Case Number 21902: Small Claims Court


Image Entertainment // 2007 // 95 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Bill Gibron (Retired) // July 30th, 2011

The Charge

Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? You Should Be!

The Case

Poor Megadeth. Unless you know their music and the man who makes it, unless you've followed their career and recognize where they sit among the great thrash bands of all time (right near the top, by the way), they are frequently portrayed as the punchline to a joke about Metallica. True fans know different, as do those who make metal their business. Yet guitarist/vocalist/chief songwriter and main guiding force Dave Mustaine and his revolving collection of bandmates can't shake a past, or his departure from what is now one of the world's biggest, and bloated, rock acts.

Like winning an Oscar, or making some Hall of Fame, he is forever referenced as "the guy who got canned by Hetfield and Ulrich" and his reconfiguration as part of a politically charged, similarly styled group as an attempted redemption/rehabilitation. Luckily, we have documents like That One Night: Live in Buenos Aires to set the record straight. Not only is this a stellar concert with the latest design of the band in full sonic flower and form, but the energy coming off the crowd and Mustaine's response to it argue for his place right alongside his former bandmates.

Like prog rock sped up to supersonic limits, Megadeth are not an easy entity to embrace. They're not into swagger or cock rock posing. They play music, dammit, and do so with minimal bows to hand signs, devil horns, and random theatrics. For the most part, Mustaine stands at his microphone, right hand feverishly jackhammering his guitar strings. He sings in a combination growl and croon, his voice perfectly suited for the emotion encapsulated in his often hot-button lyrics.

Along with James McDonough (bass), and brothers Glen and Shawn Drover (guitars and drums, respectively) they are an incredibly tight, incredibly intricate band. They're not just about riffs and chord changes. There is a detailed element to Megadeth's music that is perfectly captured in this show. Since we aren't in it for wild pyrotechnics or sunny sing-alongs, this is an album oriented experience -- like sitting in your parent's basement circa 1974 with a pair of headphones blasting the latest quadraphonic release into your still settling brain.

Similarly to the situation in other South American countries, Argentina really LOVES Megadeth. These fans will sing along with guitar solos. There is a human steam rising off the massive crowd that is hard to ignore. Though this Blu-ray update is missing a few songs from the show (such as "Sweating Bullets" and "Train of Consequences") as well as tunes available on CD but not on the original DVD release (like "Skin O' My Teeth" or "Angry Again"), this is still an electrifying 95 minutes. We get snippets of the band arriving at their hotel, followed by a nice bit where Mustaine and Drover sit with some fans and bang out a few acoustic numbers in a nearby park.

The rest of the show, directed with great skill by Michael Sarna, keeps the 17 offered selections moving at lightning pace. Almost every one's a winner, from the brilliant opening of "Blackmail the Universe" to the concert staple "Wake Up Dead." It's also fun to hear later efforts like "She Wolf" and "Kick the Chair." Of course, the audience goes wild for the more well known entries -- "Hangar 18" and the companion piece "Return to Hangar," as well as the terrific ending triptych of "Symphony of Destruction," "Peace Sells," and "Holy Wars."

Overall, this is a terrific show, a real winner in both material and execution. Mustaine and the band are nearly flawless, flying through their set with confidence and controlled abandon. The bigger question will be, of course, should a fan who already owns the DVD version of this show pony up for a new high definition update. The answer is a highly cautionary "Yes." The 1080i image is good, if not great -- not overly detailed or brash, but still providing a clear view of the band and its performance. This is not true HD, so a bit of muddle is to be expected. Still, the colors are well controlled and the level of contrasts keep the various lightning elements in perfect check. Yet there is a weird flatness to the transfer that belies a minimal remastering budget. As for the sound however, That One Night has been souped up with a lossless DTS Master Audio 5.1 mix that is amazing. You get a real sense of the space onstage, the immersive element between the audience and the act present and pronounced. Sadly, the only bonus feature is a remix of "Symphony of Destruction." No band Q&A or other Megadeth information. Rats!

Perhaps someday, when Metallica is no longer a global obsession and people can part with their overblown desire to embrace everything that Lars and the crew do, Megadeth will be seen for what they are: a truly amazing band. Until that time, Dave Mustaine remains unfairly defined by his past -- especially when his present is as powerful as this.

The Verdict

Not guilty! A great show by a great band.

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Scales of Justice
Judgment: 90

Perp Profile
Studio: Image Entertainment
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080i)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

* None

Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Song Remix

* IMDb

* Official Site