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Image Entertainment presents
Henry Rollins: Live at Luna Park (2004)

"You know what Hemmingway said about critics. Hemmingway said that critics are men who sit and watch a battle from a high place and come down and shoot the survivors."
- Henry Rollins

Review By: Dan Heaton   
Published: April 01, 2004

Stars: Henry Rollins
Director: Modi

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult language)
Run Time: 01h:15m:56s
Release Date: February 10, 2004
UPC: 014381208429
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ B+BB C-

DVD Review

During my high-school years, my brother once brought a Henry Rollins spoken-word cassette for a random car trip. My initial thoughts were to wonder why this fiery singer of Black Flag and Rollins Band fame had moved onto this new avenue. The more-sedate approach didn't seem like the right fit for his larger-than-life presence. However, I quickly found myself enjoying his crazy stories and humorous insights into life on the rock circuit. In recent years, Henry Rollins has crafted numerous books, starred in movies and television, and continued to develop his speaking skills.

Henry Rollins: Live at Luna Park presents 75 minutes of footage from his series of weekly three-hour performances at Hollywood's noteworthy Luna Park venue. Rollins conducted these shows one night each week for two months and never recycled the same material. This feature provides a group of enjoyable segments concerning a diverse collection of topics. Rollins acts similar to a stand-up comic with his silly gestures and sound effects, but his stories often relate directly to his rock 'n' roll experiences. His comfort level on stage is easily apparent, and it leads to a fast-moving, entertaining presentation.

A lengthy segment concerns Rollins' young times with Minor Threat/Fugazi singer Ian McKaye, a well-known figure among punk and independent music fans. The comments focus on random jobs worked by the two at typical places like a movie theater or pet store. This topic may drag on for a bit, but it does include several great moments, including their antics during theater showings of Caligula and playing with the abundant fish at the pet store. Rollins was obviously a crazy kid and got into some trouble, but their actions seemed designed more for silliness than to inject any harm. It's a bit difficult to picture the usually serious McKaye acting this way, but they were just fun-loving teenagers.

The film's concluding half-hour concerns Rollins' oddball experiences while traveling across the globe doing spoken-word tours. His descriptions of the chaotic traffic situation in Cairo is a funny highlight, as he vividly explains the numerous cars and uselessness of traffic signals there. Also hilarious are Rollins' comments about performing in Moscow and dealing with the physical toughness of the crazy subway women. Rollins deftly explains the cultural differences and pokes fun at other countries without tearing the people down. This format is especially apparent in his discussion about visiting Israel, where he treats the Christ story with both respect and the expected silliness. Although nothing groundbreaking, Rollins provides an entertaining show that should please a diverse collection of viewers.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: Henry Rollins: Live in Luna Park utilizes a minimalist approach and simply presents him on stage speaking to the crowd. The visual presentation is solid and actually slightly better than expected for this type of release. The colors are decent and little grain exists on this 1.33:1 full-frame transfer. Nothing remarkable appears on the screen, but few distractions exist to take away from the feature.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: Much of this feature offers shots of Henry Rollins talking, so the possibilites for audio innovation are limited. However, there are a few quick guitar chords played between each segment. The most important aspect is the clear and understandable dialogue, which sounds fine coming from this 2.0-channel Dolby Surround transfer.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
1 Deleted Scenes
Packaging: unmarked keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. DVD credits
Extras Review: The lone extra feature on this disc is a 20-minute deleted scene in which Rollins describes his past experiences with Iggy Pop. This segment is very entertaining, but I'm unsure why it wasn't included with the initial feature. It comes from the same night and has the same quality level as the main footage. It does include silly descriptions about Pop's craziness and Rollins' inability to top him in concert.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

Henry Rollins has enjoyed one of the entertainment industry's more intriguing careers and refuses to confine himself into one particular avenue. Henry Rollins: Live at Luna Park presents his wide range of opinions and experiences in a smooth manner. His engaging personality is easy to watch, and the stories should easily keep your attention for the short running time.


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