Eagle Rock Entertainment // 2002 // 134 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // September 8th, 2012
I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning -- very very frightening me
-- "Bohemian Rhapsody"
Queen fans are rabid collectors, and it seems record executives are cursed by only having a finite amount of material to release since their lead singer Freddie Mercury died in 1991. Every time you turn around there is some new way they have a remastered collection of old recycled Queen material for consumers to buy. The last time these videos were out on shelves they were on two different DVD sets labeled Volume 1 and 2 ten years ago. This new collection saves you from having to buy two products to get all the MTV-ready material, but it does omit some key bonus features as well that the previous collections had. Basically back in 2002 each volume contained the videos and then a bonus disc of outtakes, documentaries, and live performances. Here we just get the videos without those other features spread out over two DVDs. It's simply the first disc of each original set repacked into one clamshell for rerelease.
This single set repackaging of the Queen videos contains the audio revamp done on the tracks back in 2002, which is great. Original surviving band members Roger Taylor and Brian May worked together with audio technicians to deliver the tracks in full five-channel surround, and the results are breathtaking. "Bohemian Rhapsody" in full glory coming out of speakers all around the room is something you can only dream of. The visuals are restored, remastered, and put into widescreen, which for some of the fullscreen originals means chopping off a little of the picture. The visuals vary from era to era, since early Queen videos were often simply the band shot during a sound check before a show somewhere. In the later on clips we see a visual style develop with more theatrics and a flair for epic videos with their less memorable work. It's an odd mix to consider that the early songs benefit the most from the audio restoration while the later songs rely more on the visual upgrade. Disc One is devoted to the older videos up until the Flash Gordon soundtrack. Disc Two covers the later material when Queen was making work for MTV, up until just before Mercury's illness. They end on the exuberant "One Vision," which provides an upbeat last glimpse of Freddie in his prime. They avoid showing any videos made during Queen's last album with Mercury, amid the last stages of his illness, called Innuendo.
The single extra for the discs are the 2002 commentaries recorded over all the videos from Brian May and Roger Taylor. Now and then it seems they add in an archived bit from Freddie Mercury, but that is minimal. Mainly the two band members talk about where the clips were shot, and recall what they can about the process of making videos as Queen. These are exactly what you heard on the original release.
"Another One Bites the Dust"
"Fat Bottomed Girl"
"You're My Best Friend"
"Don't Stop Me Now"
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"to Love"
"Spread Your Wings"
"Play the Game"
"Tie Your Mother Down"
"We Will Rock You"
"We Are the Champions"
"A Kind of Magic"
"I Want it All"
"Radio Ga Ga"
"I Want to Break Free"
"Who Wants to Live Forever"
"It's a Hard Life"
"The Invisible Man"
"Las Palabras De Amor"
"Friends Will Be Friends"
"Hammer to Fall"
"Princes of the Universe"
This is a solid set, if you missed out on purchasing the original incarnations of the greatest hits on video a decade ago. You get most all the songs that got short film treatment from the band with nice commentaries from the musicians. But if you have bought or can find the old sets, then keep those in your collection because they have more robust features on them. Still this one has the music nicely remixed with all the major videos you will want from the band. It's a good enough purchase to satisfy most fans who just want the hits all in one place.
Guilty of repackaging Queen for one more spin through their videography.
Review content copyright © 2012 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 134 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Not Rated