Discs Are Rated
Madonna - Video Collection 1993-99
review by Ren C.
Run Time: 68 minutes
Retail Price: $24.99
Specs: 1.33:1 Standard, PCM English Stereo
Say what you want about Madonna, but don't expect to be
saying something original. The fact of the matter is that
probably everything that can be said about Madonna has been
said. I refer to her as "The Mother of Invention", and now
almost the den mother of pop music. Where would Christina
and Britney, and probably Mariah for that matter, be today
without Madonna having blazed the trail? Whether you love
her or hate her, she does what she does like no one else,
because no one else is Madonna.
This video presents a selection of Madonna's videos from
1993-1999. I say a selection, because there are videos that
are definitely missed here. The collection was originally
supposed to be called 1992-1999, but "Erotica" was removed,
for reasons never really made clear. Although, with a video
like "Erotica" I think that we can safely guess.
Regardless, this is a very nice sampling of what the
Queen Diva has done over the last ten years or so. We start
with "Bad Girl", a strange song, which sounds almost
autobiographical. The video features Christopher Walken,
which automatically earns it bonus points with me.
Definitely not so much a video as a mini-movie, it showcases
Madonna's acting skills in a nice context. Next up is
"Fever", which is anÉ. interesting cover, to say the least.
I'm not exactly sure what Madonna was trying to accomplish
with this video, but it's definitely a different video from
The next video is "Rain", which is another in the growing
line of "Madonna sits in a room and sings while looking
disinterested" videos. "Secret" has Madonna looking
slightly more interested, and the song is more upbeat and
involving than "Rain" which always helps. "Take a Bow", for
whatever reason, has annoyed me ever since it was first
released in 1995. The video looks like a three-minute
audition video for "Evita", and the song is another very
maudlin ballad that should be below Madonna. I want my
Madonna controversial, not adult contemporary.
"Bedtime Story" is one of the most expensive videos ever
made, and definitely one of the most bizarre. I can only
wonder about the concept meeting for this video. Picture a
sci-fi movie on acid, and you'd be on the right track.
"Human Nature" is vintage Madonna, as she assumes the role
of a dominatrix, and does what she does within the confines
of a completely white room. Definitely a step in the right
direction. "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" is another
Madonna-in-a-room video as she wanders what appears to be a
deserted art gallery, looking forlorn.
The topic then changes to five videos from Madonna's 1998
release, "Ray of Light", which is widely regarded as one of
her best. "Frozen" was the initial video release which
features Madonna, in a blue hue this time doing such things
as falling onto the ground, shattering, then turning into a
flock of birds. Definitely another video that must be seen
to be believed. Next is the video that won armloads of
awards, "Ray Of Light", which is essentially a day in the
life of Madonna. On way too much caffeine. "Drowned
World/Substitute For Love", if I'm correct, was never
premiered in the U.S., and is a nice addition to the disc,
if a fairly somber video, to match the mood of the song.
"The Power of Good-Bye" is Madonna breaking up with her man
du jour, and then walking along the beach, looking forlorn.
"Nothing Really Matters" is definitely a departure, although
maybe Madonna dresses up as a geisha in her spare time, and
if so, who am I to judge. Again, I have to wonder about the
concept meeting for this one.
The final video is unquestionably my favorite Madonna
song and video from the last few years, "Beautiful Stranger"
from the Austin Powers: Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack.
Madonna does what she does best in this video, flaunts her
sexuality, and looks enticing to Mike Myers. The song is
great as well, so really nothing for me to complain about
There are definitely a bunch of videos that were left off
here including "You'll See", "Deeper and Deeper" and "This
Used to be my Playground". Obviously some were licensing
decisions, and others were quality decisions. As it stands,
the collection never claims to be authoritative, and it
serves as a good sampler for the last ten years of
Full-screen for the majority here, with the exception of
"Bad Girl", "Bedtime Story", "Power of Good-Bye" and
"Beautiful Stranger". The videos, all of which are less
than a decade old, look very good. They're certainly not as
good as the latest Hollywood blockbuster, but as far as
music video standards go, they are definitely up to par.
The sound is strictly stereo here, no 5.1 to be found.
These are certainly not heavy bass-filled songs, but it
would have been nice to see how "Ray of Light" could test
the system. The sound is clear and crisp, and really very
nice considering the circumstances.
Absolutely nothing. No subtitles, no behind-the-scenes,
nothing. Even the menus are static and boring. Considering
this is Madonna we're dealing with, I would have expected a
lot more. Even the simple presence of subtitles would have
made me happy, but alas, nowhere to be found.
This is definitely not the best Madonna collection
available. That honor goes to the initial video collection,
"Madonna-the Immaculate Collection", both in terms of
historical relevance and sheer entertainment value. With
the exception of the menus and slightly better video and
sound quality, this very easily could have been a VHS.
There really is nothing to fuel this purchase for anyone but
die-hard Madonna fans, or those that particularly enjoyed
her 90s work. The large amount of ballads, complete lack of
features and inability to distinguish itself in any way
don't merit the purchase price. If around ten dollars,
consider it, otherwise, recommendation to avoid unless
you're a Madonna completist.
(3/5, NOT included in
NOT an average)