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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • English Stereo
  • English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English subtitles
  • 2 Discs
FEATURES
  • Two-disc set features18 videos: Intergalactic, Shake Your Rump, Gratitude, Something's Got to Give, Sure Shot, Hey Ladies, Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun, Body Movin', So What'Cha Want, Sabotage, Shadrach, Three MCs and One DJ, Ricky's Theme, Pass the Mic, Holy Snappers, Root Down, Netty's Girl and Alive.
  • Over100 video angles and audio tracks switchable at any time during playback.
  • More than 40 remixes by Beastie Boys, Bentley Rhythm Ace, Fred C., Mario Caldato, Joey Chavez, Colleone & Webb, Count Bass D, DJ Cheapshot, Dj J-Rocc & Dj Truly OdD, DJ Moe Love, DJ Strictnine and Paranorm, Dub Hackers, Egon & Jon Doe, Evidence, Fatboy Slim, Kut Masta Kurt, Large Professor, Latch Brothers, Madlib, Micky Finn & Special K, Moby, Mum's the word, Mike Nardone, DJPaul Nice, OD, Peanut Butter Wolf, Shawn J. Period & Wizdom Life, Prince Paul, Prisoners of Technology, Prunes, J Rawls, Sam Sever & Johnathan Hoffman, Soul Assassins, and T- Ray, including many new remixes created exclusively for this release.
  • Audio commentary by the band and the video directors, including Adam Bernstein, Evan Bernard, Tamra Davis, Spike Jonze, Ari Marcropoulos, and David Perez.
  • The world-premiere director's cut of Nathanial Hornblower's "Intergalactic" spin-off "The Robot vs. the Octopus Monster Saga."
  • Interview with the cast of "Sabotage"
  • Still photographs
  • Storyboards
  • Special collectible poster
  • New 5.1 surround-sound mixes
  • A cappella versions

Beastie Boys Video Anthology


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: , David Perez, Ari Marcopoulos, Spike Jonze, Adam Bernstein, Evan Bernard, Tamra Davis
Starring: Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, Adam Yauch
2000 | 70 Minutes | Licensor: Capitol Records

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $29.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #100
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: November 21, 2000
Review Date: April 5, 2009

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SYNOPSIS

The Beastie Boys are among the most influential groups of the last two decades. As their music has opened hip-hop to a wider audience and changed the parameters of its sound, their ambitious music videos have carried the medium to new levels of artistic expression. This groundbreaking two-disc anthology showcases the vast potential of DVD technology, with most of the 18 videos containing alternate visual angles and multiple audio tracks. There are hundreds of possible image and sound combinations, including new surround mixes, a cappella versions, instrumentals, and more than 40 remixes (by such artists as Moby, Fatboy Slim and The Prunes), including many new remixes created exclusively for this release. Loaded with never-before-seen footage and unreleased music tracks, this special edition also contains a trove of rare still photos and exclusive audio commentary by the band and the video directors. And the coup de gr‚ce; the world-premiere director's cut of Nathanial Hornblower's "Intergalactic" spin-off "The Robot vs. the Octopus Monster Saga."

Forum members rate this film 6.2/10

 

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PICTURE

The Criterion Collection diverted themselves from film for this release, compiling together 18 music videos from the Beastie Boys spreading them over two dual-layer discs. Their aspect ratios vary, ranging from 1.33:1 to 1.85:1. The widescreen videos have not been enhanced for widescreen televisions.

The video transfers arenít very good and nowhere near Criterionís best work. Iím not too concerned about the shape of the source materials since a lot of the issues with the videos are, for the most part, intentional. Some videos look over exposed, contain a certain amount of damage, and colours can go from muted to over-saturated, but all of it again looks intentional.

The big problem with the image quality is that all of the videos are interlaced, presenting jagged edges, ghosting, and all sorts of other artifacts. Most of the videos have a selection of multiple angles and they all come off looking pretty much the same.

Itís disappointing that more effort wasnít put into the visual aspects of the disc, but thankfully the rest of the disc, including the most important aspect (the audio) are tip top.

5/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

Criterion includes both a stereo track and a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track. The stereo track sounds fine but if you have the capabilities the 5.1 surround track is the one to go with. Itís actually a much sharper, crisper track, with an amazing amount of range. The mixes work very well, filling out the sound field perfectly, theyíre very dynamic, and most importantly, loud. Bass is fantastic and the sub-woofer gets quite a bit of a workout. Itís a great sounding track and the one to go with if you can.

A lot of the music videos come with alternate mixes, but unfortunately only the main mixes are the ones that get the 5.1 remixes. The stereo tracks are still quite good and will work for many, though admittedly theyíre not as robust.

9/10

SUPPLEMENTS

This DVD was incredibly innovative on its initial release, taking full advantage of what DVD had to offer, using multiple audio tracks and angles to deliver the most comprehensive release possible for a music video collection. Many releases from other groups have utilized similar techniques on their DVD releases since, but this one still holds up. As mentioned before all of the content is spread out over two dual-layer discs.

