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Wick's Review

Created Apr 06, 2008 11:31PM PST • Edited May 08, 2013 04:23PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Part cultural artifact, part rock-n-roll circus, Scorsese’s film elegantly captures the ageless wonder of the Rolling Stones. Pop sensations for half a century now, Mick, Keith and their mates still possess the power to make young girls wild with desire, one of many truths revealed by the movie’s bright lights and big cameras. The larger truth that shines through is that these guys have a catalog every bit the equal of The Beatles, albeit quite a bit raunchier, along with top-of-the-heap performing chops.

    In short, Shine a Light makes clear who really is The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.

  3. Perfect 5.0

    The Stones had the luck and taste to consider themselves bluesmen, a genre that embraces grizzled experience. Hipster shaman Mick Jagger, slithery buccaneer Keith Richards, killer sideman Ronnie Wood and bemused stalwart Charlie Watts have long since become archetypes for generations of rockers and rock fans. They do what they do now as well as ever.

    I’ve long observed that it is not enough for a Rolling Stone to be ugly. He has to be spectacularly ugly in a craggy sort of way, so long as he’s also supermodel skinny. Thus from afar they look the part of iconic rockers, with bird-like legs and big hair, while up close … well, they don’t care what anyone up close thinks, as the movie makes clear.

    Importantly they still play powerfully mighty rock-n-roll. The movie reveals a tight, soulful and energetic band, its stamina, dexterity and reflexes never flagging.

  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Perfect 5.0
  6. Female Costars Perfect 5.0
  7. Male Costars Perfect 5.0
  8. Really Great 4.5

    A new benchmark for concert films, right up there with Stop Making Sense.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0

    Martin Scorsese has used Stones’ songs in his movies for so long now that it is only fitting that he make a movie of the band itself. Of course he delivers in fine fashion: smooth, personal, never letting the movie-making get in the way of the subject. The guy is a master.

  10. Play Really Great 4.5

    The movie reveals glimpses of personality that brings to mind early Beatles interviews, such as when the Stones are required to greet Bill Clinton’s entourage. After gripping and grinning through the first bunch, Charlie can’t believe there are more to come. “There’s more? I thought we were done,” he bemusedly observes. “Me too,” chimes in Keith. “I’m bushed!” Cue the laughter all around.

  11. Music Perfect 5.0

    Here’s how great the Stones’ catalog is: they didn’t play Midnight Rambler, Wild Horses, Honkie Tonk Women, or You Can’t Always Get What You Want, to name a few.

    Highlights of what they did play include a sinuous Shattered that was almost unrecognizable from the Some Girls studio version, Loving Cup (with Jack White joining Mick at the mike, and forming a potent three guitar attack with Keith and Woodie), a lyrical As Tears Go By, Just My Imagination (a great Motown cover from Some Girls), Champagne & Reefer (with powerhouse Buddy Guy joining the band), Live With Me (with Christina Aguilera bringing her peerless pipes to the stage), and, of course, Satisfaction, which caused some girls down front to nearly boogie right out of their low-cut Stones shirts.

  12. Visuals Really Great 4.5

    Up close and personal, shot and edited in masterful fashion. My only complaint is the bright white stage lighting. I suppose this was necessary for Scorsese to get his shots, but it is a mood killer. “The sunshine bores the daylights out of me!” as Mick sings in Rocks Off, and so it is with white light at a rock concert.

  13. Content
  14. Tame 1.5

    Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll: the first two sung about in the style of the third.

  15. Sex Titillating 1.7

    The Stones are wonderfully lewd and lascivious, such as when Mick and the camera focus on the undulating cleavage of a backup singer during She Was Hot. Or when Christina Aguilera vamps along with Mick – “the servants they’re so helpful, dear, The cook she is a whore. Yes, the butler has a place for her, Behind the pantry door.” Live with Me

  16. Violence Gentle 1.0
  17. Rudeness Salty 1.7

    Not so much, especially because several F-bombs were obviously edited out.

  18. Glib 1.1

    We know they have sympathy for the devil. Maybe they’ve made a deal with him also. Forget everything else, what are the odds that any four men in their 60s would all still have their hair? Let alone their youthful flexibility, vigor, muscle tone, zero body fat, and the ability to avoid the pisser for hours at a time. Here we have four geezers, each of whom has largely avoided the ravages of age. I’m just saying…

    Now add in the supplements: Jack Daniels by the case, cigarettes by the truckload, heroin and who knows what else for Keith. My theology don’t include the devil, let alone deals with him, still I’m giving the Stones a BioReality score of 1.3, ‘cause they’re a touch supernatural.

  19. Circumstantial Natural 1.0

    The movie makes clear that their rock-n-roll impudence isn’t an act. It’s who they are: playful and slyly rebellious. Further, the movie shows their artistry and craft: Keith staying on beat by watching Charlie’s kick through the hole in the bass drum, Woodie playing an elegant pedal steel on Far Away Eyes, Keith’s acoustic twelve string and Ronnie’s electric slide. On stage, these guys are players in the best sense.

  20. Biological Glib 1.3

    Mustta been the Goats Head Soup back in the day…

  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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Aug 22, 2008 7:03PM

No chagrin Brian. Happy to see that the Stones have created yet one more fan.