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Site created 12/15/97.


review added: 11/22/00



Beastie Boys
2000 (2000) - Capitol Records/Grand Royal (Criterion)

review by Todd Doogan of The Digital Bits

Beastie Boys (Criterion) Program Rating: A

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A/A+/A+

Specs and Features

Disc One
35 mins, NR, window boxed full frame (1.33:1) (Intergalactic is 1.85:1 non-anamorphic), single-sided, dual-layered (no layer switch), double Amaray keep case packaging, audio commentary with the Beastie Boys (Michael Diamond aka Mike D, Adam Horovitz aka Ad-Rock and Adam Yauch aka MCA), audio commentary with various directors (Evan Bernard, Adam Bernstein, Spike Jones, Ari Marcopoulos, David Perez and Nathanial Hornblower aka Adam Yauch) and Criterion intern Ralph Spaulding aka Spike Jones, non-profit organization information and website links, schematic overview (both on the disc and in booklet), collectible booklet, poster, animated film-themed menu screens with music, scene access (9 chapters), languages: English (DD 2.0 & DD 5.1), subtitles: English


Disc One Song Index (with supplements)

Intergalactic with video information, 9 video angles, 6 mix tracks, storyboards and The Robot vs. The Octopus Monster Saga short

Shake Your Rump with video information, 4 video angles and 5 mix tracks

Gratitude with video information, 2 video angles and the Live Version with optional commentary by director Ari Marcopoulos

Something's Got to Give with video information

Sure Shot with video information, 2 video angles, 6 mix versions and a photo gallery by Spike Jones

Hey Ladies with 5 mix tracks

Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun with video information, 6 mix tracks

Body Movin' with video information, 5 mix tracks, Don't Lose Your Head short and storyboards

So What'cha Want with video information, 3 video angles and 5 mix tracks


Disc Two
30 mins, NR, window boxed full frame (1.33:1) (Alive is 1.85:1 non-anamorphic), single-sided, dual-layered (no layer switch), audio commentary with the Beastie Boys (Michael Diamond aka Mike D, Adam Horovitz aka Ad-Rock and Adam Yauch aka MCA), audio commentary track with various directors (Evan Bernard, Spike Jones, Tamra Davis and Nathanial Hornblower aka Adam Yauch) and Criterion intern Ralph Spaulding aka Spike Jones, non-profit organization information and website links, schematic overview information, animated film-themed menu screens with additional music, scene access (9 chapters), languages: English (DD 2.0 & DD 5.1), subtitles: English


Disc Two Song Index (with supplements)

Sabotage with video information, 4 video angles, Ciao L.A. short directed by Spike Jones, photo gallery by Spike Jones and the 4/8/94 script treatment

Shadrach with video information, 3 video angles and 6 mix tracks

Three MCs and One DJ with video information, 6 video angles

Ricky's Theme with video information, a photo gallery by Spike Jones

Pass the Mic with video information, 5 mix versions

Holy Snappers with video information, a photo gallery by Robin Moore

Root Down with video information, 4 audio tracks

Netty's Girl with video information, a photo gallery entitled Science by Spike Jones

Alive with video information, 9 video angles and 7 mix tracks


"Believe me, what you see is what you get..."

This is, without a frickin' doubt, the absolute best DVD treatment a compilation of music videos has ever received. It's a benchmark that I don't think can be topped, actually. Because when you think about it, even with the stellar treatment, it's really all about the videos themselves. Beastie Boys videos aren't mini-films. But they have always served both the music and the spirit of the performers themselves better than any musical group out there. It's probably because if the videos weren't directed by Beastie Adam Yauch (aka Nathanial Hornblower) they were directed by close friends and relatives. It's easy to keep things close and on track when it's being done by people who love you. That same spirit has gone into this DVD.

Beastie Boys is cutting edge and yet so simplistic. Take 18 videos from the Beasties, break 'em in two equal halves and layer them out with supplements. It would be easy to get carried away explaining it to you, so I'm going to go into how the disc works before I review it. Each disc has 9 videos split over two layers. You can watch the videos one at a time or all the way through. The videos are done up with full-on Dolby Digital 5.1 and/or Dolby Digital 2.0. You can also watch the videos with either audio commentary from the Boys or by the directors. Then, when you get done watching the videos, you can go to another area on the menu screen that sends you to the same videos with supplements. Now, keep in mind that these aren't the same exact videos you just watched and listened to. These are the videos presented with alternate angle features and remixes so you can basically thumb around and create your own version of the video. It's incredibly cool and, for Beastie fans, this is going to be the ultimate item to have.

The video quality is great overall. There's all sorts of different media being used in these videos. 16mm, 8mm, animation, digital video, standard video - it's all over the place and could have fallen into a DVD dead zone. But don't worry - it's all been well taken care of by Criterion. Every one of these videos looks great. Colors are dead on and there are no artifacts anywhere (unless they were in the original source material). The audio is super stellar too. The videos themselves sound wonderful in Dolby Digital 5.1 (and in DD 2.0), but the remixes are what sent me into another plane. Some of this stuff is so cool. I don't have a bunch of Beastie Boys CD singles, so I haven't heard too much of this before. And it's extremely cool to hear some of this stuff - especially in 5.1.

The supplements on top of the video presentation kick this set into the stellar zone. The commentaries are hilarious. The Beastie commentary is funny, because they have nothing to say and they know it. I usually have a hard time listening to tracks with uninterested participants, but these guys are so funny about the track itself. Ad-Rock keeps referencing how his comments are the best because he does play-by-play. The director's track is even funnier and actually has information in it. It's Adam Yauch, Evan Bernard and Spike Jones in a room with a phone talking about the videos and how they shot some of this stuff. They make fun of crewmembers and hangers on. Then, if a video wasn't directed by one of the three, they call the director on the phone. Actually Spike Jones calls the director, playing Criterion production intern Ralph Spaulding, who does a pre-interview with them about how they got the job, how barn-raising plays an important part in Beastie Boy videos and what the director is currently wearing. The directors they call have no idea what the hell is going on. Better still is Tamra Davis (wife of Mike D), who isn't around when they call, so it's just a track of phone messages back and forth. It's so funny to listen to this stuff. The video supplements themselves are deep and smooth. Like I said above there's the remixes and alternate angles, but there's also stuff like storyboards for a couple of the more complicated videos, photo galleries and stuff like that. This 2-disc set is HUGE.

I'm going to just let the disc speak for itself, because it has every right to. This is a really, really great disc set from Criterion and they should be proud. For all of us who felt upset that the Beasties had to cancel their summer tour, this is definitely a nice consolation prize. This set doesn't include the entire lot of videos from the Beasties, but it's voluminous and worth whatever you have to spend to pick it up. Absolutely do not miss this. This DVD is the bomb.

Todd Doogan
todddoogan@thedigitalbits.com




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