Michael Behuniak | Seattle, WA United States | 12/11/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"What is it with concert videos? Why must every one be filmed using the same insipid music video cliches you'd expect to see in a MTV music awards broadcast? Why all the endless scene jumping every two seconds, zoom-in, zoom-out trick photography, gratuitous crowd shots, and, of course, the dreaded facial close-up; and where each flashing image is completely out of context with the one that proceeded it and the one that follows. Are concerts filmed this way because the director feels the need to display his talent with camera technology? Or does the director believe fast scene switches and facial close-ups are necessary to maintain our interest? If you're a U2 fan, you will probably want to own the new `Elevation 2001 - U2 Live From Boston' DVD, but for my money, it is mostly disappointing, probably because my expectations were too high hoping it wouldn't be another predictable run-of-the-mill concert video.Worst of all is fast-pace cutting and editing of the actual concert footage. Why must we suffer a jump cut every one to two seconds? Just when you start to enjoy a scene, you're off to see a super close up of someone - and that someone is typically Bono, Bono, and MORE Bono - all to the detriment of the other band members. There would be no U2 without The Edge, but he is seen mostly in split second flash-by's. At least during the guitar solo in `Bullet The Blue Sky' - The Edge's one brief moment to showcase his virtuosity - I expected the camera to stay focused on The Edge and his guitar, but no, just a quick flash, and then back to yet another facial close-up of Bono, or Bono running around the stage, like we might have forgotten about him during the two seconds the camera was pointing somewhere else. Most incredulous is the `Director CAM Perspective' - talk about adding insult to injury - where we are treated to watching the director as he zealously applies his hatchet-work to this film. Who's brilliant idea was this?MEMO TO THE DIRECTOR: You weren't filming a GAP Jeans commercial, or a sequel to `The Matrix'. Cool it with all the fast pace editing, clever camera gimmicks, and facial close-ups. The resulting effect does not create for the viewer the experience of actually being at the concert, it has the opposite effect: you just feel like you are sitting at home watching on T.V. a video heavily edited to create the artificial illusion that `you are really there'. Next time, just use THREE cameras (one from the center, and one from each side), ditch the zoom lens, and try to stay on a wide stage shot for more than ten seconds, ok? And keep the camera locked on the guitar player during the solos. `Elevation 2001 - U2 Live From Boston' could have benefited from some other considerations: Why isn't it presented in Wide Screen format? Why are there no sub-titles? And why were `Mysterious Ways', 'Pride' and 'One' omitted? Seeing the new poignancy 'One' has taken on since the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the decision to not include `One' is particularly unfortunate.No, it's not all woeful. This is U2, after all, and their performance here, of what was retained, is inspired and exhilarating. The live versions of `Kite' and `Walk Away' are especially compelling. And it's great to see `BAD', `Sunday Bloody Sunday', and `The Fly' back in the set list again. Ignoring the obnoxious camera work, the picture quality is clear and sharp. And the sound quality is also first rate. Finally, if you don't mind Lo-Fi, bootleg quality audio, the `Fan Cam' perspective provides a terrific alternative for allowing you watch the concert as if you really were there, with none of the distracting camera hi-jinx of the main feature...this is definitely the best feature of this DVD - too bad it wasn't used for the main footage, even if it only includes 12 songs.In any event, if you're a big fan of U2, you will still more than likely enjoy having this DVD in your collection. And if you were lucky enough to have attended one of the Elevation Tour shows like I was, you will be glad that something, anything, even this DVD, is now available as a concert momento - which is why it gets even 2 stars."
Full Description from U2.com
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'Elevation 2001- Live From Boston' was shot on June 6th at the Boston Fleet Centre with 20 cameras under director Hamish Hamilton. The quality and content of the release is set to create a landmark in the history of music DVDs.Disc 1 contains the 1 hour 47 minute full show featuring classics such as Beautiful Day, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Where The Streets Have No Name and With Or Without You.Disc 2 contains Another Perspective - the full show again but this time with an 'alternate camera' feature in which viewers can compare and contrast the view from the 'Bono cam', the 'fan cam' or the 'Director cam'.This second disc also features 'Road Movie' - a 5 minute time lapse sequence showing the staging of a rock and roll concert from empty arena to a full arena and back to an empty arena again.And there are also three bonus tracks including Beautiful Day (live from the Clarence Hotel, Dublin September 2000) and Elevation (live from Miami, opening night of the Elevation Tour, March 2001)"
U2-Elavation DVD - "MISSED OPPORTUNITY"
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Chris NYC,USA First of all I must say I agree 100% with Michael Behuniak from Seattle, WA USA who wrote an excellent review here.I attended three of the shows during this tour and must admit that this DVD fails to capture the spirit, intimacy and intensity of the tour. My big problem with this DVD it's direction and editing is annoying, distracting and just plain poorly done.
