1990 Tour (Large Format)
Rolling Stones At the Max
Review by Ross Anthony

I'd recently been talking with friends about having missed this Imax film. What luck, a screening popped up in my area and I seized the opportunity. The film proved well worth my interest, despite the fact that I am not a devoted Stones fan. Still, like many many people, I've enjoyed several of their hits when they play on the radio.

Though big screen IMAX, this is still a full-length feature presentation -- something like an hour and a half. There's even an intermission for reel changes.

Opening with the band back stage, all smiles and readying for the show, the Stones take the walk out to their audience. Rather than review each song, here is an overview of my impression. The most striking element is Keith Richards. While Mick is bouncing around the stage like a kid who forgot to take his ritalin, Keith is blissfully picking out his spiritual place. Some of his leads are sweet, some don't make any sense at all, but all the while that man is exactly where he wants to be. He's swimming in a self-peace. There's a simple joy on his face. He's like the extreme surfers or skiers in other IMAX films, it's just that his guitar is his surfboard. It's a joy to watch him be so happy, twisting around like a ballet student in love.

Technically, this is shot very well. A rich mix of Camera angles brings you into this concert. Honestly, I'd much rather watch concerts this way than actually be there. It's a shame the public outcry for IMAX concerts isn't strong enough to make such ventures more profitable. In fact, I'm quite happy for theaters these days that have LIVE broadcast capability, but the public doesn't seem to understand the appeal because even the theaters with these capabilities aren't putting them to good use.

Besides a cool filming of the huge video screen that goes long, the weakest link in this picture is the sound separation. While the actual mix is fine, the distribution of various instruments through the awesome multi-channel IMAX sound system is lacking. Still, it's loud and listenable.

Shot over five nights in July and August 1990 during the final leg of the Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle Tour.


  • Rolling Stones At the Max. Copyright © 1990.
  • Starring the Rolling Stones.
  • Director/Cinematographer David Douglas.
  • Produced by the BCL group.

Grade..........................A (3.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2012 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:55:42 PDT