HD DVD: For Fans Only
3 Stars out of 5
Sale Price 20.84
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3rd Party 20.84
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Release Date: October 31st, 2006
Movie Release Year: 2005
Release Country: United States
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Alice Cooper: Live at Montreux 2005

Review Date May 3rd, 2007 by
  • Editors Note

    In the original published version of this review, we mistakenly identified the DTS track on the HD DVD version of 'Alice Cooper Live in Montreux' as being DTS-HD Lossless Audio 5.1. In actuality, the track is a standard DTS mix. We regret the error.

    Non format-specific portions of this review also appear in our Blu-ray review of 'Alice Cooper: Live in Montreux 2005.'

OVERALL
For Fans Only
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  • Editors Note

    In the original published version of this review, we mistakenly identified the DTS track on the HD DVD version of 'Alice Cooper Live in Montreux' as being DTS-HD Lossless Audio 5.1. In actuality, the track is a standard DTS mix. We regret the error.

    Non format-specific portions of this review also appear in our Blu-ray review of 'Alice Cooper: Live in Montreux 2005.'

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs: HD DVD
    HD-30 Dual-Layer Disc
    Video Resolution/Codec: 1080i/VC-1
    Length:93
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):1.78:1
    English Descriptive Audio: English DTS 5.1 Surround
    English Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1 Surround
    English PCM 2.0 Stereo
    Subtitles/Captions: None
    Special Features: None
    Movie Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
    Release Date: October 31st, 2006

Story Review Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

3.5 Stars out of 5

It's funny how what was once so shocking can end up seeming so quaint. Back in 1977, the sight of a creepy long-haired guy in goth face paint, playing godless heavy metal music was absolutely terrifying. Now, it just seems like something you might see at Fright Fest at Six Flags. He may still be "No More Mr. Nice Guy," but by today's standards, Alice Cooper seems downright cuddly.

Having said that, the Freddy Krueger of rock still puts on a great show, even forty years into a seemingly never-ending career. Recorded during a stop on Cooper's most recent tour (billed as yet another "comeback" extravaganza) 'Live in Montreux 2005' showcases the aging but still fit performer in fine form. Many years sober, Cooper really surprises with his vocal agility -- I was expecting the hoarse evil twin of Tom Jones, but instead I was reminded that this guy actually has quite a set of pipes on him. And I have to say that it was great fun to watch him run around the stage like a banshee, growling menacingly into the camera, and belting out not only his typical one-dimensional lite-metal anthems (such as 'Welcome to My Nightmare' and the immortal 'School's Out') but also some rather adept power ballads (particularly the '70s smash "I Never Cry"). And you have to admire Cooper's ability to sing even the most inane lyrics with utter conviction, such as the hilariously titled "Muscle of Love" and "Only Women Bleed."

The show itself is split into two halves. The first is a more straightforward affair, with the usual over-the-top lighting, heavy metal stageset and big hair. The second is a bit more fun, with Cooper dusting off his infamous horror-movie stage show shtick. Watch Alice fry himself in an electric chair! Watch Alice decapitate himself in a guillotine! Watch Alice bite the head off of a bat! Okay, so he doesn't do that last bit. But with the Ozzy Osbournes of the world having long since gone the way of reality TV, Cooper may be the only godfather shock rock has left. God bless him.

Ultimately, there isn't much more to say about 'Live at Montreux -- either you're a fan of such Spinal Tap fabulousness, or you aren't. Personally, while I can't say I was enthralled through the show's entire 90 minute runtime, I was still happy to see the aging rock vampire refusing to go quietly in the night.

The track list is: 01. Department of Youth / 02. No More Mr. Nice Guy / 03. Dirty Diamonds / 04. Billion Dollar Babies / 05. Be My Lover / 06. Lost in America / 07. I Never Cry / 08. Woman of Mass Destruction / 09. I'm Eighteen / 10. Between High School and The Old School / 11. What Do You Want From Me? / 12. Is it My Body / 13. Go to Hell / 14. The Black Widow / 15. Gimme / 16. Feed My Frankenstein / 17. Welcome To My Nightmare / 18. The Awakening / 19. Steven / 20. Only Women Bleed / 21. Ballad of Dwight Fry / 22. Killer / 23. I Love the Dead / 24. School's Out / 25. Poison /26. Wish I Were Born in Beverly Hills / 27. Under My Wheels

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    HD DVD
    HD-30 Dual-Layer Disc
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080i/VC-1
    Length:93
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    1.78:1
    Audio Formats:
    English DTS 5.1 Surround
    English Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1 Surround
    English PCM 2.0 Stereo
    Subtitles/Captions:
    None
    Special Features:
    None
    Movie Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
    Release Date: October 31st, 2006

Video Review

4 Stars out of 5

Comparing the HD DVD and Blu-ray version of this title, it's in the audio department where things get interesting. The DTS tracks are labeled the same on the back of the boxes for both releases, but output on each reads differently -- the HD DVD appears to be a 1.5mpbs track, while the bitrate meter (using the PlayStation 3) only reads 640kbps for the Blu-ray. Unfortunately, the switch can be somewhat noticeable; a direct compare of three songs showed a bit of a boost for the HD DVD version.

In any case, this is actually quite a well-mixed concert, at least in terms of surround use that is a bit more aggressive than usual. Though the crowd of course fills up the rears, there are some interesting discrete effects during the more theatrical portions of the show. Individual instruments are frequently spread across the fronts, and Cooper's voice sounds clear and distinct even when he's straining the high notes for effecdt. Low bass is powerful, and there is strong clarity and fine detail audible in the higher ranges. Surrounds are typical of most live concert mixes, being primarily reserved for crowd noise.

Audio Review

4.5 Stars out of 5

'Alice Cooper: Live in Montreux' comes to HD DVD and Blu-ray with companion DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround tracks. It's a well-mixed concert, at least in terms of surround use that is a bit more aggressive than usual. Though the crowd of course fills up the rears, there are some interesting discrete effects during the more theatrical portions of the show. Individual instruments are frequently spread across the fronts, and Cooper's voice sounds clear and distinct even when he's straining the high notes for effect. Low bass is powerful, and there is strong clarity and fine detail audible in the higher ranges. Surrounds are typical of most live concert mixes, being primarily reserved for crowd noise.

Special Features

0 Stars out of 5

Neither the HD DVD nor the Blu-ray release of 'Live at Montreux 2005' have any extras. But then, neither did the standard-def DVD release.

Final Thoughts

Alice Cooper, don't go changin' to try and please us. We love you just the way you are -- rock's answer to Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman all rolled into one. Though his spectacle may not have quite the same bite it had back in the '70s, it's still a hoot to watch. This HD DVD release is strong in both the video and audio departments, though don't expect any extras. But fans probably won't mind -- 'Live at Montreux' is still a great document of Alice at his scariest.

Sale Price 20.84
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  • Editors Note

    Portions of this review also appear in our coverage of Dunkirk on Blu-ray. This post features unique Vital Disc Stats, Video, and Final Thoughts sections.

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    HD DVD
    HD-30 Dual-Layer Disc
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080i/VC-1
    Length:93
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    1.78:1
    Audio Formats:
    English DTS 5.1 Surround
    English Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1 Surround
    English PCM 2.0 Stereo
    Subtitles/Captions:
    None
    Special Features:
    None
    Movie Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
    Release Date: October 31st, 2006