11/22/2014  
What If on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 25Hart To Hart: Season 3 on DVD Dec 9The Simpsons: Season 17 on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 2Robin Williams Remembered - Pioneers of Television on DVD Dec 2Kung Fu Girl / Whiplash on DVD Dec 2Broad City: Season 1 on DVD Dec 2Roger Corman's Masque of Red Death on DVD Nov 25

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

What If on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 25...
Hart To Hart: Season 3 on DVD Dec 9...
Beyonce Debuts Music Video ... Suck It Iggy, J.Lo and K...
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' Renews Heated Polit...
The Simpsons: Season 17 on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 2...

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)...
CRYSTAL FAIRY & THE MAGICAL CACTUS (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)...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
DARK SHADOWS: THE GREATEST EPISODES COLLECTION - FAN FA...
JACK KEROUAC - KING OF THE BEATS...

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...
COLD SWEAT...

RR Rich Rosell

LONDON TO BRIGHTON...
AFTER.LIFE...
MYSTERY TRAIN (BLU-RAY)...
NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH...
THE NATURAL (BLU-RAY)...

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...

JU Jeff Ulmer

THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...

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

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents
Lightning in a Bottle (2004)

"When I think of what's going on here tonight, it makes chills run off me. Lucille even screams a little."
- B. B. King

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: March 08, 2005

Stars: India.Arie, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Ruth Brown, Solomon Burke, Natalie Cole, Shemekia Copeland, Robert Cray, Chuck D. and Fine Arts Militia, Honeyboy Edwards, John Fogerty, Marcy Gray, Buddy Guy, John Hammond, David Johansen and Hubert Sumlin, Larry Johnson, B.B. King, Keb' Mo', The Neville Brothers, Odetta, Bonnie Raitt, Vernon Reid, Mavis Staples, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, James Blood Ulmer, Alison Krauss, Kim Wilson
Director: Antoine Fuqua

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language
Run Time: 01h:49m:51s
Release Date: March 08, 2005
UPC: 043396069183
Genre: r-b


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

DVD Review

Any fan of the blues or of Martin Scorsese's PBS series on them would have been itching for a ticket to Radio City Music Hall for February 7, 2003, for a Scorsese-produced concert that was the cherry on the sundae of his documentary effort—in one night, on stage was pretty much the whole history of the blues, with a galaxy of some of the brightest lights in the blues firmament. Lightning in a Bottle is principally a concert film, documenting that night; it also drops in a dollop of interviews and historical footage, giving a very rudimentary survey of the evolution of the blues, and a celebration of some of the greatest American music ever recorded.

Scorsese has an executive producer credit on this movie, and briefly appears on stage; the director here is Antoine Fuqua, taking on what would have to be a nerve-wracking assignment. Do you really want to be directing when your exec producer was the director of The Last Waltz, perhaps the greatest concert movie of all time? Anyway, Fuqua does serviceable work; his style is unobtrusive, which allows the performers to shine. The conceit of the concert was that it would guide the audience through the history of this music—it begins, then, with the songs of West Africa, and chronicles their evolution, as they were brought over by enslaved Africans, given an American tinge in the antebellum South, and came up north, to Chicago particularly, in the great postwar migration of African-Americans. So what's nice is that the concert isn't just a greatest hits package; on the other hand, its premise makes the evening a little didactic, and ensures that it's largely lacking in spontaneity.

But that's all right, principally because the level of musicianship is so high. Subtitles identify the performers, the songs they're singing, and who first recorded them, and there are many, many highlights. Keb' Mo' pays his respects to Robert Johnson, and Odetta, one of the grand old women of the blues, does the same for Leadbelly, with Jim Crow Blues—her performance brims with righteous indignation, and Fuqua provides useful context by superimposing period images: Klansmen in full regalia, hateful Coloreds Only signs. Some fine musicians, including Levon Helm and Dr. John, serve as a de facto house band, backing Natalie Cole on W.C. Handy's St. Louis Blues, Macy Gray honoring Big Mama Thornton with a great throaty cover of Hound Dog, John Fogerty with more from Leadbelly (Midnight Special), and an array of others. Some of those performing, like Larry Johnson, are enormously talented but never got the acclaim to match; others are known better as sidemen (Hubert Sumlin, shortly after having a lung removed, pays his respects to Howlin' Wolf), and some are honored principally as mentors—Buddy Guy, for instance, is discussed here in the context of his protégé, Jimi Hendrix.

Occasional bits of rehearsal footage and backstage chatter are dropped in—Ruth Brown has a fine time holding court and Solomon Burke is delightful and informative as the self-appointed historian of the chitlin circuit—and batting cleanup is B. B. King, who has become the blues personified for a mass audience. If you love this music, you've probably got some quibbles about what's here and what isn't, but it's a pretty good overview, and so if you're not as informed about the blues, this might be a great place to start.

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

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Inherent in shooting a live concert is the presence of visual imperfections, but taking that into account, this looks awfully good—steady camera work cleanly rendered in this transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: This right here is the reason to watch—the music sounds solid, well balanced and without excessive interference on this strong 5.1 track.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in French with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring House of Flying Daggers, The Fog of War, Winged Migration, Riding Giants, Masked and Anonymous, Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary
5 Deleted Scenes
1 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Five bonus tracks from the concert are all worth checking out; presumably they were trimmed for purposes of running time, but there's good work from Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Gregg Allman and Warren Haynes, Mos Def, Buddy Guy, and Chris Thomas King. In an interview (07m:54s), Fuqua discusses his approach to the material—he wanted Radio City to feel like the world's biggest juke joint—and about his personal connection to the music, and about working for "Mr. Scorsese."

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

A respectful and soulful documenting of a concert brimming with talent from the world of the blues—not the last word on the music or on concert filmmaking, but if these tunes don't get your toes tapping and head nodding, you better check your pulse.

 


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

comedy, television, music, 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, celebrity, judi dench, esio trot, bbc, philomena, dustin hoffman, richard curtis, horror, sci-fi, james bond, christoph waltz, daniel craig, ralph fiennes, ben whishaw, naomie harris, miley cyrus, patrick schwarzenegger, adore you, arnold schwarzenegger, maria schriver, family, the big bang theory, mrs. wolowitz, carol ann susi, breast cancer, jennifer actress, plunging neckline, movies, christopher nolan, big hero 6, interstellar, gone girl, st. vincent, andy dick, arrested, tmz, stolen necklace

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