
however, might find the material a little bland and/or not particularly compelling. There's not a lot of deep insight, just as backstage access is rather
limited in the concert footage.
Neil Young Journeys appears to have been photographed on lower-end HD video equipment. The result is a shaky but acceptable image that's
raw and never really all that visually dazzling but at the same time satisfactory given the intimate nature of the film. It's a bit noisy and unstable with a
few jagged lines and blown-out bright backdrops. Colors are fair but hardly vibrant, generally natural and pleasant but not necessarily rich or up to the
same level of excellence as one might find in higher-end productions. Black levels go a bit bright at times but are generally deep and true. Details
are merely acceptable, offering adequate textures on Young's worn hat, clothes, scruffy face, and instruments. There's nothing overly complex, but
none of the imagery appears particularly soft or poorly defined. Overall, this is Neil Young Journeys looking probably as good as it can, which
does make this an acceptable release; it's just a matter of whether some audiences will be pleased with the end result.
Neil Young Journeys features a robust DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 channel lossless soundtrack, or at least robust during the concert footage. The
first seconds of the first song literally send a jolt through the system; the first notes of Peaceful Valley Boulevard reverberate and delight, playing
loudly but with excellent clarity and muscle. Bass can be a touch rattly, but the songs play with a good deal of power and precision that places the
audience right there near the stage, enveloped by cheering crowds that surround the listener every time they make their presence known. The film
opens with an exterior shot that brings a nice city din into the soundstage, and it's followed by an equally pleasant scene of concert hall preparation
where chatter, tool work, and the like gently surround the listener. Dialogue inside the car can sound a touch hollow at times, but clarity is otherwise
fine. The track's musical elements are superb, the rest of it understandably wishy-washy given the guerrilla style of the shoot. Overall, the track is quite
good for what it is.
This is a film all about perspective, expectations, and audience. Neil Young Journeys will satisfy fans in search of a one-on-one journey with Neil
Young. It will also please those who enjoy his music, but the most casual of audiences might find themselves a bit bored with the rest of the film.
That's certainly not a knock on either Young or Demme; the film is simple yet well made but may not appeal to a very wide audience. That's something
to keep in mind, but it's also important to note that the music is fabulous and is alone worth the price of admission. Sony's Blu-ray release of Neil
Young Journeys features serviceable lower-end HD video photography, good lossless audio, and a few extras. Recommended to the proper audiences
as outlined throughout the review.
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Neil Young Journeys. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Neil Young Journeys in the search box below.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has officially announced that it will release on Blu-ray Neil Young Journeys on October 16th. Shot during the last two nights of Neil Young's 2011 Le Noise world tour, long-time fan and collaborator Jonathan Demme captures the multiple ...