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DVD Zone: July 2009

| July 1, 2009 | 0 Comments

Iron Maiden: Flight 666
UMe

dvd_maiden

If Bruce Dickinson isn’t the coolest person on the planet, I’d be hard-pressed to tell you who is. Not only is he still one of the best and most charismatic frontmen in the business at age 50, but if he needs to catch the afternoon shuttle from London to Cardiff, he can fly the damn plane. We’re not talking about a little puddle-jumper here, we’re talkin’ ’bout a big, honkin’ 757.

Dude! Lighten up! Give us mere mortals a chance.

Iron Maiden: Flight 666 chronicles the first leg of Maiden’s 2008 “Somewhere Back In Time” tour, the most ambitious jaunt in their long history. Covering some 50,000 miles with 23 shows in just 45 days, the Time tour took them to to six continents.

A roadtrip like this usually takes some serious cash, and in this economy, the specter of loosing large amounts of green has killed the plans of many. However, when you have a pilot in your midst, the scenario is simple: Buy your own plane.

Thus, the appearance of Ed Force One, the aforementioned big honkin’ 757. With its official airways flight number 666, EF1 carried the band, crew, and 70,000 pounds of gear to all points on the globe. As a result, Maiden was able to play locales they hadn’t been to in years (or ever), such as Mumbai, India, and Bogota, Columbia.

Flight 666 was directed by Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen, who had previously done Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, which VH1 Classic seems to play at least twice a week. For the most part, the two have done a fine job capturing the backstage and offstage goings-on, but at 112 minutes the film drags a bit. Shots of the locals flashing devil horns and shouting “MAIDEN!!!” could have been trimmed, and that alone would have slashed 15 minutes from the film.

The second disc of the two-DVD set features complete live performances from the tour, and a deluxe version is available with special packaging and a 26-page booklet.

But back to the cool factor for a second, though: A lot of people have said the current tenant at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. ranks pretty high on the cool scale, but he has one major strike against him.

I’ve yet to see him fly his plane.

Film: *** Features: ***

John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band: Live In Toronto ’69

Shout Factory

In 1969, as The Beatles were splintering and drifting off in their own seperate directions, John Lennon found himself with the itch to play live again. As Abbey Road was about to be released, he grabbed longtime friends Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, and future Yes drummer Alan White to head off to Toronto.

Not only did the show result in the first true Plastic Ono Band album, Live Peace In Toronto, but legendary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker (Don’t Look Back, Monterey Pop) was on hand to document the festivities. Shout Factory finally releases the fruits of his labors with the DVD of the same name.

John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band, Live In Toronto ’69 finds Lennon and crew running through some classic rockers such as “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Money,” but they’re also joined onstage by some of the originators of those classics. Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard give spirited renditions of “Bo Diddley,” “Hound Dog,” and “Lucille” respectively.

At a scant 50 minutes, Live is too brief to be a definitive Lennon concert document, and one is tempted to want more. However, he puts those feelings of want to rest by uttering a statement after his set that’s even more chilling than a ’70s arena-act revival at a state fair announcing they’re going to play something off their new album. No, what Lennon says is far more terrifying: “We’re gonna let Yoko do her thing.”

The only bonus feature on the disc is a 1988 interview with a much more sedate Yoko.

Despite its brief run time (and Yoko’s atonal droning), Live In Toronto should be considered vital to all Lennon fans.

Film: *** Features: ***

John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band: Live In Toronto ’69

Shout Factory

In 1969, as The Beatles were splintering and drifting off in their own seperate directions, John Lennon found himself with the itch to play live again. As Abbey Road was about to be released, he grabbed longtime friends Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, and future Yes drummer Alan White to head off to Toronto.

Not only did the show result in the first true Plastic Ono Band album, Live Peace In Toronto, but legendary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker (Don’t Look Back, Monterey Pop) was on hand to document the festivities. Shout Factory finally releases the fruits of his labors with the DVD of the same name.

John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band, Live In Toronto ’69 finds Lennon and crew running through some classic rockers such as “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Money,” but they’re also joined onstage by some of the originators of those classics. Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard give spirited renditions of “Bo Diddley,” “Hound Dog,” and “Lucille” respectively.

At a scant 50 minutes, Live is too brief to be a definitive Lennon concert document, and one is tempted to want more. However, he puts those feelings of want to rest by uttering a statement after his set that’s even more chilling than a ’70s arena-act revival at a state fair announcing they’re going to play something off their new album. No, what Lennon says is far more terrifying: “We’re gonna let Yoko do her thing.”

The only bonus feature on the disc is a 1988 interview with a much more sedate Yoko.

Despite its brief run time (and Yoko’s atonal droning), Live In Toronto should be considered vital to all Lennon fans.

Film: *** Features: *1/2

Also avalilable . . . Being Sox people here at IE, we’d be remiss (and quite possibly have our Alexei Ramirez fan-club memberships revoked) if we didn’t mention White Sox Memories: The Greatest Moments In Chicago White Sox History. From the club’s inception in 1901 to spring training 2009, Memories hits the high points such as the ’59 Go-Go Sox, and of course the 2005 World Series championship. Hey! They even shock the world by including some colorful Ozzie quotes!

Timothy Hiatt

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Category: Columns, Monthly

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