Tonight I had the great delight of attending a screening of Paul McCartney and Wings Rockshow. This film brings back many great memories. I used the play the live album from this tour all the time as a teenager and drive my parents insane. I have seen Paul many times in person but I was only born the year the film was released so this was particularly special as it wasn’t possible for me to be at this tour. Its especially pleasing that Paul at his very peak can now be viewed in such a fantastic way. The film is great bar a few issues relating to the age of the source material. I also have to say what a band Wings were they were one of the best live acts of the 70’s and here it shows. There material is diverse and there performance as a band are very tight.
Here are my plusses and minuses about the remastered film from a critical point of view.
Paul vocals sounded damm incredible upfront strong bluesy and soulful . His piano was mixed rite up front so I got to admire his piano playing. This is often his overlooked skill , his playing here is sweet and funky where it needs to be.
His bass work is just amazing and sounded great. I loved hearing the different live versions of the material to what I know so well on Wings Over America. The stage patter and in between song stuff just great, it helped give you that intimacy of being there. its funny seeing the band so big on the screen shows how stoned they were Linda and Denny especially. Great being able to see Linda and Jimmy alive at there peak. I felt like I was there in the arena , it was as if the cinema disappeared and He was playing to me.
A few minor quibbles though . The mix had the backing vocals to low in my opinion , you would cut to denny or linda and there was nothing no audible singing, this was especially prevalent during Maybe Im Amazed. The editing in places is a tad rough especially coming out of the Long and winding road , the cut is very hard and is noticeable . You could definitely tell which was 16mm footage and what was 35mm. The 35mm stuff was so pristine it could of been shot yesterday. Lastly I wanted more horns they were a bit soft in places. Lastly a few times I had the feeling we were listening to some overdubbed songs some felt to dry and not enough reverb from the stadium.
His bass work is just amazing and sounded great. I loved hearing different live versions to what I know so well on Wings Over America. In some places the differences were quite a lot in others not so. As this was the last gig of the tour the performances have a lot of energy. In my opinion a lot more than the live album.
The stage patter and in between song stuff just great. Funny moment seeing the band so big on the screen shows how stoned they were linda and denny especially. It was also great being able to see Linda and Jimmy alive at there peak.
Now I look forward to the Bluray of Rockshow and the box set of Wings Over America. Lastly the bad news if you missed it at the cinema its not likely to return.
I am a huge Paul McCartney Fan I have seen him play nearly 10 times. I have a large collection of McCartney memorabilia albums and rare stuff. I have been collecting his archive releases so with much excitement getting the news Rockshow was coming out in cinemas and Bluray was a welcome one. This 1976 concert film of Wings at the absolute height of the powers, is a real treat. It has been fully restored from its 35mm print and judging by its trailer they have done a magnificent job.
For screening times world wide goto rockshowonscreen.com
On May 28th see’s the release of the Live album from the wings over the world tour.
It will come in many configurations .
and deluxe boxset
The box set is a stunner containing 4 books a dvd with a documentary about the tour and different merchandise reproductions from that tour. At US$140 it isnt cheap also considering the last box set in the series ram was under $100. But being the fan I am I cant resist it.
Wings over america Boxset
Les Mis Blu ray
I recently acquired the Blu Ray of Les Miserables. I am not going to go into the film as such as that has been covered elsewhere but what I can say is the transfer is very pretty. It was shot on film but retains that warmth and grain film presents without being soft. The detail is wonderful you can see pours in the actors skin finite hairs in beards. The transfer has a wonderful three dimensional quality to it. I would definitely describe this as a near reference disk . The disc also comes with some great extra material not seen before. These are basically documentaries covering the history of the piece . Life of Victor Hugo and various behind the scenes short features.
Life of Pi blu ray
Life of Pi took out best director and best film at this years Academy awards. Its different ,its deep and highly spiritual. Described as one of the best uses of 3D I was let down when I saw it at the cinema. The picture was flat and lifeless . Fast forward to the Blu Ray and the story is a whole different kettle of fish “excuse the pun” set on ocean moving on. Start the disk and immediately you are struck with a gorgeous 3d menu and from there it only gets better. As the viewer you feel like your in the picture. Gimmickry is rarely used and the effect is wonderful. This film was shot digitally with plenty of CG work in the ocean scenes . I actually feel here that the 3d helps to sell the fact the kid is on a real ocean. Note the whole thing was shot in a tank. The effects have life and depth. I dont know what was going on when I saw it at the cinema . Maybe it was not set up properly. The Blu ray presents an absolute reference quality transfer. As it was shot digitally its absolutely pristine and crisp. Detail is plentiful and black levels are fantastic.
