Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Tony Bennett An American Classic|
Actors: Tony Bennett, Robert De Niro, Elton John, Catherine Zeta-Jones, k.d. lang
Director: Rob Marshall
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
IMPORT-GBR PAL (0)
Rob Marshall's Creative Energy Sparks a Worthy, Ultra-Stylis
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 11/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To accompany his lustrous "Duets" CD, perennial crooner Tony Bennett recruited some first-rank talent behind and before the cameras to help him produce this remarkable TV special to commemorate his 80th birthday. It is at once a throwback to the network variety specials from the 1960's and 70's (before pay-cable rendered them obsolete) and a reinvention of the format incorporating biographical elements within the context of mini-video performances. The result aired on NBC earlier this week as an hour-long special. Without commercials, the program scarcely runs forty minutes, but it remains a superbly crafted showcase for a timeless singer. Thanks to Rob Marshall's innovative conception and immaculate direction, the show follows a roughly chronological timeline of Bennett's career with nine starry-eyed duets connected by brief snippets of his professional milestones.
Things start on a high note with Bennett in an empty theater singing Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" joined by a mellifluous-sounding Barbra Streisand, his most accomplished partner for the evening. In a jazz nightclub setting, he is surrounded by the acrobatic Tony Bennett Dancers and swings though "Sing, You Sinners" with a confident John Legend. In a recording booth at Columbia Studios, Bennett sings his first hit, "Because of You" accompanied by smoky vocals from k.d. lang and a languorous trumpet solo by Chris Botti. Visually, my favorite part of the program is the black-and-white recreation of the 1960's-style variety show complete with dancers in sailor tops and Capri pants. In this segment, Diana Krall joins Bennett on a finger-snapping "The Best Is Yet to Come" followed by a sonorous version of "The Shadow of Your Smile" given a samba-accented makeover by Columbian rock singer Juanes.
The inevitable Vegas sequence features a bevy of feather-fanned showgirls. In this milieu, Bennett is joined by Elton John on a jaunty "Rags to Riches", by new-jack crooner Michael Bublé on a swinging "Just in Time" (whose Dean Martin-style behavior may rankle the more feminist-minded), and finally by a surprisingly stationary Stevie Wonder leaning heavily on his melisma on his own "For Once in My Life" (which includes his trademark harmonica interlude). To show his popularity with the current crop of chart-toppers, Bennett is joined by a retro-styled Christina Aguilera and the dancers in full Fosse mode on "Steppin' Out". It all ends appropriately with a shimmering solo of Bennett's signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco".
Providing the spoken interludes between the performances are Billy Crystal, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bruce Willis, John Travolta and Robert DeNiro. At about 45 minutes in total, the extras on the DVD actually last longer than the special itself. They start with a 2 1/2-minute trailer and go right into footage of the dancers rehearsing their four production numbers. What follows is an extensive making-of featurette which features interviews with Marshall, choreographer John DeLuca and other key members of the creative staff interspersed with behind-the-scenes footage."
Where are the clowns?
Bruce London | 11/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've seen Tony 5 times live and have all his records. The dvd was great, what there was of it! PLEASE, what happened to the filming with Sting, Bono, Celine, Mcgraw etc??????If time was a problem then I have no problem with the edited program-a one hour special on TV. BUT, why didn't Sony film the rest and offer it to us on a full length dvd???I would gladly have paid for a complete film. Shame on you Sony!"
Tony Bennett American Classic
R. Stapleford | Nashua New Hampshire | 12/24/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD was excellent as far as it went. However I saw the show when it was presented on TV. I was very disappointed that when veiwing the DVD at least four maybe more artists were left off . I never would have bought this product had I known that it was not complete. I feel cheated and want others to realize that they are not getting a complete show."
Tony B Blu-ray
Cherilyn A. Jepsen | 02/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Outstanding duets. Tony Bennett again multi-generational. That's why he's still winning awards. LOVE the blu-ray format."