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Reviewed January 14th, 2001 by Brian White


I’ve said it many times: there’s just no point in buying a collection of music videos on DVD, or any video format for that matter. Depeche Mode, Sarah McLachlan, Morrissey, etc. What’s the point in owning a bunch of CD advertisements that you’ve seen on television? Give us a concert and some documentary footage (although the latter gets pretentious). Along comes a DVD that changes my mind. Criterion (!) and the Beastie Boys have put together a collection of videos that makes me reconsider my previous assertion. If you’re remotely interested in the Beastie Boys, you’ll love this DVD. In the promotional material for this disc, Criterion asserted that MTV is no longer the great conduit for the film genre that it nurtured. Video channels today are far to concerned with commerce and other programming to feature truly brilliant videos (if they’re still being made). Criterion recognizes the quality of the Beastie Boys’ video collection. They have also added such fantastic features that this collection raises the bar for any similar release.

The quality of the videos needn’t be discussed. The Beastie Boys have always gotten as much as possible out of the genre. It must be a lot of fun to be a Beastie Boy. Given that this is an anthology, a plot mark seems strange, but if plot can describe content, then perfect marks are in order. The real question here is what sets this anthology apart from others. Despite the great videos made by the Beasties, it is the presentation here that sets them apart.

There are two ways to appreciate the videos on this collection. The first involves watching the videos as they were intended, and hearing from those involved. Each video has been remixed in 5.1. While in many circumstances, this really just involves some echo, at other times it can be quite interesting. On Intergalactic, there are some cool surround effects. Mostly, the additional channels just provide more of a good thing. It isn’t gimmicky (but wait until you hear your subwoofer on Hey Ladies!). When you’re tired of your trip down memory lane, you can listen to the Beastie Boys providing screen-specific commentary. They don’t really have much to discuss about the videos, but the track is quite entertaining. The more useful commentary track is that with directors Spike Jonze, Adam Bernstein, Even Bernard, Tamara Davis, Ari Marcopoulos and David Perez. Some of these are literally phone in. Any fan of Jonze will enjoy this commentary track.

This brings us to the second, and more interesting way to enjoy the videos. On most tracks, you can select from a variety of both remixes and video angles. You’re put in the director’s chair. While it’s true that some remixes don’t really match certain video edits, it’s surprising to see that the lip-synching still very close on most. Perhaps the remixes are of more value that some of the video edits, but it sure is fun to screw around with this stuff.

Also included is the “world premier” of The Robot vs. the Octopus Monster Saga, which is a spin-off from the Intergalactic video.

Criterion has presented fantastic video (4:3) and audio on this collection. The menus are very cool, and all around the thing smacks of quality. The manual is very good, and a poster of the cover art is included. It’s great to see a Criterion disc in every store, and under $30.

Disc 1:
- 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

Disc 2:
- Sabotage
- Shadrach
- Three MCs and One DJ
- Ricky’s Theme
- Pass the Mic
- Holy Snappers
- Root Down
- Netty’s Girl
- Alive


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