Rage Against the Machine-The Battle of Mexico City (2000)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 3-Dec-2001

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation
Featurette-Interview With Noam Chomsky
Featurette-Interview With Marcos
Featurette-Pre-Show Segment
Featurette-Tom Morello's Tour Of Mexico City
DVD-ROM Extras-Rage Context
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 68:37
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (50:12) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Joe Demaio

Sony Music
Starring Zack De La Rocha
Y. tim K.
Brad Wilk
Tom Morello
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $29.95 Music Rage Against The Machine

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Rage Against The Machine: The Battle Of Mexico City is a presentation of a live concert by the band on October 19, 1999 in Mexico City.

    This live performance was part of the launch of the band's Battle Of Los Angeles album and this is the reason for this title's name. This concert was the first performance by RATM in Mexico and both the band and audience obviously enjoy the show. This concert is held in a relatively small venue but the crowd is very enthusiastic with this feeding back to the band.

    Inserted between the live tracks are a number of documentary segments highlighting the Zapatista movement and other issues facing the Mexican population. These clips do disrupt the flow of the performance and would have been better presented as an extra.

    This disc was originally planned for an August 2001 release but this was then moved back to September 2001. Unfortunately, when produced this first disc had a serious sync issue and thus was not publicly released. This version of the DVD has had the error corrected and has been released.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Track Listing

1. Testify
2. Guerilla Radio
3. People of the Sun
4. Calm Like A Bomb
5. Sleep Now In The Fire
6. Born Of A Broken Man
7. Bombtrack
8. Know Your Enemy
9. No Shelter
10. War Within A Breath
11. Bulls On Parade
12. Killing In The Name
13. Zapata’s Blood
14. Freedom

Transfer Quality


    The documentary footage seen during the main feature is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The live concert performance footage is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. If the documentary footage had been included as an extra, it would have been possible to present this at its original aspect ratio and provide 16x9 enhancement for the concert footage.

    The transfer is consistently sharp throughout with high levels of detail always visible. Some small amount of low level noise is seen during the transfer when the video footage is presented in slow motion. This low level noise is never distracting to the viewer. Excellent levels of shadow detail may be seen throughout the transfer. Often concert footage will display little detail in the darkly lit crowd scenes but this transfer always displays high levels of information.

    The colours displayed during this transfer are always vibrant and well saturated. The palette is heavily influenced by the stage lighting design and consists mainly of reds, whites and blues.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected at any time during the transfer.

    A number of small aliasing artefacts may be seen during the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 4:22, 5:19, 6:01, 9:41 and 13:14. Each of these artefacts are very minor and are only minimally distracting.

    No film artefacts are present during this transfer.

    A set of English and Spanish subtitles are provided on this disc. These subtitles are provided for both the song lyrics and the documentary sections of the feature. I extensively sampled the English subtitles and found them to be consistently accurate.

    The layer change occurs at 50:12 at the start of chapter 18. As this is placed between live tracks it is only minimally disruptive to the viewer.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    Two English audio tracks are provided on this disc. The default track is a 2.0 PCM mix. Also present is a Dolby Digital 448 kbps 5.1 track. The packaging for this disc claims that a Dolby Digital 5.0 track is included but this is incorrect. I listened to both tracks in full and found the PCM mix to be preferable when compared to the surround mix.

    The lyrics during both mixes are always clear and easy to understand.

    No dropouts or problems with audio sync were detected during the transfer.

    The surround and subwoofer channels were used extensively throughout the 5.1 mix. The surrounds were used for crowd noises as well as instruments and vocals. I found this mix distracting but it may appeal to many viewers.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The animated menus are presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Photo Gallery

    This is a collection of 10 shots from the live performance.

Interview With Noam Chomsky (11:44)

    During this interview, Zack and Noam discuss the impact and design goals of the North American Free Trade Agreement and Globalization. This is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with dual identical PCM audio tracks and two empty English subtitle streams.

Interview With Marcos (9:26)

    This is not really an interview but is a prepared video statement by Zapatista rebel leader Marcos. This is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with dual identical PCM audio tracks and two empty English subtitle streams.

Pre-Show Segment (3:09)

    This short segment contains footage of the band flying into Mexico, rehearsal and sound checks. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a PCM audio track.

Tom Morello's Tour of Mexico City (1:52)

    During this segment Tom takes a quick tour of sights in and around Mexico City. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a PCM audio track.

DVD-ROM Content

    This is a flash presentation, for both Windows and MacOS, providing details about NAFTA, Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), National Autonomous University Of Mexico (UNAM), diversity, globalization and Indie Media. A collection of eight documents from EZLN and Subcomandante Marcos are also provided.


    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

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

    Both versions of this film appear to be identical and I therefore would have no preference for either version. I have seen reports that an uncensored version of this disc was to be released in Region 1 but I have not been able to confirm this. If an uncensored version becomes available this would be my version of choice.


    The Battle Of Mexico City is an excellent performance that manages to capture the intense live action of the band and should be considered a must-have for all fans.

    The video transfer is very high quality but unfortunately is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The PCM and Dolby Digital surround mixes should easily satisfy all viewers.

    An interesting collection of extras is included on this disc providing additional information on the political causes supported by the band.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Thursday, December 20, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE