FILM, MUSIC  Comments Off
Feb 092012

Days of Our Lives DVD (Eagle Vision)

This “Definitive Documentary of the World’s Greatest Rock Band” was first aired last year on BBC TV Two in two parts. Now commercially available in DVD, the documentary is well worth repeated viewings especially if you are a Queen fan, which I wager would be quite a lot of you out there.

As a fan myself, it is easy to be caught in the thrill of Queen’s early years as they released one exciting album after another – A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, News of the World, Jazz and The Game – racking out numerous worldwide chart hit singles in the process. Some contemporary insight is provided by guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor and previously unseen footage is also brought to bear in order to flesh the incredible success that Queen obviously was (and still is)

The latter half of the documentary comes to a sad conclusion naturally with the untimely death of singer Freddie Mercury 20 years ago in 1991. It is difficult not to be choked by emotion if like me, you loved Mercury for his incredible talent, showmanship and charisma. The interviews can get almost unbearably personal as May and Taylor share their last memories of Mercury on video.

At the end there is a sense that even in this day and age, Queen’s legacy remains strong and May/Taylor have done a good job to ensure that the music of Queen will never be forgotten. Essential for all Queen fans.



 FILM, MUSIC  Comments Off
Nov 232011

Mention the name “Ozzy Osbourne” and chances are the notorious legend of the rock star biting off the head of a bat thrown on stage in 1982 will rear its ugly head (sorry). Pretty much the reputation of Osbourne is built on being the original singer of Black Sabbath and being the ultimate rock madman (primarily in the 80s, after being sacked by Sabbath).

This documentary attempts to present Osbourne in all his contradictory glory. The satanic figure who kneels in silent prayer before a gig, the drug-addled alcoholic who has been clean and sober for the last five years, the heavy metal pioneer who’s favourite band is The Beatles and so on.

Opening in the present, the documentary follows Osbourne on tour at various locations around the world – his rituals, his preparations and his process. Then, we are presented with a history lesson as Osbourne and various relevant interviewees – Black Sabbath members, his wife Sharon, his five children and even Paul McCartney (!) – share insights into the life and times of Osbourne.

Of course, much screen time is given over to accounts of Osbourne’s crazed antics that even outgross Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee, no slouch in the rabble rousing stakes himself! Osbourne’s self destructive habits continue even as he is reinvented as reality star in the Osbournes, which unfortunately only cements his reputation as the aging rock star drunk.

However, there is a happy ending to the narrative as Osbourne reveals that he managed to pull his life from the abyss of alcoholism and drug addiction due to the example of his youngest son, Jack. A touching resolution to this cautionary tale of rock n roll excess. Ozzy and metal fans in general will no doubt enjoy the intriguing insights into Osbourne’s life.

View the movie trailer below

Buy God Bless Ozzy Osbourne from Amazon


What started out as a straightforward documentary about the making of a new Metallica album turned into quite something else. Yes, there is still an album – St. Anger – that is made but the journey there is a little different from your typical “making of” documentary. Basically, life happens, as first longtime bassist Jason Newsted leaves the band and then lead singer James Hetfield checks into rehab for alcohol abuse, leaving Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett to figure out the future of the band, together with Phil Towle, a “performance-enhancing” coach hired by Metallica’s management.

Well, there are two ways of looking at this documentary. If you’re a fan, you’ll probably appreciate the behind the scenes, intimate moments revealing the relationships between the band members. If you’re not a fan then you might be irritated by these millionaires acting out, dwelling on their “rich man rock star” problems which seem to have no bearing on normal life.

Truth be told, you can include me in the latter category. Metallica is probably the biggest metal band on the planet then (and now) and to witness their petty power-plays and juvenile games is a little much to swallow. That said, as a music lover, I appreciate their sincere efforts in resisting self-caricature and self-parody, as they strive to remain relevant as music makers.

The piece de resistance? Watching Dave (Megadeth) Mustaine whining about how hurt he still is about being kicked out of Metallica all those years ago. Hello? Hasn’t his own band sold in excess of 25 million records? What does he have to complain about? Honestly, I don’t whether to laugh of cry, all a bunch of crybabies severely out of touch with reality.

So there you go. Fans of Metallica and metalheads should definitely watch this but if not, stay away…you have been warned.