There seems to be a single mindedness of the director's part here to focus only on BONO the entire show.We are all sick of the rapid fire disorienting style of editing that MTV has made so popular. This is not a MTV video! The director obviously didn't know his audience too well. U2 fans in general are patient people with normal attention spans who enjoying being able to focus on a shot and enjoy the music.The best editing is when the viewer is not aware of it. It should be seemless and flow naturally. For example, if the viewer hears a guitar solo they expect to also see the guitarist playing it. Don't make us crawl in our seats with agitation waiting and hoping to see the guitarist! This also is applicable to any band member. If the song opens with a bass line, show us the bass player etc. The best filmed concert video without question was U2 LIVE AT RED ROCKS. It captured it all and didn't miss a beat or a shot. It should be a textbook course in "HOW TO FILM A ROCK CONCERT". It beyond comprehension why this concert is not availble on DVD? What is u2 thinking? I hope that when they finally do release Red Rock on DVD they don't blow that opportunity by not packaging it correctly. The correct way would be to release it as a FULL-LENGTH concert with the originally deleted songs, "Two Hearts,An Cat Dubh, Twilight, Into the Heart etc.Also, for extras it might be cool to package it using the seperate fixed camera angles. For example it would be awesome to have a concert with a camera angle for each band member. How about an Edge cam, Adam cam, Larry cam. Believe it or not people do find it fascinating to watch them play the music. It can get boring just watching Bono all the time. But the most disturbing part of this DVD is the fact the Director had the NERVE to put himself on it!!! This is what really got me upset, it then became quite clear that he likes to stroke his own HUGE ego. What a waste of disc space! And I'm sure like most of you reading this you couldn't have cared less to watch this guy calling camera shots while he danced around like a dork in the control room. This space could have been used for more usefull stuff. How about an interview with Edge , or a soundcheck by the band, or an Edge CAM angle I could go on and on..anything but the director himself. Shame on him.Now I'll just sit and wait and pray that they release "Under A Blood Red Sky" soon."
U2 Elevation 2001 Live from Boston - Get elevated at home!
Knubben R.J.J. | Eindhoven, NB Netherlands | 11/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Please note that this is a review of the region 2 disc (...)This DVD contains one concert of U2's Elevation 2001 tour, filmed in Boston on June 6th, 2001 at the Fleetcenter, Boston, Massachusetts. It does not contain the entire concert; the tracks "Mysterious Ways", "People Get Ready", "Pride", and "One" are missing (...). The concert is shot in 4:3 aspect ratio (so no widescreen unfortunately) and the video quality is quite good. Of course, audio quality is more important for a concert registration. As written above, audio is either PCM or DD5.1 on my disc. Both tracks sound very good altough there is mainly only audience to be heard in the rear channels. Even without the missing tracks, DTS audio, and widescreen video, it is a great registration of the Elevation 2001 tour. A chance to re-experience the concerts you have been to, or should have been to (altough it does differ a bit from the three concerts in Arnhem, the Netherlands). Some of the highlights of this particular show: Bono & the Edge duelling during UTEOTW, Edge kicking his guitar after Gone, a very touching version of Stay, the flashing lights during WTSHNN, Bono giving a girl the day of her life during WOWY, and the visually superb ending of the Fly.(...) NBC-TV has aired WHTSHNN live and Elevation on tape during their NBA Finals coverage, so if you have seen that, you have a pretty good idea of what this DVD is like.This is a must-have DVD for all U2 fans owning a DVD player and a reason to buy one for those who don't. I always thought that Rattle & Hum was worth buying, even if only for the great version of WOWY (containing the extra verse). That's still true, but the same holds for this DVD. This version of WOWY does not contain the extra verse, but it is very very emotional. You have to see and hear this for yourself!I would like to finish with Danny Eccleston's (Editor, Q Magazine) words in the booklet of this DVD: "U2's music lifts you up. It's big enough to do that. And in this turbulent year - where Hate has hit the headlines and Hope is in the small print - we've really needed it. Needed it all over the world. Enjoy U2's Boston show. It is a good thing, and right now we need all the good things we can get."."
This DVD Changed My Life
Lupe Wee | California, USA | 05/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the DVD that started it all. The obsession, the admiration, the adoration, the motivation and the inspiration. I was a neutral U2 fan before. Loved the songs With or Without You, Stay, Staring at the Sun, but it ended there. When my sister received this DVD for her birthday, I was the first to watch it (Since I 'had nothing better to do, and I'm bored'. Anyone guess where that line's from?) and was hooked. I was floored, literally, since I was sitting on the floor when I was watching it.The first thing that struck me was the amazing directing of the video. The scenes are so beautifully executed! The stretch of songs from Bad to With or Without you will leave you breathless. On the DVD, U2 werenn't merely a great rock band performing their greatest songs. They were the world's best rock band merging, blending, becoming one with their fans. The crowd interaction, the intensity of emotion, everything! The director and editors captured the moment perfectly, and I was stuck in the moment that I didn't want to get out of. And I've watched the concert through and through around 8 or so times. No other live concert comes close. (Not even the Led Zeppelin one I own) The DVD also comes with a documentary on the making and filming of the concert. Interesting stuff. The director seems ultra quirky and nervous but that probably added to his artistic brilliance in the creation of the footage.Get this DVD. You must. It changed my life. Gave me renewed inspiration to carry on in my country's dead end music scene. U2 forever!"