The Disk comes with a documentary which runs over an hour going into innate detail about how it was made the process of casting the boy and the process of preparing him for the role.
Incase anyone was wondering I loved this film. I thought it deserved best picture . I saw all the other nominees and just felt there was a bit of daring in the film which made it stand out. As much as I loved Les Mis life of pi really connected with me. Lincoln was a so so film with a great performance that fact was recognised on Oscars night.
I have had my 3d TV now for over a months. I thought I would ad some further reflections on what I like and what I dislike.
Firstly 3D looks just terrible in light rooms. For it to really take effect the room must be pitch black.
My favourite 3D bluray is Peter Gabriel new blood concert in 3D
The 3D element is fantastic. I was at this concert for the shoot. The depth the lighting really gives you the feeling of being in the theatre. The music is sublime the mix fantastic. It is a true demo disk. I really feel live concerts are really suited to 3d . Where the New Blood concert also works , it avoids rapid cutting. I find rapid editing within the 3D realm can induce headaches. But no it doesn’t happen here.
My next favourite is HUGO.
Hugo was shot digitally using the 3D process. The 3D here is used to create space and give you a feeling of being in the small spaces within the train station Hugo inhabits. I feel the 3D here enhances the story rather than distracts from it.
These two examples are great ones. But I have seen some horrible 3D to.
Anything that is converted to 3D avoid at all costs . It doesn’t look any good it tends to look like multiple layers of flat card board cutouts .
Today I got to see the latest Batman film. I was privileged to see it in IMAX.
Firstly the film, It was spectacular the sequence where Bane is taken from the plane was gob smacking in IMAX. I feel this is the way to see the movie. The IMAX format is so immersive and epic I feel if I had seen it in normal 35mm I would of felt removed from the film. The proportions and size literally made you feel like you were in Bruce Waynes world. You feel every punch every move.
Make no mistake about it , to understand this film you have to of seen all three. There are major references and story arc’s from the first and second movies.
Back to IMAX, what makes what Christopher Nolan achieved even more remarkable is the fact he used IMAX at all. The cameras are very heavy and large. They only can take 2 minutes of film at any one time. But the format has upto 18,000 lines of information compared to 4000 lines of 35mm film.
When the film changed from IMAX into 35mm mode you could see a dramatic drop in resolution. This unfortunately is the trade off to enjoy this stunning technology. 71 minutes of the film was shot on IMAX and for the they are the most intense visually amazing parts to enjoy. They tended to kick in during the major sequences. Special mention goes to the destruction of the football stadium very crazy and epic.
For me I most enjoyed Tom Hardy as Bane his intensity and that voice made him imposing . The early fight sequence with Batman where he tore him apart was devastating. Anne Hathaway was sexy sleek and imposing as Selina Kyle . I liked how the character developed and grew through her association with Waynes. You could so tell she was having so much fun on this film.
The soundtrack and mix were also a big star of this film. The sub had a major workout it literally made my ribs rattle. The music score was powerful and added to the intensity. I have now seen all three and I believe the conclusion to the trilogy was apt and mighty well done.
Here are 2 very interesting articles the first on why Chris Nolan doesn’t like 3d
then an article about his use of the amazing IMAX format both great reads.
I love 3d . I love 3d a lot. I realise there are many if not a lot of people in this world who hate it but I love it.
Ok here is thing I dont love it all the time or in your face all the time. So fast forward to the other day. I go and see spiderman. I had a lot of fun with it. But what really stuck out for me was the creative use of 3d. For a lot of the film the eventuated depth was minimal which suited the story and the feel of the film.
But then when we see Peter Parker finally swinging through the New York Skyline then the 3d kicked in. It was amazingly immersive . For some reason or probably because it was used sparingly I suffered zero eyestrain. I have seen a lot of very badly done 3d that has given me headaches. In my opinion 3d should be used like surround sound on when it enhances the story.
Just imagine a film with distracting noises in the surround speakers all the way through. No they wouldn’t do it. So applying the same methodology to 3d is the way forward.
Also reflecting on the film, Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker was fantastic his performance was very nuanced. The guy has a big future ahead. The film Directed by Marc Webb who did 500 days of summer does the whole teenage angst love thing bloody well in my opinion. The early scenes reminded me stylishly of 500 days. All round a fun film which I highly recommend.