Blu-ray: The Rolling Stones: Havana Moon

havanamoon1STUDIO: Eagle Rock | DIRECTOR: Paul Dugdale
RELEASE DATE: 11/11/16 | PRICE: DVD + 2CD $21.99, Blu-ray + 2CD $25.79
BONUSES: five bonus tracks
SPECS: NR | 138 min. | Live concert | 1.77:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio | Video  | Overall

“Cuba, this is a first,” garbles Keith Richards as the camera surveys the Havana ghetto in Havana Moon, the latest Rolling Stones concert release. “And it’s about bloody time.”

stoneshavana_optASIDE: Nobody can accuse The Rolling Stones of not carefully managing their legacy, particularly their digital one. Over the past decade, they’ve released no less than 10 concert DVD, ranging from gigs at Hyde Park in 1969 to Ft. Worth, Texas in ’78 to a Scorsese-directed New York City show 2006. The band might be getting older—they’re nearly all in their 70s now—but they can have the ability to appear virtually any adult age with a DVD release of live show from the past half-century.

With Havana Moon, recorded in March, 2016, The Stones became the first rock band to play a free concert in Cuba’s capital city. (President Obama was in town a week earlier, serving, in a sense, as a warm-up act for The Stones.) There’s no accurate attendance number for the gig, but it’s loosely estimated to be somewhere between 700,000 and 1.2 million. That’s a lot of people—and a lot of satisfaction for both the band and concert-goers alike.

The Stones offered a solid two-hour set of filled with the usual hits and few surprises, save that these octogenarians can still rock the house. “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Paint It Black,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Start Me Up,” “Angie,” an outstanding 16-minute-version of “Midnight Rambler” and a dozen other numbers are all served stylishly for a sweaty, gyrating crowd of young and old faces. Part of the thrill came from the large-scale spectacle of the show, it’s rich audio quality, and a collection of giant video screens which offered video footage, animation and intense close-ups of each and every line on Mick and Keith’s grinning faces.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.