The two discs each contain 9 different videos for a total of 18. Each disc also has 2 different sections. One is called the "Videos in Sequence" section and the other is called "Videos With Supplements". The supplements on this release are vast, and at times are confusing to sort through, and this is one of the ways Criterion tries to make it easier..

I'll make my way as best I can through everything, because one problem the disc has is organization. I was a little lost at first but after playing with this release for a bit I was finally able to figure out a process to it.

If you go with the "Play Video in Sequence" you have the choice of watching all the videos on the disc in sequence, or one at a time. These videos are the original videos and you cannot change the angles on here, or go with different mixes. You have a choice of watching the video with the chosen track in stereo or in the new Dolby Digital 5.1 track. You can also watch the videos with a commentary by the band members, or by the directors of the videos.

The commentaries are fairly good, though not up to the Criterion standard I found. The problem I found is that each disc only has a half hour worth of videos so the commentary tracks only last a little over one hour. The track by the band is a tad disappointing. It's a little too quiet and they spend a lot of time making odd noises. I'm sure they're an intelligent bunch but you may not gather that from this track. They spend a lot of time doing play-by-plays which they admit they know they are doing and do try to get out of it. Sometimes it offers a few laughs, but generally I found this commentary very disappointing..

A little better is the director's commentary track. This actually has all the director's pitted together. This one works better because its more technical oriented. They always seem to keep on the topic of the current video and never really go off. The director's even on occasion play a Q&A session asking each other how they did the video. There are a lot of funny comments (at the expense of the group in some cases) and interesting facts.

For the directors that weren't there they are called up by someone named Ralph Spaulding, apparently from the Criterion Collection (more on him a little later). Some of these directors seem unsure as to what is going on but they also offer good amounts of info.

It should also be noted that Criterion has not indexed the commentary tracks like they usually do, but in this case, it doesn't really matter since the videos are so short.

When you select "Video with Supplements" you then get a listing of all the videos on the disc. You then select a video and get more options. Some videos have a lot and others have very little (in fact one has none!).

As everyone probably knows this disc has multiple angles and multiple audio tracks, and this is where this can be found. There are over 100 different ways to watch these videos. I did not do all the combinations straight through but I did a lot of playing! And I mean a lot. I have spent a few hours with this disc and I'm still not done with every possible thing you can do.

When you select a video you have choices on how to set this up. When you choose the option "Alternate angles and remixes" you get a listing of all the possible angles first, then you select one. Then you can select an audio track (the original angles and tracks are included), which are all in Stereo. And you can even switch angles and tracks while you play.

Not all angles and audio tracks go in sync with each other (some are WAY off!) but for the most part, the angles and the tracks do go together, which is something I was really impressed with. Lips match the words and the tune seems to match the rhythm of what is going on on screen. I admire the people that were able to make these all work. Some of the videos come with mixes called "A Cappella" (non-instrumental, vocal only tracks.) This is a fairly interesting extra, and they go along with the videos they play with.

There are also many other extras and I will go through each video one by one and try to cover them as best I can. It should be noted that each video comes with an Information section that gives the credits to the song and the video, and you also get album covers and single covers. I'll start with Disc 1.

(Iíll state that Iím not a huge fan of the group. I like some of their music, and this DVD release has made me appreciate them a little more, but generally Iím indifferent to them. But this didnít play into my review of this DVD release and Iím concentrating more on the technical aspects of it and will not comment specifically on the quality of the remixes.)

Intergalactic has 9 different angles and 6 different mixes. The angles vary between the Beasties running around, the monsters fighting, and simple background stuff. There is also the director's cut of "Robot vs. Octopus Monster Saga", which is a longer version of the video without the music (except faintly in the background). This comes with two stereo tracks that either have the music and sound effects or just the sound effects or you can choose between 2 different 5.1 tracks, either with music and sound effects or just sound effects. I find the video amusing so this longer version isn't too bad.. And then you also get storyboards for the video. The mixes are as follows: "Album Version w/ Sound Effects", "Colleone and Webb Remix 1", "Colleone and Webb Remix 2", "Sever & Hoffman Remix", "Prisoners of Technology Remix" and the "A Cappella Version".

Shake Your Rump has 4 angles and 5 mixes. The angles are more variations on the camera used. The mixes: "Video Version", "Madlib Version", "Truly Odd and J-Roc Remix", "Latch Bros. Remix" and the "A Cappella Version".

Gratitude has an interesting mix. You get the original version of the video as well as the "Oscilloscope Version" which is the music playing over a shot of an Oscilloscope, showing the sound waves. There is also a "Live Version" which comes with its own Commentary track. This track has ďCriterion producerĒ Ralph Spaulding on the phone with the videoís director Ari Marcopoulos, who talks about working with the group on the video. Itís an odd track and I suspect Ralph is actually Spike Jonze, as he does ask some bizarre questions and goes way off topic (asking Ari what heís wearing and then getting into talking to people online.)

