Search - The Cars Unlocked - The Live Performances (with CD) on DVD

The Cars Unlocked - The Live Performances (with CD)
The Cars Unlocked - The Live Performances
with CD
Actor: The Cars
Director: The Cars
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
NR     2006     1hr 12min

Founded in 1977 by Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr, The Cars shook up the music scene with their distinctive sound and modern aesthetic, both of which continue to influence musical style today. A dominant presence on the chart...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: The Cars
Director: The Cars
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Documentary, Music & Performing Arts
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 10/17/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 12min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Car crash, a total wreck
M. Barrows | 10/26/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)

"As for the reviews giving this 5 stars and singing it's praises, yes, it is nice to have some footage of The Cars playing live---if you're ok with the songs being talked over, seeing random backstage footage and other wastes of time. Note how this is labeled "The Live Performances"? Isn't that what you would expect to see? Well, you do---in limited amounts. If you're ok with a song starting and playing for a minute or two and then seeing the group randomly wander around backstage or on the sets of some of their videos WHILE the song continues to play in the background, then this collection is for you. If you want to see a full Cars concert, buy the 1979 Musikladen DVD as that is much better than this in terms of delivering a live show. A couple of reviewers have mentioned the quality of the footage---it is hit or miss. I realize some of this footage was taken from the 70's and there are lines of static that roll through certain songs, BUT I happen to have seen a show from '78 and another from '84 (both of which this DVD draws footage from) and they look and sound better than what has been released here. Now why would the label and/or Ric Ocasek not have access to better footage to use in this release? It does exist somewhere (both shows I mentioned were shot for TV). All in all, for nostalgic purposes, it's decent, but for sheer live performance, look elsewhere. Oh, the CD sounds fine but is sort of an afterthought compared to the video, which was the primary selling point of the whole package."
Excellent Keepsake
Dorrie Wheeler | 09/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Cars Unlocked is a deluxe special release than fans of The Cars will enjoy. This summer there was a tour and CD release by "The New Cars," but "The Cars Unlocked" features live performances from the most well known line up of The Cars-
Ric Ocasek, Benjamin Orr, David Robinson, Greg Hawkes and Elliot Easton.

The Cars-Unlocked is a totally sweet awesome release that a fan of The Cars won't want to miss. The set features not only a live performance DVD, but a live performance CD as well. The Cars-Unlocked was released by Docurama.

The DVD portion of the disc is comprised of various concert performances--all of which occurred at least twenty years ago. There is a small text at the beginning of the DVD which explains that the footage is old and has been restored to the best it can be. Despite the warning, the DVD looks pretty good, it's just in certain places like various interviews it has that VHS tape look to it. The candid interviews and the rare pictures are awesome.

The Cars-Unlocked gives fans a true behind the scenes and back seat look at the group from their early days to the peak of their success in the mid 1980s. The DVD includes performances of some of their most well known hits including "You Might Think," "Drive," "Shake It Up," "Magic," and "Let's Go." There is also some great footage of late band member Benjamin Orr.

The Cars-Unlocked is a must have for fans. Great effort was put into the production of the DVD. Long time Cars front man Ric Ocasek served as the producers for The Cars-Unlocked.

The DVD features 20 songs and 5 bonus performances. Mixed in the DVD are photos and interviews. Inside is a 28 page lyric book which includes partial lyrics to the songs and photos. The DVD is presented in Dolby 5.1 surround sound. The CD includes 14 digitally re-mastered songs from The Cars.

The Cars Unlocked is an excellent release. It's a real well designed keepsake.
Awesome live CD + sometimes great/sometimes frustrating DVD
Andrew Furst | Illinois, USA | 11/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"While I can understand the frustration over the DVD - yes it could have been somewhat better, this is still a "must have" item for fans of The Cars music. First off, while this is being sold as a DVD + CD, it might be better judged as the reverse, a CD + DVD. It should be noted that the CD is not an audio version of the DVD performances, but in fact contains entirely different live performances than are found on the DVD (at least from what I can tell; if there's any overlap it's likely no more than 3 performances, but probably no overlap at all). And I have no problem with the quality here; the audio quality (which is the most important part) is consistently good-to-great, while the concert video varies from "perfect" to at least highly watchable. (Oddly enough, most of the lowest image quality video parts are the non-concert "backstage" scenes, which is no big loss since that's not the main attraction of the DVD).

My best guess is that the CD is from a combination of 1984 and 1987 live-for-radio concerts (based on the sound and the setlist, along with the inclusion of both "Double Trouble" [1987 tour] and "Heartbeat City" [1984 tour]), fourteen songs, it's terrific. The Cars were always great musicians with interesting songs, but sometimes their studio albums were so polished that they could sound a bit sterile. This I feel was especially the case with the "Candy-O" album, which has many great songs, but after a while begins to sound almost as if a computer is performing rather than human beings. And while this live CD doesn't depart much from the studio versions, it's different enough, and being live - it's "raw" enough - to be very interesting and enjoyable. Again, the musicianship of the band is quite impressive, especially so given the circumstances of a live performance.

