Eagle Rock Entertainment // 2013 // 117 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // November 27th, 2013
The return of The Rolling Stones back where they truly belong.
On July 5th, 1969, The Rolling Stones headlined a free concert in London's Hyde Park. Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the event, which marked the first time the Stones had performed live in over two years. Despite Keith Richards' claim that the actual performance wasn't really all that good, it was a significant moment in the band's history. Exactly 44 years later, the Rolling Stones returned to Hyde Park in the hopes of recapturing the magic. While the current incarnation of the band isn't nearly as electrifying as it was during the '60s and '70s, these guys still know how to rock and manage to put on a rather entertaining show.
One of the primary virtues of The Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun -- Hyde Park Live is that it aspires to be just a bit more than a traditional concert film. There are elegantly-crafted documentary snippets that aim to provide a bit of historical context and attempt to give viewers an idea of what attending the Hyde Park show (both then and now) must have been like. During the concert itself, the film occasionally employs artier-than-usual techniques -- we see Jagger twisting his hips in slow-motion during one of the songs, and expressive still images of overjoyed fans during another. It feels more like a proper "film" rather than just an HD recording of a concert, which is nice.
While the most recent Rolling Stones concert flick (Martin Scorsese's Shine a Light) offered a show that leaned heavily on deep cuts, this time around the band is running through their greatest hits. While the group definitely seems wearier than before (Richards in particular), they certainly don't seem like a band that ought to consider hanging it up. Here's the set list:
Start Me Up
It's Only Rock n' Roll
Street Fighting Man
Doom and Gloom
Honky Tonk Woman
You Get the Silver
Jumpin' Jack Flash
Sympathy for the Devil
You Can't Always Get What You Want
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
The Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun -- Hyde Park Live (Blu-ray) offers a strong 1080i/1.78:1 transfer. The bright outdoor setting permits more detail than many concert films set in dimly-lit venues, allowing the viewer to see every wrinkle on the weathered faces of these band members. Depth is strong throughout, too. The DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio track is solid, though there are times some of the music sounds a bit muddy (which is undoubtedly partially due to the outdoor setting). Jagger's vocals are robust and the track has a lot of punch during the louder numbers (which is to say, most of them). Supplements are limited to three bonus tracks that weren't included as part of the full concert for some reason: "Paint it Black," "Emotional Rescue" and "Before They Make Me Run."
I don't know whether the Stones' 2013 tour marked the last time they'll perform for the general public, but the legendary band is still able to deliver a rowdy, entertaining show. Here's hoping they're not quite done yet.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080i)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
Running Time: 117 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Songs