The Rolling Stones documentary “Crossfire Hurricane” has finally arrived for release on home video on Eagle Rock Entertainment in the U.S. and Canada.
As previously reported, the U.S./Canadian release for the movie on DVD, Blu-ray and digital video is May 21, 2013. “Crossfire Hurricane” was originally scheduled for a U.S. and Canadian release on DVD/Blu-ray/digital video on Jan. 15, 2013. It was released in January 2013 in the U.K., Japan and other countries.
“Crossfire Hurricane” (directed by Brett Morgen) is the official 50th anniversary documentary of the Rolling Stones. However, the movie focuses primarily on the band’s first 20 years. Morgen said in interviews that because of the deadline for the movie’s release, there wasn’t enough time to cover the band’s entire history in the film. Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger, who is one of the producers of “Crossfire Hurricane,” told USA Today that a “Crossfire Hurricane” sequel is very possible.
I already did a complete review of the movie after I saw “Crossfire Hurricane” at the movie’s New York City premiere.
(Click here for a report on the London premiere of “Crossfire Hurricane.”)
(Click here for a report on the New York City premiere of “Crossfire Hurricane.”)
So here’s my review of the DVD extras.
The DVD extras are:
- NME Poll Winners Concert (April 26, 1964): “Not Fade Away,” “I Just Wanna Make Love to You” and “I’m All Right”
- NME Poll Winners Concert (April 11, 1965): “Pain in My Heart” and “The Last Time”
- Live in Germany 1965: “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “I’m All Right”
- “The Arthur Haynes Show” (1964): “I Wanna Be Your Man” and “You Better Move On”
- Interview with Brett Morgen
All of the extra footage is in black and white, except for the interview with Morgen.
The best of the performance footage is the 1965 concert in Germany. The band members are confident, energetic, and at the top of their game. Ian Stewart fans will like the quick shot of him at the end, as he does some roadie duties.
By contrast, “The Arthur Haynes Show” footage shows a more stand-offish Stones, who were no doubt restricted by the confines of performing in a TV studio.
The NME Poll Winners Concert in 1964 has something that you never see at a Stones concert anymore: Charlie Watts stepping out from behind his drums to introduce the next song. (In this case, it was “I’m All Right.”)
As for the 10-minute interview with Morgen, it doesn’t really reveal anything that he hasn’t talked about in other interviews.
When asked why “Crossfire Hurricane” does not show the current and former Rolling Stones doing “talking heads” interviews but instead uses just their voiceovers as narration, Morgen replied, “Mick [Jagger] said in our first conversation that he didn’t want it to be a bunch of guys sitting in armchairs … If I film footage of the guys today in their late 60s, and were showing footage of them when they’re 22, 23, it raises issues I didn’t want to raise. I wanted the audience to be in the moment with them.”
In the interview, Morgen also said the most emotionally difficult parts of the interviews were talking about the death of Brian Jones and the Rolling Stones’ tragic Altamont concert. Morgen also mentioned how he had full access to the Stones’ archived audio recordings, including the previously unreleased version of “No Expectations” that is featured in the movie.
It’s disappointing that the DVD/Blu-ray extras didn’t include any outtakes or extended footage from the interviews that the current and former Rolling Stones did for “Crossfire Hurricane.” Morgen also filmed the Rolling Stones’ 2012 rehearsals in Weehawken, N.J., and unfortunately none of that footage is included in the DVD/Blu-ray extras. Even in this day and age of bootlegged videos that are easily available to watch on the Internet, there is still an untold amount of previously unreleased authorized Rolling Stones footage from over the years (not just the mid-1960s) that could have been included in the DVD/Blu-ray extras.
However, diehard Stones fans will want to get “Crossfire Hurricane” on home video for — first and foremost — the movie, since the extras are just the proverbial frosting on the cake. For fans who didn’t get to see the movie during its limited cinema release or television airings in 2012, “Crossfire Hurricane” on home video is an even more essential purchase.
The Beatles’ extremely popular “Anthology” documentary in 1995 is something that many people still believe is the gold standard of how to cover a legendary band’s entire history. Yes, the Beatles’ “Anthology” was several hours long, but it was comprehensive, well-made, and it became an instant classic.
Let’s hope that the Rolling Stones will do something similar at some point that will truly cover the band’s entire history. “Crossfire Hurricane” is like taking a family photo album and only choosing the snapshots that show the family members in their youthful prime, when there are many people who want to see the entire photo album.