Something's Got to Give comes with nothing but video information. No different angles or mixes or anything else. That's it.

Sure Shot has 2 angles and 6 mixes. The angles are the original or the choice of a three-way split screen. There is also a phot gallery from director Spike Jonze. The mixes: "Album Version", "Nardone Remix", "Large Proffesor Remix", "European B-Boys Remix", "Mario Remix" and "A Cappella Version".

Hey Ladies has 5 audio mixes: "Album Version", "Paul Nice Remix", "Count Bass D Remix", "Fred C Remix" and "DJ Strictnine and Paranorm Remix".

Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun has 6 audio mixes: "Album Version", "OD Remix", "DJ Moe Love Remix", "DJ Cheapshot Remix", "Egon and Jon Doe Remix" and "Dub Hackers Remix".

Body Movin' has a couple versions here (the default with the 5.1 mix is the Fatboy Slim remix.) You get the "Director's Cut" and a "G-Rated Version". The difference is that in the "Director's Cut" a man gets his head chopped off and the other he doesn't. You can also find "Don't Lose Your Head", which shows how the head-chopping scene was done, plus some different takes on the head flying. There are also some storyboards here. 5 mixes are contained here: "Fatboy Slim w/ Sound Effects", "Album Version", ""Kut Masta Kurt Remix", "Shawn J. Period Remix" and "Micky Finn & Special K Remix".

So Whatcha Want comes with 3 angles and 5 mixes: "Album Version", "All The Way Live Freestyle", "Butt Naked Version", "Soul Assassins Remix" and the "A Cappella Version".

Now we come to disc two, which is a little slimmer when compared to the first disc.

Sabotage comes with 4 different angles, which show different aspects of the chase sequence. There is a short segment that lasts almost 7 minutes, which is supposed to be an interview with the "cast" of a TV show called "Sabotage". This is on a show called "Ciao LA" and is actually fun to watch, as the Beasties play the actors as fairly arrogant, into themselves people. I found it had a couple good laughs. There's also a photo gallery from Spike Jonze and a video treatment, explaining the video is supposed to be a spoof on 70's cop shows.

Shadrach presents 3 angles and 6 mixes: "Live Version", "Album Version", "Mum's the Word Remix", "J Rawls Remix", "Joey Chavez Remix" and "Peanut Butter Wolf Remix".

3 MCs and One DJ only presents 6 angles, which are just alternate camera shots, one even has a 4-way split screen showing 4 of the angles put together. I liked this on the most, its fun and everything is in sync.

Ricky's Theme comes with just a photo gallery from Spike Jonze.

Pass the Mic comes with 5 mixes: "Album Version", "Part 2; Skills to Pay the Bills", "Prunes Remix", "Nardone Remix" and "A Cappella Version".

Holy Snappers comes with a photo gallery by Robin Moore.

Root Down has 4 mixes: "Album Version", "Free Zone Mix", "PP Balloon Mix" and "A Cappella Version".

Netty's Girl comes with a photo gallery labeled "Science". To be honest, I don't know if it has significance or not (right now I'm wishing I was more of a fan of the group then maybe I'd understand).

Alive has the most in the ways of angles and mixes in the set. It has 9 angles and 7 mixes. The angles just show some of the different shots used for the video, longer extensions of them. The mixes include: "Video Version", "Moby Remix", "T-Ray Remix", "Rapscallion Remix", "Evidence Remix", "Bentley Rhythm Remix" and "A Cappella Remix".

Phew! That covers the videos one by one, but there's still more.

Criterion has included a section on each disc called "Schematic Overview", which is a quick instruction guide on how to use the DVD. There is also a section called "Non-Profit / Web Links", which is devoted to information on groups to help the Tibetan people, as well as web links to these organizations and even the Beastie Boys site and the Criterion site.

Then there is a collectible poster, which has two sides. On one side it has the same artwork as the Criterion cover (missing the Criterion banner,) and the other has the same back artwork. They also included an instruction booklet, which shows you how to navigate the disc and where everything is located. Missing from this release is any sort of essay, which usually comes with other Criterion titles.

I donít know if this is an issue now with newer players but apparently there is a problem with the discs and they do not work well on older players. Currently I use an HD-A3 HD DVD player and Playstation 3 and havenít had problems with it. Iíve also played it on older Toshiba and Sony players, but I recall having issues with it on my older Panasonic A-100 and that guy had trouble playing the supplements. It kept freezing and locking up on me. Iím sure most newer players will be able to handle it, though.

Though I was slightly annoyed with the navigation I still have to say this disc is rather incredible, even by todayís standards. Itís an incredibly innovative and fun DVD to go through and one of Criterionís best achievements.

10/10

CLOSING

One of Criterionís most impressive releases. The video is not that great, though I wasnít expecting much in this regard (a progressive transfer for the videos would have been welcome.) But the audio quality and the innovative supplementary material most surely make up for that and makes this disc a must have for Beastie Boy fans.


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