A moving picture documentary about Rush’s farewell R40 Tour.
Some Progressive Rock and Hard rock fans, myself included, are still a bit unhappy about the end of the band Rush. The band has recently released a couple of DVD’s about the last phase of their career; R40 LIVE and TIME STAND STILL, the documentary about the R40 tour. This month I have decided to review them both as they really are a pair in my mind.
Over the past several years there has been a nice trend where movie theaters will do a one-time, special screening of a forthcoming DVD’s. I have seen many of these limited engagement films (Kiss, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, the Wacken movie, etc). It makes for a nice night out with friends and gets us all pumped for the DVD. The most recent one I saw was the Rush documentary TIME STAND STILL. The DVD came out in December and I got it for a Christmas gift.
Getting the negative out of the way, the packaging and presentation is horrible. It is very budget. No booklet, no liner notes, no pictures, it’s pretty weak. To add insult to injury, the single DVD is packaged in one of those eco-slim-line digipaks which are pure crap. The whole purpose of a standard DVD case is to protect the artwork and protect the disc and the packaging of TIME STAND STILL accomplishes neither. It’s just looks and feels lame. It’s a shame that somewhere, someone made the choice to save a few pennies per unit on packaging and I highly doubt they passed those savings onto the consumer at a lower price-point at retail.
Now that I have that off my chest, there is another major, major flaw. In the theatrical presentation there was about 30 minutes of pre-film bonus features. There were hilarious and fun, interviews, animated stuff etc. They do NOT appear on the DVD! It’s ludicrous! I can almost guarantee that at a later date the company behind this fiasco will try to milk the fans again and release some sort of ‘ultimate edition’ with the now ‘lost’ bonus footage. What a total rip-off. I’m very disappointed. Based on these two factors alone I would NOT recommend rushing (get it?) out to buy this version. Be patient and wait because hopefully, one day they will see fit to release the full film, bonus features intact in a proper package.
Setting all that aside, let’s look at the film itself. The documentary is much more than your standard tour documentary. It is more a story of the fans and their relationship with the band combined with interviews of the band themselves and their thoughts on retirement. Despite the grand-scale of a touring rock band, it is quite an intimate film with many mini-spotlights on special fans who have some extra or extra-ordinary connection to the band. The footage discusses the Rushcon experience and interviews the main organizer and there are any number of fans who get a moments screen time to explain what Rush means to them. Various members of the Rush crew and management, many of them with the organization for 20 or even 30 years, discuss their feelings to have it all come to end, not only losing their job but their way of life. Journalists, other rockers all have a few comments about their Rush experience. There is some footage of the members of the band discussing their feelings about how the final tour came about and how it effects them personally, physically and mentally. In a moment of vulnerability Geddy Lee admits he is quite unhappy with the decision to call it quits as he still want to continue; Peart does not to continue and Lifeson is somewhere in the middle, so by default Lee is forced to end something that he lives to do.
This is a very personal intimate look at the band and the fans. I’d even suggest that if you are a casual Rush fan you may want to start with the other Rush documentary produced by Banger Films, rather than this somewhat melancholy look at the final chapter of this venerable rock institution. In the penultimate analysis, this DVD gets very low grades for being incomplete and piss-poor presentation and very high marks for the quality of the film, so TIME STAND STILL balances out to be an average DVD. Approach with caution.
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