MVD Visual // 2010 // 64 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Daniel Carlton (Retired) // May 13th, 2010
A random trawl through 45 years of news coverage of the greatest rock band in the world.
Rare and Unseen is a disc that probably will only be entertaining to die hard fans. It does provide some interesting interviews, but the lack of music is an obvious drawback.
The Rolling Stones: Rare and Unseen is a treasure trove of odd clips and interviews spanning the early days of the Stones up until Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones: Shine A Light.
The DVD case says "A random trawl" and that is right on the money. On this 64 minute disc we are given an eclectic assortment of TV interviews, clips and various lost footage spanning each incarnation of The Rolling Stones. The feature starts off with mostly old footage and gradually gets more recent as the disc plays. I say mostly because there isn't a real sequence to the structure, it really is a "random" trawl which jumps back and forth between eras. That isn't a strike against the disc, because I did find the clips and interviews quite fascinating nonetheless. While I didn't find anything on the disc particularly exciting, I do find that watching Keith Richards speak is vastly more amusing than James Cameron's last few efforts.
On this disc we get an array of clips; everything from Jagger's wedding to Bianca, Bill Wyman discussing his exiting the band, and an art show with Ronnie Wood's work. Some of the most fascinating clips are surrounding The Rolling Stones first show in Moscow. We see a press conference with the boys answering with their usual wit and nonchalant attitudes. Interviews with Mick Jagger make up probably 75% of the disc, with the remaining members taking up the slack. I would have liked to see more clips of the others, but no worries, YouTube will be with us forever.
As expected, picture quality on the disc is varied, since source material is comprised of footage dating back to the '60s. Clips vary from black and white to color and from grainy to sharp. None of the differences in quality were bothersome, however, because they accurately captured the time frame of each clip and one isn't exactly concerned with high quality when watching a disc such as this. Another interesting thing to note is the lack of music. My guess is that this is not an authorized release, so the creators were not granted the rights to use any music by The Rolling Stones. In fact, one sequence shows a montage of clips to another band's music. Oh well.
As for extras, zilch.
Being a fan, I enjoyed The Rolling Stones: Rare and Unseen. At the same time, I can safely say that people who aren't fans might have a tough time getting through the disc. This low budget compilation of clips was a far cry from the Maysles brother's masterpiece The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter, which undoubtedly has a wider appeal because of the sheer historical significance of the events surrounding the film. Still, it is worth a viewing for those interested in the band and the $14.99 list price isn't outrageous.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: MVD Visual
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 64 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* The Rolling Stones