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The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane(TV) (2012)
No synopsis for The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane.
For more about The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane and the The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane Blu-ray release, see the The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on May 20, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman
Director: Brett Morgen
» See full cast & crew
The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane Blu-ray Review
Get some satisfaction with this excellent documentary.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, May 20, 2013
One of the simultaneously interesting and frustrating things about the high definition era has been the veritable glut of releases, both concert fare and documentary, about any number of admittedly great bands and artists, who as fantastic as they might be aren't long lasting legends, while at the same time true legends have thus far been given relatively short shrift in terms of Blu-ray product available. Eagle Rock and its many imprints are to be lauded for their incredible array of releases, most of which are wonderful and which have brought any number of top flight concerts to the Blu-ray format, but when one surveys the landscape for high definition releases featuring probably the most iconic band of the sixties—The Beatles—it's almost shocking how few there are. The Fab Four are thus far represented only by Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine, with Help! just having been announced for late June. Things are rather considerably better with regard to what most would probably agree is the second most iconic band of the same period (and well beyond), The Rolling Stones, with the following titles released: The Rolling Stones: Some Girls Live in Texas 1978, The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965, The Rolling Stones: The Biggest Bang , The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter, The Rolling Stones: Live at the Max, Shine a Light, and Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones. Now adding to that embarrassment of riches is the interesting 2012 documentary Crossfire Hurricane, a rather unusually structured outing which offers a montage of imagery set to audio reminiscences by various members of the Stones and other interested parties.
For whatever reason, The Rolling Stones seem to have piqued the interest of more documentary filmmakers through the years than The Beatles ever did. Aside from the concert and documentary fare listed above which has already matriculated to Blu-ray, there are a number of other iconic pieces that have been released over the years, ranging from the sixties' Sympathy for the Devil to the more recent Stones in Exile. The Stones have always been preternaturally self-aware, as even early efforts like Charlie is My Darling admirably prove. For all their "bad boy" strutting behavior, the members, when caught off guard or in more private meditations on their fame and fortune, have more often than not been incredibly insightful and articulate about the long and winding road (sorry) their lives have taken. (This isn't always the case, as an early interview with The Stones included in this documentary proves. The boys are staggeringly incapable of coming up with reasons they've become so famous.)
One of the relatively unusual aspects to Crossfire Hurricane is that the surviving members of The Stones specifically required that their participation in this enterprise be documented on audio only. Could there be some incipient vanity on display? It seems at least a little odd, given the fact that even Jagger himself waxes philosophical about growing older in Crossfire Hurricane itself, while the band has hardly been shy about continuing to perform in public even as they became firmly ensconced in "senior citizen" territory. But perhaps the fact that they didn't have a camera poking into every wrinkle and pore on their aging faces was cathartic for the guys, for they're all extremely forthcoming about their lives and careers.
Crossfire Hurricane focuses more resolutely on the first two decades of the band's history than it does on the subsequent years of superstardom, arena performances and increasingly legendary bad behavior. In this regard, the documentary makes for a fascinating companion piece to The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965, for we not only get a glimpse inside the nascent hysteria caused by the band, but also a growing maturation on the part of the boys, at least with regard to their success and newfound status if not how they ultimately handled it. However, Crossfire Hurricane does skirt at least some contentious issues—there's nary a word about the various members' often messy and convoluted love lives—that may reveal that for all their self-confessional zeal, The Stones didn't want all of their dirty laundry aired, at least in one sitting. That said, there's more than ample footage of drug use, including the now largely forgotten 1967 arrests, as well as Richards' more highly publicized legal troubles years later.
Director Brett Morgen helmed the Robert Evans documentary The Kid Stays in the Picture a few years ago, and he brings the same savoir faire here that he did to that piece, artfully condensing decades of material to a relatively short (considering the amount of material covered) but frankly never really unwieldy two or so hours. Morgen's approach here is to show the trajectory of The Stones from rock's anti-heroes (the "black hats" when compared to The Beatles, as The Stones described themselves) to Rock Gods little more than a decade later (not so coincidentally after The Beatles had left the stage as a performing group). The film therefore is therefore probably going to appeal equally to those who don't know a lot about the band as well as rabid Stones completists. For the former, there's enough of a Reader's Digest history here to provide context and most of the major high points (literally in some cases) of the band's history, while for the latter, the contemporary interview segments offer an interesting, if at times just slightly melancholy, perspective on what the amazing fifty year history of the band has been like for the band members themselves.
The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. This documentary culled together from hugely disparate sources, including some with formats as small as 8mm. Therefore, it's important not to expect a uniform video quality throughout this offering. Some of the footage, notably some of the contemporary establishing shots of various locations, looks excellently sharp, and appears to have been shot digitally. The bulk of this enterprise is cobbled together from old films and television appearances, however. Those pieces are widely variant in quality. Some of the concert footage is decent enough looking, while some of the television outings are pretty ragged looking. Though this is a progressive presentation, it's obvious that some of the source material was originally interlaced, as there are noticeable combing artifacts during fast motion.
The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane features a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix as well as an LPCM 2.0 stereo mix. While some of the audio here obviously had multitrack masters that were ported over into a 5.1 rendering, it's just as obvious that many did not and have been artificially repurposed for surround sound. For that reason, I actually preferred the LPCM 2.0 mix. For me personally, this offered a much clearer, more focused audio presentation that I found generally more pleasurable. There's nothing horribly wrong with the 5.1 mix, but it often sounds hazy and too widely disbursed for my personal taste. Fidelity is quite good, especially considering the wide variety of source audio. The contemporary interviews of course sound clear as a bell.
The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Eagle Rock has lumped most of the supplements in together, with a running time of 26:16 for everything. These include:
The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane is perhaps a bit too condensed for its own good, but it is so stuffed with little tidbits that I can't imagine any Stones fan not wanting to gobble this up, probably repeatedly. Filled with incredible archival video and full of some great contemporary retrospectives from the surviving members of the band themselves, Crossfire Hurricane may not be the whole story (which of course it still being told), but it's a fantastic overview of the first heady rush to superstardom. Highly recommended.
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The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane Blu-ray, News and Updates
• The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane Blu-ray - April 16, 2013
Eagle Rock Entertainment has officially announced that it will release on Blu-ray The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane, a kaleidoscopic new film that documents the key periods of the Rolling Stones' career and their incredible journey. The release will be available ...
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