Buy at Amazon


U2 360° At The Rose Bowl (Universal)

I hate U2! Thirty years after I first heard I Will Follow, the Irish quartet continue to amaze – now only with their magnificient music – but also in their dogged commitment to their craft and to their fans. How do they do it? This astonishing record of U2′s 25 October 2009 gig at the Rose Bowl prove that Bono, Edge, Larry Mullen Jr and Adam Clayton are still on top of the game. Besides the band, the star of the show is the incredible structure that functions as the stage. In the 2nd DVD, you can watch (slack-jawed, I’d wager) the documentary on how U2 and their team put 360° together, and your admiration for the whole operation will only grow.

The 1st DVD features the concert proper and it is a glorious affair as U2 performs old and new material including favorites like Beautiful Day, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, The Unforgettable Fire, Vertigo, Magnificient, With or Without You… you know the drill. For me personally, the best moment was when, during Walk On, Bono brought out U2′s considerable influence to bear in favour of the detained Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi, encouraging fans to wear masks of Aung San Suu Kyi. Now, how many mega-selling bands can pull off such political activism within the context of a rock concert? Truly astonishing.

If you’re a U2 fan (which I’m sure most of you are), you’ll thoroughly enjoy this live DVD.

Click here to win a Deluxe Edition of U2 360°! Closing date – 11 July 2010. Hurry!



One of the biggest bands of the 80s gets the reissue treatment with the release of the Alchemy DVD and CDs chronicling Dire Straits concert at the Hammersmith Odeon, London on 23rd July 1983, almost twenty-seven years ago! Captured just before the release of the band’s biggest selling album – Brothers in Arms – and comprising Mark Knopfler (vocals & guitars), John Illsley (bass), Alan Clark (keyboard), Hal Lindes (guitar), Terry Williams (drums), this is Dire Straits in fine fettle playing material largely from the Making Movies and Love Over Gold LPs.

Whilst the video is nothing much to look at, to be honest, the audio is truly excellent as the band delivers such classics as Romeo & Juliet, Private Investigations, Tunnel of Love, Telegraph Road and of course, Sultans to Swing, impeccably to an enthusiastic audience. As always with Dire Straits, it’s the guitar skills of leader Knopfler that is the highlight and he does not disappoint, I’m glad to report.

Also included in this reissue DVD are bonus TV performances of Tunnel of Love and Sultans of Swing as well as a interesting BBC Arean documentary on the band. The Arena doc is very insightful, capturing the band after two grueling years of recording and touring and sets the stage for the personnel changes that the band goes through in the years to come. Fans of the 80s will not want to miss this.

Click here and stand a chance to win a Deluxe Edition of Alchemy. Closing date is 11 July 2010. Hurry!


I must warn you that if you are easily upset and offended, then DO NOT watch this troubling documentary concerning sexual abuse and pedophilia within the Roman Catholic Church. The documentary initially focuses on one priest, Father Oliver O’Grady, who agreed to be interviewed by journalist/filmmaker Amy Berg. However, as the story unfolds it becomes evident that the incidences of the sexual abuse and the perpetrators are being covered up and protected by the higher echelons of the Catholic Church!

O’Grady, now residing in his native Ireland and receiving a healthy pension from the Church, recounts his offenses in a genial, sometime flippant manner which belie the severe nature of his acts. It is estimated that he abused more than a hundred children, with his youngest victim being a 9 month old baby. Like I said, disgusting!

As monstrous as O’Grady is – and believe me, he is – he is merely symptomatic of a hideous conspiracy permeating the entire Catholic Church in harboring these sexual offenders in the name of self-interest, abandoning and exposing the children to the lusts and desires of these sick individuals.

Quite often, it is tough to watch the victims (and their families) relive the horrendous chapters which have scarred their lives forever. The Catholic Church has failed in living up to their responsibilities to the children in its care, it is so incomprehensible (and reprehensible) that the lives of the victims were so callously treated.

Filmmaker Berg has certainly succeeded in raising the ire of anyone who watches Deliver Us From Evil. However, the film ends rather pathetically as two of the victims are turned away by the Vatican (maybe that was the point being made by Berg). The frightening thing is that despite the obvious evidence, this abuse may be allowed to continue in Catholic churches as Catholic leaders are unwilling to expose the Church to a legal accounting. Truly disturbing.

Buy at Amazon

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