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Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage(2010)
The history of Canadian rock trio Rush, from their early years in Toronto, through each of their landmark albums and up to the present day. The film features extensive interviews with all three band members - Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart - as well as contributions from contemporaries and admirers including Gene Simmons (Kiss), Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), Kirk Hammett (Metallica) and actor Jack Black.
For more about Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage and the Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage Blu-ray release, see Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on July 9, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Directors: Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen
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Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, July 9, 2010
Winner of the Audience Choice Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen's "Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage" (2010) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Rounder Records/Zoe Vision. The supplemental features on the disc include deleted scenes and extra footage as well as archival footage from various shows Rush staged during the years. In English, with optional English SDH, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese subtitles for the main feature. Region-A "locked".
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage is a fine documentary film about the legendary Canadian rock band and their impressive legacy. It is directed by Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, who gave us the terrific Iron Maiden: Flight 666.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage is divided into fourteen chapters (plus a short prologue). Each chapter focuses on a part of Rush's history most of their fans are probably unaware of. Early into the film, for example, Geddy Lee (Vocals/Bass/Keyboards) and Alex Lifeson (Vocals/Guitar) talk about their families and what it was like growing up in the suburbs of Toronto. Later on they recall how Rush actually came to exist, and describe in detail the first gigs they did as well as the type of music each of them wanted the band to perform. Neil Peart (Drums), the "new guy", joins in later on.
In addition to various interviews with the members of Rush, the film also contains interviews with a number of rock musicians who were in one way or another influenced by Rush and their music during the years - Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), Les Claypool (Primus), Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Gene Simmons (Kiss), Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society/Ozzy Osbourne), etc. Some of the producers Rush worked with also recall their experience with the band.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage features a good amount of archival footage from various concerts Rush staged in Canada and rest of the world during the 70s, 80s and 90s. A lot of the footage from the early 70s and 80s, for instance, is very entertaining, showing the band experimenting not only with their music but also with different clothes and hairstyles.
There are many personal revelations. Geddy, Alex and Neil talk a lot about the good times but do not shy away from talking about the bad ones either – and in particular the ones that profoundly changed their lives. During the final third of the film, there are some genuinely moving statements about friendship and respect.
Rush fans should find Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage enormously entertaining. Casual rock fans should enjoy it as well as there is a wealth of information here addressing the rock scene from the 70s, 80s and 90s. The film also sheds some light on how the music industry functions.
Generally speaking, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage is well paced - it offers plenty of factual information but never drags. The technical descriptions, for example, are neither too long nor too short. Additionally, the many different songs that are heard throughout the film are very well selected.
For the original content from Toronto, the camerawork is simple. Directors Dunn and McFadyen basically follow Geddy and Alex as they visit different parts of the city and recall what they did there as teenagers. A lot of the footage from these visits that did not make into the final version of the film is offered in the supplemental features section on this Blu-ray disc.
Note: In 2010, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage won the Audience Choice Award at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen's Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Rounder Records/Zoe Vision.
The presentation is very good. The original content is crisp, sharp and well detailed. Colors are lush, well saturated and stable. The variety of different close-ups, for instance, look outstanding. Additionally, neither edge-enhancement nor macroblocking are a serious issue of concern. There are no serious stability issues to report in this review either.
As expected, the quality of the archival footage varies. Some of the live footage from the band's very first shows, however, looks surprisingly good. Occasionally, there is motion-judder, discoloration and plenty of damage, but, again, I don't believe this should surprise anyone. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are three audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0. For the record, Rounder Records/Zoe Vision have provided optional English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian and Japanese subtitles for the main feature.
The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is very good. Obviously, because of the abundance of archival footage in the film, its dynamic amplitude is rather limited, as is surround activity, but overall the quality of the sound is very good. In fact, a lot of the live footage, from the band's early shows, sounds shockingly good (and specifically the high-frequencies). Additionally, the dialog is crisp, clean, stable and very easy to follow.
There is certainly a gap in quality between the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and the English Dolby Digital 5.1, but definitely not the extent we typically witness in most mainstream releases (films and music shows). Still, the range of dynamics the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track offers is certainly better than that of the English Dolby Digital 5.1 track.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Deleted scenes and extra footage -
-- "Being Bullied and the Search for the First Gig" (8 min, 1080p).
-- "Reflections on Hemispheres" (4 min, 1080p).
-- "Presto and Roll the Bones Rap" (3 min, 1080p).
-- "The Rush Fashion" (3 min, 1080p).
-- "Hobbies on the Road" (9 min, 1080p).
-- "Rush Trekkies" (4 min, 1080p).
-- "Pre Gig Warm Up" (3 min, 1080p).
Archival Footage -
-- "Best I Can" with John Rutsey - Laura Secord SS - Spring 1974 (4 min, upscaled 1080p).
-- "Working Man" with John Rutsey - Laura Secord SS - Spring 1974 (9 min, upscaled 1080p).
-- "La Villa Strangiato" - Pinkpop - 1979 (8 min, upscaled 1080p).
-- "Between the Sun and Moon" - Live at Hartford - June 28, 2002 (5 min, upscaled 1080p).
-- "Far Cry" - from the Snakes & Arrows tour (6 min, 1080i).
-- "Entre nous" - from the Snakes & Arrows tour (5 min, 1080i).
-- "Bravado" - from the R30 tour (7 min, 1080i).
-- "YYZ" - from the R30 tour (5 min, 1080i).
More extra footage:
-- Dinner with Rush at a Hunting Lodge (12 min, 1080p).
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Fans of Canadian rockers Rush should definitely take a look at this terrific documentary. I thought that it was exceptionally well done and, really, quite entertaining. The Blu-ray disc herein reviewed, courtesy of Rounder Records/Zoe Vision, looks and sounds great. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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