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Shared Darkness

A Communal Life in Film, Examined

Keith Richards: Under Review


The British-produced “Under Review” series has cranked
out some great looks at musical artists, and some snoozers as well. Because
they’re unauthorized productions, there’s oftentimes a refreshing clarity to
the unvarnished opinion they can express
; the downside of this fact is that
sometimes there really needs to a licensed audio or video clip to ground the
discussion taking place. So it’s a mixed bag, really.


Keith
Richards: Under Review
falls into the camp of solid entries in the series,
mainly because of the innate curiosity factor surrounding its subject — Rolling
Stones guitarist, walking bag of pharmaceutical contradictions, and now Pirates of the Caribbean
costar and inhaler of his father’s ashes.
Maybe it’s because Richards looks for all the world like a living
(well,
arguably), breathing (again, same) version of one of those garish
puppets from Genesis’
“Land of Confusion” video
— a grinning, Cheshire-cat badass who’s
exhausted all
of his nine lives and then some, and yet still somehow keeps on
ticking.
Whatever it is, casual music fans and diehard Stones enthusiasts alike
all find this guy fascinating.

This disc is basically a glorified clip-fest,
but it does tap relatively deeply into the vault for rare and classic musical
performances both from the Stones and Richards himself
. The charismatic axeman’s
pivotal influences are recounted and assayed, and snippets of live and/or
studio recordings of “Satisfaction,” “Jumping Jack Flash,” “Brown Sugar,” “Tumbling
Dice,” “Start Me Up” and many others give this title a charged energy all its
own
. Offering up analytical contributions are a panel of esteemed musical
experts that includes Richards biographers Alan Clayson and Kris Needs, Rolling
Stones biographer Robert Greenfield, former Stones techie Keith Altham,
celebrity guitar coach Wolf Marshall, original Stones member Dick Taylor, ex-Melody Maker journalist Chris Welch, Rolling Stone contributors Robert
Christgau and Anthony DeCurtis, and musical collaborator Bernie Worrall, among many
others. The tapestry of opinion and sheer volume of anecdotal value, then, carries
the day, even if a crisp portrait of Richards the man doesn’t quite emerge from
the haze
.

Housed in a regular Amray case in turn
stored in a cardboard slipcover, Keith
Richards: Under Review

is presented on a region-free disc in a letterboxed 4×3
aspect ratio, with a stereo surround mix audio track. In aggregate the
program runs
just under 120 minutes, with supplemental material consisting of
contributor
biographies, a fairly detailed interactive trivia quiz about Richards
and a short
featurette in which aforementioned biographer Needs reminisces about
his
personal encounters with the human riff. To purchase the title via Amazon, click here.
B (Movie) B- (Disc)

Michael Lynton Inks Sony Extension

Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer Michael Lynton has had his contract extended to 2012
, it was announced
today by Howard Stringer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony
Corporation.

Spider-Man 3
holds the crown for biggest domestic box office performance of 2007, and last
week the studio crossed the $1 billion domestic box office mark for the sixth
straight year
, a feat accomplished by only one other studio in Hollywood.

“Michael Lynton’s financial acumen and firm grasp of content
in the digital era is exactly what’s needed to lead a studio in the 21st
century,” said Stringer. “Together he and Amy have become a forceful and
dynamic team, guiding the studio to even greater heights than I could have
hoped.  I am delighted that they will both continue on in their roles for
years to come.”