Filmed during The Rolling Stones' 2006 "A Bigger Bang" tour, Shine A Light takes a fresh look at the world's greatest rock band through the lens of one of the world's all-time greatest filmmakers, Martin Scorsese. Concert footage, mainly from The Beacon Theater in New York during a birthday bash thrown for Bill Clinton, features cameo guest performances by such musical icons as Christina Aguilera, Buddy Guy, and Jack White III (The White Stripes). Rare archival interviews and performances also punctuate this documentary, which is sure to please classic rock fans, young and old alike. (Stacey Pendry)
Special features include a 15-minute behind-the-scenes featurette with archived interviews, four bonus songs, and previews.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1 DVD begins with heavy stylization, switching between black and white and full color, with heavy grain and without, but once the concert begins the scenes look very good, with nicely saturated colors and sharp detail. Black levels are slightly elevated in the concert scenes, though, which can give the image a washed-out appearance, but shadow delineation is good, providing a noticeable sense of depth. Contrast is balanced well, especially for a stage performance, and fleshtones look natural. Edge enhancement is not a distraction. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc is slightly softer than the most pristine high-definition releases and black levels are still elevated. Still, the picture is good, it just isn't great. (Danny Richelieu)
The DVD's Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack features a very well-mixed front stage with surrounds used adequately to create a sense of dimensionality. Fidelity is good, but not pristine, and occasional clipping distortion can be heard. The LFE channel is incorporated often, and the lower bass octaves are represented well in concert with the front full-range channels. The LFE channel is mixed at very low levels, though, so be sure to use bass management if your full-range loudspeakers aren't actually full range. Instruments are imaged well across the front stage, with their positions chosen more by on-screen location than staying in a fixed position throughout the presentation. The front stage can sound flat at times, but dynamic range is good. The Blu-ray Disc includes three encodings: 5.1-channel lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and 2.0-channel uncompressed linear PCM. The multichannel encodings have the same mix as the DVD but improve fidelity noticeably, especially in the bass. Clipping distortion is still audible though. The DTS-HD encoding is at slightly higher levels than the Dolby encoding, which makes it sound "better" at first listen, but raising the processor's volume in Dolby brings them more in line with each other. The linear PCM encoding seems to deliver a slight improvement in dynamic range over the multichannel encodings, but all three are good (just not great). (Danny Richelieu)