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Music Video Distributors presents
Guns N' Roses: Sex N' Drugs N' Rock N' Roll (2003)

"The day that 'Appetite For Destruction' came out was the day of the 1987 [L.A] earthquake. That was an omen."
- Ruben MacBlue, Rock City News

Review By: Jeff Rosado   
Published: April 09, 2003

Director: Clare Milward

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for language
Run Time: 01h:00m:54s
Release Date: April 08, 2003
UPC: 823564501093
Genre: documentary

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

To be bluntly honest, Guns N' Roses-Sex N' Drugs N' Rock N' Roll is a lot like those cheapo music cassettes or CDs one sees in those turnable display racks at gas stations. How many times have we grabbed one of these deals as an impulse purchase during long drives only to find out, in some cases, that the tracks are inferior remakes, badly re-mastered or in some cases, have no original members involved in the production at all.

In fairness, there is a disclaimer on the DVD case indicating that the Chrome Dreams release is an "unauthorized" presentation containing no involvement musically or personally from the band, yet that was an initial plus in my eyes. As a fan of shows like Behind the Music, I like documentaries that skillfully balance a little dish with enlightenment and relevance. As cheesy as the VH-1 series is at times, it is undeniably entertaining, so I was hopeful that this British-produced documentary would exhibit some of those same qualities. Unfortunately, it doesn't.

Instead, we get sixty minutes of talking heads ranging from regional magazine writers to ticket agency employees barely connected with Axl Rose and Co., giving their viewpoints on what made this band so unique and special. It's not that I'm against listening to fellow fans and acquaintances put their two cents in, but there's only so much perspective outsiders can give. There are a couple of cool stories here and there (Slash working as a newstand employee boggles the mind), but for the most part, all but the overly devoted will be bored to tears.

In addition to no involvement from the band (save for some fleeting public domain-type interview footage), it appears that the producers also had a very difficult time getting clearance for photos to utilize as the same images are used repeatedly to the point of annoyance. Combined with clichéd narration, overly busy video graphics and badly lit interview sequences, Guns N' Roses-Sex N' Drugs N' Rock N' Roll will test the Patience of even the most die-hard of their fan brigade.

Rating for Style: D
Rating for Substance: D


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Very inconsistent with color and brightness levels all over the map. If I were a communications professor, this disc would serve as a teaching tool in my classroom as evidence on how not to post-produce. As evidence, one unlucky participant in the proceedings looks like a guinea pig for a failed Pepto-Bismol makeup line. In the words of American Idol judge Simon Cowell, "simply dreadful."

Image Transfer Grade: C-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Better news to report in this department: dialogue and the occasional music fare well given the 2.0 setup. But without the likes of Paradise City and Sweet Child O' Mine, who cares?

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo Gallery Containing 9 Images
  2. Band Discography
  3. Beyond DVD (promoting companion book/CD)
Extras Review: About the only extra that had the potential to pass muster was the discography section (with bootleg entries), but that opportunity is blown with the text reduced to a font size of 1.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

For completists only, Guns 'N' Roses-Sex N' Drugs N' Rock N' Roll is a disappointing entry in the rockumentary sweepstakes. Invest in a copy of the Appetite for Destruction CD instead.


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