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25 Live [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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MORRISSEY 25 LIVE is a legacy concert film marking 25 years of the solo career of one of the world s most iconic and enigmatic performers. Shot during Morrissey s most intimate gig in decades at the Hollywood High School in Los Angeles on 2 March 2013, the film opens with fans talking about their unwavering devotion to the singer and the unique appeal of this unusual venue a striking contrast to the sold out arena concert at the Staples Center on the previous night. Tickets to the concert in the 1,800-seater school auditorium had sold out in 12 seconds and this now legendary concert became Morrissey s penultimate performance on the US Tour. The first authorised Morrissey film for nine years and featuring many classic tracks from the artist s prolific repertoire, Morrissey 25: LIVE is an unmissable Blu-ray release for fans worldwide. TRACKLISTING 1) Alma Matters 2) Ouija Board, Ouija Board 3) Irish Blood, English Heart 4) You Have Killed Me 5) November Spawned A Monster 6) Maladjusted 7) Still Ill 8) People Are The Same Everywhere 9) Speedway 10) That Joke Isn t Funny Anymore 11) To Give Is The Reason I Live 12) Meat Is Murder 13) Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want 14) Action Is My Middle Name 15) Everyday Is Like Sunday 16) I m Throwing My Arms Around Paris 17) Let Me Kiss You 18) The Boy With The Thorn In His Side. Bonus Features: Studio In Session (1) The Kid's A Looker (2) Scandinavia (3) Action Is My Middle Name (4) People Are The Same Everywhere / Behind The Scenes At Hollywood High / Grissle Bandage Present Lord Mudslide.
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The only low points are the ghouls who pour out their inanities when Moz presents them with a mike. Julia sounds vacant. The running time is the usual just under 90 mins, so it is a pity Moz didn't staple on three or four more songs at the end to round out. The bonus features are ok but only a revelation to those bereft of the Internet. The Russell Bland cling-on isn't a bonus. These low points are blasted into insignificance by the sheer quality of the main feature.
The visual quality is spot on although I do wish the director had directed the camera operators to focus more on Morrissey. After all it is him we want to see. Everything and everyone else is background scenery.
This concert reminded me of Moz at Glasgow Barrowlands during his 'wilderness' years, where he pulled out all the stops to give us a truly memorable night. I think he sings best at smaller venues like Barrowlands and Hollywood High.
I loved this blu ray. It arrived in the same package as his autobiography came in, and neither disappoint. P.s. keep an ear open for 'asleep' which is not mentioned in the track listing.
In the closing credits a punter predicts that in 20 years time people will say "I saw Morrissey" with the same intense reverence as those who can say that they saw Elvis Presley. The trailer doesn't do the film justice really - but the big screen certainly did (the quality of this film is superb). I was happy to order the Blu-ray before seeing the film, and I'm looking forward to seeing it again, along with all the extras - which are: "Studio In Session: (1) The Kid's A Looker (2) Scandinavia (3) Action Is My Middle Name (4) People Are The Same Everywhere / Behind The Scenes At Hollywood High / Grissle Bandage Present Lord Mudslide"
My sincere praise and gratitude to all the artisans and producers involved in realising such a state of the art recording of the phenomenon which is Morrissey. There's a highly emotional moment in the encore worth the shedding of tears.
BTW: The initial June 2013 word on this film was that it was recorded in 3D, and was likely to be screened in 3D at some iMax cinemas - but there's been no mention of a 3D release since then. The 2D version is perfect, but if a Blu-ray 3D edition ever happened to be released I'd still buy it - however I could easily believe that an executive decision may have been made that the 2D version was superior anyway.
So where does this devotion to the middle-aged Mancunian come from? Apparently, according to the 'Mad about Morrissey' article in 'The Guardian' from several years ago, "Mexican-American culture is imbued with a devotion to "oldies" from the stage, screen and stereogram, and it would seem that Morrissey's similarity in stage persona to some Mexican pop stars means that he fits right in. His age and status as a Brit in exile also add weight to his popularity." I also think that the Latino youngsters identify with his 'outsider' lyrics, and they certainly seem to know all the lyrics to all the songs, even going back to The Smiths. Truly bizarre and fascinating.
I should add that there are also some fine extras on the DVD of Morrissey and the band with a highly impressed Tony Visconti (although the Russell Brand hero-worship snippet does not add anything, and is just annoying).