Paul McCartney – In Red Square (2005)

by | Jul 15, 2005 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Paul McCartney – In Red Square (2005)

Studio:  A&E
Video:  1.33:1 Full Frame
Audio:  DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1, 2-channel stereo
Extras:  Two featurettes (Behind the Curtain: Memories of Red
Square, Russia and the Beatles: A Brief Journey), text reference guide
on Russia and Beatles influence, English subtitles
Length:  160+ minutes

There are two bad things about this DVD and one good thing. First, they
should have stuck with straight music, or at least isolated it. In
between each song, performed in front of 100,000 people in Moscow’s Red
Square (and at a bonus concert in Lenin . . . sorry, Saint Petersburg),
are clips with rock dissidents and pundits explaining, almost in
lockstep, how Beatles music help bring down communism. Some of these
interruptions are fifteen minutes long. You learn to keep your finger
on the remote after you’ve heard “You could be arrested for owning a
Beatles album” the third time in thirty minutes. (Was it that bad? When
I was there in 1973, my Russian contemporaries politely accepted the
Pete Seeger albums I was advised to bring, but boisterously asked for
Beatles albums.) The producers should have tacked these interviews on
in the Extras section, where they belong.

The second mistake was the filming style. I don’t know who they thought
was going to be watching this DVD, but my bet is that it’ll be more
boomers than their children. So why the vertiginous ADHD camera style?
I tried to get used to it during songs like “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Band
on the Run,” “Saw Her Standing There,” “Live and Let Die,” “Hey Jude,”
“Let It Be” and “Yesterday.” But I never did. What’s right with this
DVD? Most of the time, the singing. The music. The DTS 5.1 sound.
McCartney’s current band is a young group of white dudes, far more
proficient and passionate than the shunned, scorned, and parodied Wings
of the 80’s. And like Dolly Parton, Paul still has it. He belts out the
old standards with conviction and gusto. But an ambassador for world
freedom? You’re getting them mixed up again. Paul’s the cute one.
– Peter Bates

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