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2.0 out of 5 stars Great band but not a great movie., 20 Dec. 2013
This review is from: The Stone Roses: Made of Stone (2-Disc Collectors Edition) [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Of the great bands only the Beatles, The Clash and the Jam never reformed and for many years it looked like the Roses would be the fourth, so when their reformation was announced I viewed it with some trepidation, after all they had partially tarnished their legacy at the end of their original lifetime After viewing this film I'm still not sure what I think, although The Stone Roses remain one of my favourite bands of all time I was pretty disappointed with this release.
Seeing as the existing dvd of the Stones Roses at their peak is also quite frustrating featuring the legendary but poorly filmed appearance at Blackpool and a few TV appearances it seems we still await a definitive dvd of this great and influential band. Although there seems no chance of this happening now when the band were in their prime, unless by some miracle light could be shed on the murk that is Blackpool, I was hoping maybe we would be rewarded with a decent visual record of the reformed band, unfortunately this isn't it.

Shane Meadows, like Mike Leigh before him, is a working class director beloved of the critics, and although I think his work interesting and worth watching, for me at least it doesn't stand up to repeated viewing - indeed I found his most famous work This Is England actually unpleasant and overrated. - nor does this movie warrant subsequent views.

I can understand his repeated assertions that he wanted to stand back and didn't want to intrude on the band's differences, either in the past or whilst he was actually filming, although the bust up in Amsterdam was the most compelling part of the film. However making a non chronological documentary of a band that doesn't merely relate its history is extremely difficult, as the result is more often than not ninety minutes or so of very little substance, and so it is here. It is possible to do it - I believe The Who's non chronological The Kids Are Alright is the greatest rock movie ever made - but apart from anything else there is a lot more film of the Who than there is of the Roses and Townshend and Moon were more interesting characters to interview and film.

Why the Heaton park concert which must have been filmed in its entirety isn't included I have no idea. Presumably they are holding it back for a separate release, then a few years later they will include that and this in a deluxe package. This is usually the way it works.

The rehearsal footage of the band is worth one viewing but afterwards becomes boring, to be fair that is true of any band, and why on earth is the Warrington concert (again only a couple of songs, although Shoot You Down is one of my favourite Roses songs and one of my favourite songs of all time) filmed in black and white? I cannot for the life of me understand why modern directors insist on using black and white and the trend seems to be becoming more and more prevalent (Muse, Motorhead). We have had colour for fifty years for heaven's sake. They may think it looks arty, I think it just drains the concert of atmosphere, and following on from lots of rehearsal footage this film is crying out for atmosphere.

We get a few interviews, including the one already included on the previous dvd of a young Brown and Squire being taciturn and awkward with an interviewer. It might have looked cool at the time, and indeed when I first saw it I briefly thought it was, however all these years later it just makes them look like inarticulate morons and I think should have been omitted.
The extras have some fan interview footage which to be fair is a little more interesting than the usual nonsensical fan footage but doesn't stand repeated viewing. There is also the only existing ten minutes of the legendary Spike Island event filmed by a fan a long way from the stage. The quality is what you would expect, so again worth viewing just the once. However the bulk of the extras consist of a self congratulatory working class luvvie fest at the premiere. Reni didn't attend claiming to be ill. I wonder if he really was?
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