The DVD likewise has some great live performances, and of course it's fun to actually see the band performing, rather than just hearing it (as on the CD). But there is some frustration with the DVD, which is not the case with the CD. The frustration comes from the fact that the live performances are sometimes interrupted visually by non-concert footage (or too many "fan" shots) even as the live concert is still fully heard, also interrupted by some behind-the-scenes video between the songs themselves. The "behind the scenes" stuff is occasionally interesting but more often just annoying, as a lot of what was selected for the DVD is mugging for the camera, throwing food, some sophomoric giving-the-finger, and generally acting weird for the heck of it. As if the guys were auditioning for "The Monkees" tv show. Probably the person who selected these scenes is more to blame than the band itself, since I doubt they acted like this all the time. At any rate, you'll want to watch these scenes once, but then will likely choose to skip over them and just watch the concert footage. And this is mostly easy to do via the chapter menu, but could have been made even easier (sometimes you are forced to watch a bit of the non-concert footage). And finally, a few of the songs start and play for a few seconds, but then fade out and are not fully performed. This happens with the song "Getting Through" which starts out for about 10 seconds and then they cut off the song completely. Frustrating. Yet it's better to have even those 10 seconds than none of it at all, and I'd guess that about 20-21 songs are performed in their entirety on the DVD, so that's a good thing. I also would have just made the 5 "bonus" DVD songs part of the "regular" show, so that's another minor frustration, but it's great to have those songs here at all. And while some people would prefer a "pure concert" video, compare this to the Who's "Kids are alright" or U2's "Rattle and Hum" and this leans much more to "pure concert" and less to "other", so a little "other" is fine and at times enjoyable (I particularly liked the snippet of Ben grimacing during an out-of-tune beginning to "Just what I needed", apparently in rehearsal).

The book is slickly printed, has some decent pictures of the band, but is otherwise somewhat worthless. There's no biography of the band in the book, no listing of the concert venues and dates from which the DVD and CD performances are drawn (a major omission, IMO). And the printed lyrics are only snippets from various songs, some of which aren't even found on either the DVD or CD.

Bottom line, you get about 35 full (or nearly full) live performances of The Cars, in mostly very good/great sound quality. I'm counting about 21 full/nearly full songs on the DVD, and 14 full songs on the CD. You get some backstage video. You get a book with a few pictures. I'm rating this for what it is, not what it could have been; in fact I give this 4.5 stars, could have easily made it "5 stars" for the Amazon rating due to the over 30 great, full live song performances for this reasonable price, despite a few frustrations. Now what this could have been, might have been even better. For example, some of the best songs from the live DVD are from Houston 1984, but its only part of that concert (three songs). Ditto for the Philadelphia 1987 and US Festival 1982, these are major highlights, but would have been even better to get the entire Philadelphia 1987 show (here they give us five songs, three of which are in the "bonus" section), the entire US Festival set (rather than just two songs), and the entire Houston show (a 60 minute VHS tape was released from the filmed Houston concerts, but is out of print and was never on DVD). So I say get this item, get the "Musikladen" DVD (the "Cars Live" one), even see if you can get the out of print 1984-85 (Houston) VHS. Maybe even get the Live Aid DVD, for a couple Cars songs. And hope that there may be even more complete Cars concert DVD videos and CDs in the future. But clearly it's better to have this as it is, than not at all. Thanks Ric and the rest for making this available, and come on fans - just get it and enjoy it."
Just What I Needed
DMZ | USA | 10/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As a longtime fan of the Cars obsessed by their music, I immediately gave this DVD/CD release an A++ the moment I became aware of it even though I had yet to experience the product. That is the fan in me. Upon listening and viewing, though it has flaws, I gave it Amazon's top rating of 5 stars simply because, as superficial as this may sound, it made me happy and timeless memories were once again imagined.

The DVD has many of the band's smash hit tracks and more. There are behind-the-scenes antics of the band mingled with some of the songs. In some instances, the arrangement works, in others not so much. One priceless moment, however, was the brief interview with Benjamin Orr (probably during the "Hello Again" video shoot) shown prior to live version of "Drive." To see Orr's cherubic smile was chilling especially with his untimely passing due to pancreatic cancer.

Among the highlights are the last two clips which are from the "Us Festival" and while it never hurts to see attractive ladies having a blast at an outdoor rock concert, "Shake it Up" and "Good Times Roll" are outstanding performances.

The shining moment is probably the "extras" portion of the DVD where five bonus tracks are found. Two personal favorites, "Cruiser" and "Everything You Say" made the cut. Solid vocals from Orr in each case. The rockin' "Strap Me In," the haunting melody of "Drive" and "Touch and Go" finish out the five.

Unfortunately, the main portion of the DVD basically overlooks the Cars' unfairly abandoned "Door to Door" release but does include the "Panorama" era and, to this reviewer, that is worthy. "Up and Down" and "Gimme Some Slack," from the aforementioned third Cars' album are marvelous additions though the former is weakened from a sudden editing shift to footage backstage. Why couldn't that have taken place after the song's conclusion?

Though the audio was somewhat unremarkable at times, in at least once instance there was an obvious attempt to make the guitar sound too emphatic, it was nothing that is unpleasant. The banal "Tonight She Comes" seems a tad out of place while, interestingly, "Dangerous Type" and the wildly pleasing "Bye Bye Love" are absent from the DVD.

The CD has the usual Cars' classics. The quality of the audio is very good and often disregarded songs like "Heartbeat City" and "Double Trouble" are among the highlights along with the energetic "Nightspots." Of course, there is always the hardcore fan's typical lament of deeper cuts not being included. Upon a recent cross-country plane trip, I played this CD twice in succession and one thing this band always accomplishes is to bring me back to more innocent times.

While the exterior packaging for this DVD is splendid the one disappointment is the 28-page Photo Lyric Book. I expected something dramatically different from the issued product of partial lyrics interspersed with the photos.

The bottom line: I want more. If Ric O. has additional footage, the glutton in me would like to see and hear anything else the band has in the archives. I have already watched the DVD three times within the first few hours I received it.

One last note: The editorial review listed on Amazon mentions "four never released songs." Unless I am missing the obvious, there is no such selection.