In Bed with Madonna (Madonna: Truth or Dare) (1991)

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Released 29-Oct-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Theatrical Trailer
Rating ?
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 114:34
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (58:31) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Alek Keshishian
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Madonna
Case ?
RPI $69.95 Music Madonna


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Auto Pan & Scan Encoded English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
German
French
Italian
Spanish
Dutch
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Madonna: In Bed With Madonna is a standard backstage/concert cinema verite documentary, spiced up with some gossip and a few fleeting appearances by other celebrities. While at times the program seems remarkably candid and honest, such as when Madonna visits her mother's grave, at other times it appears to be a contrived series of music videos, linked by banal and clumsy film segues.

    Madonna's career has lasted much longer than one might have thought. Madonna was born Madonna Louise Ciccone in Michigan, in 1958. Madonna took up dancing and moved to New York City in the late 1970s. By 1980, Madonna was writing songs and performing in clubs in New York. A local DJ helped her gain a recording contract with Warner Brothers in 1982. Madonna's self-titled debut album was released in 1983, and it became a dance floor hit. The first single, Holiday, was followed by the hit singles Borderline and Lucky Star. Madonna capitalized on this success with her second album, Like a Virgin, which quickly went platinum with the hits Material Girl, Into the Groove, and the title track.

    By the mid 1980s, many teenage (and younger) girls began adopting the Madonna look of messy, badly-dyed hair, neon bracelets, black lace bras, and white lace gloves. Aware of her influence, Madonna released her next album, True Blue, which included Papa Don't Preach. This was followed by later albums, most notably, Like a Prayer, The Immaculate Collection, Erotica, and Bedtime Stories. Madonna has also dabbled, largely unsuccessfully, in movies as an actress.

    In Bed With Madonna is a well-edited but poorly directed film record of Madonna's 1990 Blonde Ambition tour. I must complement Madonna for the post-modern costume design, art direction, and choreography of her concerts. However, the film appears to have no overall direction to it, as it meanders along aimlessly, and the finished product appears to be a collection of film snippets strung together. While there are a few lengthy concert scenes, the focus is entirely on the personal (concert tour) life, and not the music of self-styled feminist, artist, and crusader for freedom of expression, the material girl. Madonna comes across as being b****y, bossy, insulting, skanky, demanding, materialistic, spoilt, childish, and petty. Madonna comes across as being completely self-centred, and trapped in a world where she has surrounded herself with sickening, obsequious sycophants, who pander to her every whim. However, considering that she is the chief executive of her own company and record label and that she has successfully managed her career over many years, there must be much more to her that the documentary doesn't show. Where's Madonna the successful and savvy businesswoman? Perhaps showing this side of her would ruin her carefully cultivated image?

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The quality of this transfer is limited by the source material, and some of the source material here is truly awful. It seems that an 8 or 16mm hand-held camera was used for much of the back-stage filming, and the results are more grainy that arty.

    The transfer is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness and shadow details are dependent on the source material, but they are acceptable for what this film is.

    A combination of black and white and colour is used throughout. I would guess that most of the film is black and white, as colour is largely reserved for the few concert sequences. The colour does appear to be slightly oversaturated.

    MPEG artefacts were not a problem, but occasionally there appeared to be a little pixelization of the image. While aliasing is not a problem, there is a little telecine wobble, most noticeably during the opening credits. Film artefacts appear throughout, and some are very large, such as those that appear at 11:59 and 50:07.

    There are nine sets of subtitles, and the English ones are accurate.

    This is an RSDL disc, with the obvious layer change placed at 58:31.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Apart from the English Dolby Stereo-Surround audio track, there is also a Spanish Dolby Stereo-Surround track, and a French Dolby Stereo track on this DVD.

    The dialogue quality is often poor, again due to the source material, but the audio sync is reasonable.

    The music is obviously provided by Madonna, and it features numbers from her 1990 Blonde Ambition tour.

    The non-concert footage largely sounds monaural in nature, except for a few stereo effects here and there. The concert footage features decent surround presence and activity, most notably the sound of the crowd and the music.

    There appeared to be some redirected bass, and my subwoofer kicked in with some of the deep bass for tunes such as Like A Virgin.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The extras are slim. Considering how dated this movie is in pop-music terms, a short documentary or retrospective with Madonna today would have been interesting. She could have reflected on the movie and what's happened in the ten years since it was made.

Menu

    A very simple static and silent menu.

Theatrical Trailer (2:05)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    In Bed With Madonna was released on DVD in Region 1 as a dual-sided, single-layered disc with the original US title of Madonna: Truth Or Dare.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    I would call it even, but I would favour the local release for its affordability, and most importantly, its superior PAL image.

Summary

    Madonna fans will probably enjoy this DVD, but In Bed With Madonna now appears to be quite dated and dull.

    The video quality is variable and limited by the source material.

    The audio quality is generally good, but again it is limited by the source material.

    The extras are slim.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Saturday, November 16, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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