11/28/2014  
American Masters: Bing Crosby - Rediscovered on DVD Dec 2Day of the Mummy on DVD Dec 9Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special on DVD Dec 9Field Of Lost Shoes on DVD Dec 2What If on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 25Hart To Hart: Season 3 on DVD Dec 9The Simpsons: Season 17 on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 2

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

One Direction Score Fourth Number One Album With 'Four'...
American Masters: Bing Crosby - Rediscovered on DVD Dec...
Derek Hough, Julianne Hough, Maria Menounos, Mark Balla...
"Dancing with the Stars" season 19 crowns a winner ...
Day of the Mummy on DVD Dec 9...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE (BLU-RAY)...
AIN'T IN IT FOR MY HEALTH: A FILM ABOUT LEVON HELM (BLU...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
JACK KEROUAC - KING OF THE BEATS...
I Don't Know How She Does It on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 3...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

RR Rich Rosell

AFTER.LIFE...
NOTE BY NOTE: THE MAKING OF STEINWAY L1037...
VAMPIRE PARTY...
GIMME SHELTER (BLU-RAY)...
THE CREW...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Image Entertainment presents
Blondie (1979)

"I will give you my finest hour / The one I spent watching you shower..."
- Debbie Harry (lyrics from Picture This)

Review By: Robert Edwards   
Published: March 23, 2004

Stars: Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Frank Infante, Nigel Harrison, Jimmy Destri, Clem Burke
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (occasional language)
Run Time: 00h:40m:44s
Release Date: March 23, 2004
UPC: 014381347227
Genre: music


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- B-B+A- D-

DVD Review

Ah, "new wave." Even given the benefit of over 20 years of hindsight, this musical genre (or was it just a style?) is fiendishly difficult to pin down. It certainly wasn't punk, even minus the safety pins, three-chord songs and spitting, and it certainly wasn't the rock/pop hybrid known as "power pop." Perhaps it's best to just describe it as the music played by a certain set of bands that were listened to in the late 1970s and early '80s by a select group of skinny white boys in even skinnier ties. Oh, and a few girls too.

Unlike pornography, which some people claim to be able to recognize even if they can't define it, new wave isn't even necessarily recognizable. My coterie of die-hard new wave friends and I couldn't have cared less about defining the genre as such, but we were certainly obsessed with determining which bands fit into that category and which ones were to be excluded, and thus summarily dismissed. The Cars were definitely out—even though they had the requisite look, they were way too popular, and therefore suspect. The Jam were unquestionably in, with their natty suits and English cool. But Blondie were always a problem. No one disputed the band's songwriting skills or playing ability, and they certainly had the necessary irony and emotional distance, but too many of their songs were just a little too rock, a little too pop, or even a little too salsa/funk. And with the beautiful blonde Debbie Harry fronting the band, we were always afraid that Blondie's marketing campaign would be a little to successful, and that they would be wrested away from us by frat boys and mere rock fans. (Indeed, one early poster featured a picture of Debbie Harry and the caption "Wouldn't You Like to Rip Her to Shreds"). And oh the embarrassment of going to our favorite record shop to buy the 12" vinyl single of Heart of Glass, only to find that the sleeve was plastered everywhere with word "DISCO"!

But never mind the small world of our fanboy obsessions—in the real world, new wave started in the mid-1970s. While the Ramones, with their raw sounds and dumb cool were showing the Sex Pistols how to do punk rock, the underground punk/new wave scene in New York City was in full swing, with such bands as Talking Heads, Television, the Dictators, and, of course, Blondie, tearing up the stage at CBGB's and Max's Kansas City, and tearing up the critical press as well. It was a time of musical foment, of musical revolution, and while few of the bands achieved real commercial success, they changed the music scene forever, and continue to inspire new generations of fans.

But Blondie was successful both critically and commercially. Their eponymous first album made them critical darlings, and 1978's Plastic Letters spawned their first chart success, a #2 single in the UK. The following year, Parallel Lines brought in not only the cash, but #1 singles in the UK and the US (the aforementioned Heart of Glass). Both 1980's Eat to the Beat and 1981's Autoamerican went platinum, with #1 singles on both sides of the Atlantic. But the band suffered personal turmoil, Harry's first solo album was soundly derided, and it was pretty much all over by 1982...until the band's reform 16 years later, when the smash album No Exit put them back at the top of the charts.

Blondie (the DVD) was shot live in Glasgow for the BBC program Old Grey Whistle Test in 1979, at the near-height of their popularity. It's a great—if brief—package, showcasing many of the band's hits, with the songs drawn equally from Parallel Lines and Eat to the Beat. The camerawork is fairly good, and someone had fun with the video mixer, overlaying long shots with close-ups, and even doing cheesy revolving oval-shaped inserts. The framing is occasionally clumsy, and it's obvious that one of the cameramen was a Debby Harry fan, because he sneaks in a close-up of her posterior. The band is at the top of their form, and it's difficult to pick a stand-out track here, but for this reviewer the highlights are Pretty Baby (even if Harry sometimes has trouble finding the notes), Atomic, and the nearly six-minute version of Heart of Glass. Only about 20 seconds of Eat to the Beat are included before the band switches to Picture This (although only the former can be chosen from the chapter menu), and the final song, Sunday Girl, which features surprise guests, annoyingly fades out mid-song.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: Recorded on video, the image is mostly good, with reasonably accurate colors that showcase drummer Clem Burke's shiny gold suit and Debbie Harry's yellow and red costume. There are some minor imperfections caused by limitations of the source video, but the only real annoyance is light horizontal bands that show up against the dark backgrounds.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The two-channel sound has reasonable separation, although it's not a surround track, so don't expect any activity from the rear speakers. For a video recording, there's quite a bit of dynamic range, although the high end occasionally sounds harsh. There are no serious problems here, and nothing that gets in the way of one's enjoyment of the music.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Packaging: Keep Case
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: There's a chapter selection screen. A plastic keepcase. A printed jacket label (in color!). The lettering on the DVD label is pretty cool. And they didn't misspell "Blondie" anywhere.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

This too-short 1979 concert captures new wave favorites Blondie at the height of their career. The video transfer and sound are about as good as can be expected, given the vintage of the recording, but there are no extras.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

biography, celebrity, dancewars, derek hough, julianne hough, maria menounos, mark ballas, sadie robertson, geronimo, shake it off, music, one direction, four, take me home, midnight memories, taylor swift, television, dancing with the stars, alfonso ribeiro, witney carson, janel parrish, val chmerkovskiy, horror, demi lavato, miley cyrus, the tj show, heart attack, sonny with a chance, disney channel stars, sports, katy perry, superbowl, half time, comedy, drama, saturday night live, michael che, bill cosby, cameron diaz, beyonce, 7/11, american music awards, sunday, movie, hunger games: mockingjay-part 1, danny strong, christian toto, john nolte, sarah seltzer, documentary, action, foo fighters, beat the bots tour, 2015, sonic highways, fenway park in boston, wrigley field in chicago, citi field in new york, rfk stadium in washington d.c., chris pratt, guardians of the galaxy, dave chappelle, shailene woodley, ansel elgort, steve carell, michael sam, judi dench, esio trot, bbc, philomena, dustin hoffman, richard curtis, sci-fi, james bond, christoph waltz, daniel craig, ralph fiennes, ben whishaw, naomie harris, patrick schwarzenegger, adore you, arnold schwarzenegger, maria schriver, family, the big bang theory, mrs. wolowitz, carol ann susi, breast cancer

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store