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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Shine A Light

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Judy Thorburn

"Shine A Light" - A Radiant Celebration of the Rolling Stones in Concert

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"SHINE A LIGHT" - A RADIANT CELEBRATION OF THE ROLLING STONES IN CONCERT

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

I’ve never seen the Rolling Stones in concert, but acclaimed, Oscar winning director Martin Scorsese and his team of award winning cinematographers, led by Robert Richardson (The Aviator, JFK) deliver the next best thing to being right there, live and in person. I couldn’t have had a better seat in the house as their cameras swept across the stage, taking me up close and personal with tight shots of legendary Mick Jagger and his band mates, Keith Richards, Ron Wood, and Charlie Watts that you would never get, even if you were seated in the first row. As far as I am concerned the only way to see the “Shine A Light” (the title comes from a Stones song) concert documentary is like I did, on the giant 70 foot IMAX screen that immerses and envelopes you into the experience like nothing else.

The movie starts off with a black and white prologue of behind the scenes glimpses of nervous Scorsese making preparations prior to the filming. The director’s attention to details involving camera placement, stage and set construction, and his frustration over trying to confirm the song list is the central focus until the Stones take center stage, literally, for an electrifying two hour musical celebration.

Shot in the fall of 2006 at New York’s Beacon Theatre, the Stones are introduced to the stage by former President Bill Clinton. The concert is part of his 60th birthday celebration and he proceeds to make a joke about opening for them. From there on the Rolling Stones deliver the goods, beginning with their old hit Jumping Jack Flash followed by a rousing song repertoire that includes Brown Sugar, As Tears Go By (Jagger’s former girlfriend from his early years, Marianne Faithful, made it a hit) The Temptation’s Just My Imagination, Tumblin Dice, Start Me Up, Sympathy for the Devil, and of course, Satisfaction.

Joining Mick in duets are special guests Jack White (The White Stripes) with Gimme a Little Drink; legendary bluesman Buddy Guy sharing the mike for Muddy Waters’ Champagne and Reefer (returning Mick to his rhythm and blues roots), and blonde bombshell Christina Aguilera (she has certainly come a long way since her Genie in a Bottle days) who slinks up to Mick for a rendition of Live With Me.

There is no doubt that Mick, as the lead singer and front man commands the stage and is the focal point of the cameras that follow his every move, facial expressions and peacock like prancing, at every angle. But, guitarist Richards, in gypsy-like black eyeliner, scarf headband, earring, and a wrist adorned with beaded bracelets takes front and center with two numbers, You’ve Got the Silver and Connection. Granted, he may look like the walking dead, but this aging rocker is alive and well and in amazing form, musically. The camera captures so many closeup gems like that of stoic drummer Charlie Watts making a face and taking a sigh of relief after a song ends, as if not recognizing the strength of his own talent; or targeting in on Jagger’s mouth and being able to see every word enunciated in song from his famous lips as well as his dental work. An occasional pan of the audience catches fans ranging in age from twenty something to baby boomers, and if you pay close attention you can catch actor Bruce Willis wearing an orange (or is it yellow) cap, among the crowd.

Interspersed between songs is a trip down memory lane with archival footage from early press conferences and interviews that are, in retrospect, insightful, fascinating, and occasionally humorous. Missing is any mention or sign of bandmate, the late Brian Jones who died tragically at an early age, his replacement Mick Taylor (before Ron Wood took over) or bassist, Bill Wyman who left the band years ago. Interesting is Jagger’s 1972 interview with Dick Cavett. When asked if he could picture himself doing at sixty the same thing he was doing then, his quick response was “yeah, easily”.

Each at the age where most people are in retirement, the Rolling Stones, who rocketed to fame in the sixties, are now way into their sixties and show no sign of slowing down. Though their faces are deeply lined and ravaged from age and decades of living the “high” life, if you get my drift, their lean bodies, musical artistry, on stage chemistry and stamina is remarkable. Fan or not, watch them perform and the proof is clear as to why the Rolling Stones have endured as the world’s top living rock band for almost five decades and is considered one of the best rock bands in history. At 65 Jagger, is still as charismatic and possesses an amazing amount of energy on stage, if not more, than when he first toured with the Stones in the States, at the age of 21.

Thanks to Martin Scorsese, obviously a big fan of the Stones, for shining a brilliant light on the band and capturing them perform like never before with this dynamic concert documentary. A new generation of fans can experience and appreciate the first rate performers and musicians who give it their all. You can’t help but be swept up into the excitement as the Rolling Stones rock the house. That’s Satisfaction for you, and not just the name of one of their hit songs.