- Actors: Jay-Z, Rick Rubin, Missy Elliott, Fonzworth Bentley, Memphis Bleek
- Directors: Michael John Warren, Patrick Paulson
- Format: Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
- Language: English
- Dubbed: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Paramount Vantage
- Release Date: April 5 2005
- Run Time: 109 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- ASIN: B0006Q93D8
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,561 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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Jay-Z: Fade To Black
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A once-in-a-lifetime concert event the final live show of multi-platinum Grammy-award winning artist JAY-Z at Madison Square Garden. The reigning king of hip-hop Jay-Z s last solo show brings together an unbelievable lineup of pop music royalty featuring performances by Beyonce Missy Elliot Mary J. Blige R. Kelly and Foxy Brown and appearances by P. Diddy and Kanye West.System Requirements: Running Time 110 MinFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DOCUMENTARIES/MISC. Rating: R UPC: 097363451242 Manufacturer No: 345124
Fade to Black is a document of Jay-Zs self-proclaimed final concert; a grand affair that took place before a sold-out crowd at New Yorks Madison Square Garden in November 2003. (But anyone who follows celebrity news knows that Jay-Z was out of retirement and back performing at the Garden just a year later.) Fade to Black is a legitimately powerful record of a truly historic event in the annals of rap. Muttering offhand narration with typical bored, streetwise affect, Jay hails the concert as a momentous occasion for being the first time a hip-hop show was allowed to headline at the Garden.
Its unlikely that the full impact of the live performances will hit home to viewers unfamiliar with Jay-Z and his Roc-A-Fella Records stable of artists. Another frustration is trying to identify the array of visitors who trade raps on Jays stage. Included in the star-studded lineup are Missy Elliott, Foxy Brown, Pharell, Ghostface Killah, Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek, and R. Kelly. One unmistakable figure--and we do mean figure--is Jays squeeze Beyonce, who raises the temperature and the roof with her skimpy outfit, flowing hair, soulful yowl, and sexed-up dance routine that leaves her boyfriend and the whole of Madison Square Garden slack-jawed with animal desire.
Twenty cameras captured the event, and some of the most powerful sequences are sweeping moves across the swirling, blissed-out masses as they lip sync along in perfect unison with Jay-Zs complex, profane, quick-witted raps. Less effective are intermittent cutaway segments that show the artist in various studio settings working up beats and rhymes. These amateurish home video breaks may give some insight to Jays perfectionism and dedication to his craft, but they detract from the visceral power of the beautifully executed performance footage. --Ted Fry
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Highlights for me were the 2 opening Jay-Z numbers ("What more can I say" and the second interlude on "The Black Album"), the tribute medley to Tupac and Notorious BIG, Beyonce's performances ("Crazy in Love" "Baby Boy" and "Summertime" - from The Fighting Temptations Soundtrack) , and the Jay-Z + Mary J. Blige numbers ("Can't Knock the Hustle" and "Song Cry").
Apart from wanting to see more Beyonce (I like her, what can I say?) I wish the video was that clean, crisp type of video you'd typically see on concert DVDs and news broadcasts, as opposed to the film/movie quality it had. The thing was probably intended to be a movie anyway, so I guess it made sense. They did use a bit of the clean (non-film looking) video I like in the bonus "Encore" video - which is not the same as the one shown on BET/MTV etc - so that was good.
As for the "Behind the Scenes" portions, in the studio with Timbaland (for "Dirt off your shoulder") and Rick Rubin (for "99 Problems") were my favourites. Pharrell's and Kanye West's studio portions were good as well.
The only low point of the DVD for me was when R. Kelly and Jay-Z performed a couple songs from their collab album "The Best of Both Worlds". To be completely honest, I don't like much of R. Kelly's work and think that their collab albums weren't that good - then again, I don't think I've ever really listened to them, so who am I to judge? ;-).
Any moderate Hip-hop or Jay-Z fan is likely to enjoy this DVD, and maybe even general music lovers. There are lots of guest appearances and a good mix of Jay-Z's hardcore Hip-hop as well as softer Hip-hop/R&B work from all of his albums; so both new and old fans are likely to enjoy this title.
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