BMG Music // 2003 // 77 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // May 5th, 2003
Don't worry, baby...
Remember those dog days of summer? Lazy times around a pond or hanging out in the soft summer breeze, beer in hand? Music can often be a trigger for memories, and what better way to bring back the hazy days of summer than the voice of Beach Boy Brian Wilson? In Brian Wilson: On Tour, Wilson brings his classic surfing tunes to the stage (including, but not limited to, "Fun Fun Fun," "God Only Knows," "Help Me Rhonda," and "California Girls") and receives accolades from such legendary rockers as Neil Young, Patti Smith, Pete Townshend of The Who, and Ronnie Spector. But that's not all! We also get to see Brian jam with Eddie Vedder, Roger Daltrey, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Nancy Sinatra, Carnie Wilson, and a whole bunch more. Crank up your DVD player and get ready fun, fun, fun 'til daddy takes the remote control away.
Part documentary, part concert...all Brian Wilson. Brian Wilson: On Tour is a look at the genius behind many of The Beach Boys' hits and what has driven him to be one of the greatest American musicians in the past fifty years. The concert footage will be a real treat for anyone who grew up with this music (and those just discovering it) -- Wilson's voice still sounds harmonious and soothing after all these years. His rendition of "God Only Knows" is especially haunting, considering some of the troubles and health issues he's faced in the past. Along the way there are some wonderful moments with other rock stars, including a fantastic version of "Surfin' USA" sporting Neil Young, Eddie Vedder, and Roger Daltrey on stage beside Wilson. Even Sir Paul McCartney of The Beatles shows up for a touching induction for Wilson into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fans will also get a glimpse into Brian's personal life, including footage of his children and wife (who is also interviewed during the course of the film). I was thrilled just to see Ronnie Spector show up backstage to say hello (which Brian considers one of the "biggest thrills of my life"). The basics facts are that Brian Wilson: On Tour has been made for a specific audience -- if you're one of the people who made out to "Don't Worry Baby" in the backseat of your parents' '57 Chevy, I can easily recommend this as a purchase. Surf's up, dude!
Brian Wilson: On Tour is presented in 1.33:1 full frame, the documentary's original aspect ratio. Much of this film was captured on video and as such doesn't retain a fantastic appearance. The lighting is often dull and hazy and the colors sometimes faded. The concert footage fares much better and looks more professional than the interview segments. Though this is a far-from-perfect looking picture, it works well for the concert/documentary it's supporting. The soundtrack is presented in three options: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, DTS 5.1 Surround, and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, all in English. The Dolby 5.1 and DTS soundtracks are both full and vibrant mixes with the music coming in full blast from all of the speakers. The interview and behind-the-scenes segments are a bit less thrilling, though directional effects weren't really needed or utilized. Overall these two mixes should please fans when the songs are a-rockin'. No alternate subtitles are included on this disc.
The extra features on Brian Wilson: On Tour are slim, though what there is fans will surely eat up. The first up is a short featurette titled "Meet the Band" which, not surprisingly, allows the viewer to meet all the various band members in Wilson's group. "Brian on The Beatles" includes various interview footage of Brian pontificating about the first time he heard "Hold My Hand" and various other Beatles tunes. Finally, "Postcards From the Road" includes various footage and clips from Brian's tour, put together as a montage set to music.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: BMG Music
* Full Frame
* DTS 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 77 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* "Meet the Band" Featurette
* "Brian on The Beatles" Featurette
* "Postcards from the Road" Montage
* Beach Boys Fan Site