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Madonna - The Immaculate Collection
review by Ren C.
Studio: Warner Bros.
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Retail Price: $24.99
Specs: 1.33:1 Standard, English PCM Stereo, English
For the last twenty years, one of the biggest household
names on the planet has, without question, been Madonna.
Since her debut in 1983, Madonna has managed to find her way
into every corner of our lives, through her music, movies,
and electric personality. The Immaculate Collection
represents an approximately eight-year period in Madonna's
career, covering videos from 1983-1990.
The collection begins with "Lucky Star", which, while it
is not Madonna's first video, is really the one that made
the public start to take notice. It also shows Madonna
sporting the fishnet look that inspired thousands of
"Madonnabes". This video starts a trend that continues
throughout the disc, namely the incredibly good video
quality for these videos. From there, we move on to
"Borderline", which showcases Madonna's continued evolution,
but above and beyond that isn't really a distinctive video.
Then, it all changed. The next video is "Like A Virgin"
which is the point where Madonna exploded into the
mainstream consciousness. This is also the video where
Madonna shows that she is setting out to break all the
rules. "Material Girl" is up next, and is essentially
Madonna's homage to Marilyn Monroe. This video, which
features Robert Wuhl (Arliss), of all people, is very, very
pink and the colors show through well.
Next up is "Papa Don't Preach", which is really Madonna's
first message song and video, where she begs her father to
forgive her because she's keeping the baby. Nice storyline,
but I'm still confused by the cuts to Madonna dancing alone
in a room for no apparent reason. Moving on, we come to
"Open Your Heart", which to quickly summarize, features
Madonna as a stripper with a heart of gold. Watching this,
you quickly learn why Madonna is the master of reinvention.
"La Isla Bonita" is the classic "Madonna sits in a room
and sings the song" video, although "La Isla Bonita" will
never be remembered as one of Madonna's best songs, let
"Like A Prayer" cannot have enough said about it in terms
of what it did for Madonna's career and music video in
general. Come to think of it, that can apply to a lot of
Madonna's videos. There is something offensive for everyone
here, as Madonna takes everything controversial that she can
possibly find and flaunts it. If you've never seen the
video, I won't spoil all the offensive surprise for you, but
rest assured "controversial" does not do enough to describe
"Express Yourself" is the first of three videos on the
disc directed by David Fincher (Fight Club), and each of
them shows Fincher's ingenuity as a director. This video
showcases Madonna as a sort-of bizarre dominatrix, female
boss. Words can't do it justice, but when I say that it is
one of Madonna's best, considering her catalogue that is
"Cherish" was directed by Herb Ritts, who is a famous
fashion photographer, and also known for directing Chris
Isaak's "Wicked Game" video. There is definitely a
similarity here, with the beach theme. Above and beyond
that, there isn't anything particularly notable about this
video. "Oh Father" is the second video directed by Fincher,
and is a very classy looking video to accompany a very good
song. It's a shame that this video didn't get more airplay
as it is truly one of Madonna's overlooked gems.
The disc wraps up with a double shot of "Vogue". The
first is the video for "Vogue", again directed by Fincher.
There is very little that can be said about this video that
would be original, but it definitely deserves its high
placement on all of the "best video" lists. Any video that
can single-handedly start a dance craze has my respect,
although considering that would mean I respect the Macarena,
so I retract my previous statement. This is immediately
followed by a "live" performance of "Vogue" at the 1990 MTV
Video Music Awards. I put live in quotation marks because
it is obvious that Madonna is lip-synching the song, even
more so considering that I had just seen the video of
"Vogue". However, this is entertaining because of the
intricate dance routine put together for it.
As I stated earlier, the video looks really impressive
for videos this old. The colors are bright and vibrant, and
there was barely a flaw to be found. Even a 10-year-old TV
performance looks good, and everything looks much better
than it ever has on television.
Only a stereo track is provided, so while it sounds good,
I wonder how much better these videos would have sounded had
a 5.1 track been provided. However, what is here is more
than enough to make these songs sound excellent, almost as
though they were being performed for the first time.
The only thing on this disc that could be considered a
feature is the subtitles/lyrics that are provided for each
song. Definitely an area that could be improved, as there
were some other things that could have been included. There
are still some Madonna videos that have not been released on
DVD, either on this, or the companion disc, Madonna Video
Collection 1993-99. Off the top of my head, "Burning Up",
"Dress You Up" and "Justify My Love" go unreleased. Any of
these would have made a nice addition. Also, while the VMA
performance was nice, I would have loved to see the 1984 VMA
performance of "Like A Virgin" that sent Madonna into the
No one will ever question the historical or artistic
relevance of these videos. This is a very nice collection,
but at twenty-five dollars for an hour, the price is a bit
steep. However, if you are a music fan with any interest in
Madonna videos, or music videos in general, this is the
place to start. Recommended.
(4/5 - NOT included in
NOT an average)