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Sanctuary Visual Entertainment presents

Kelly Osbourne: Live in London (2003)

"I'm screaming for attention,
so come dig me out..."- lyric from Come Dig Me Out

Stars: Kelly Osbourne
Other Stars: Mat Dauzat, Devin Bronson, Alicia Warrington, Grog Prebble, Sharon Osbourne, Aimee Osbourne, Har Mar Superstar
Director: Dave Meehan

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable;even the obscenities are bleeped out)
Run Time: 00h:52m:30s
Release Date: 2004-03-23
Genre: music

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C C-B-C+ C+


DVD Review

Let's talk rock and roll vanity projects for a minute.

That's really what the Kelly Osbourne: Live in London concert DVD is, and with the double dose of having a famous rocker dad and being part of one of the most over-hyped television shows of all times has given the 18-year-old some understandable leverage to cash in on fame and her subsequent fifteen minutes to live out a fantasy of leading a rock band. I'm man enough to admit I wish I could do the same; or at least HAVE done the same, years ago when it would have been far less embarrassing.

There was some dubious eye-rolling when the young Osbourne recorded a forgettable cover of Madonna's Papa Don't Preach during the heyday of their MTV series, and I think its perceived and intended cuteness was lost on just about all but the most faithful viewers. Now, to further ride the wave of overexposure, we have her taking a stab at fronting a punky rock band, and in this concert (recorded at The Electric Ballroom in London in June, 2003) she displays the expected amateurish and limited vocal range of someone who has leapfrogged the usual dues-paying and ended up on her own DVD, bounding around singing about how irritated and angry she is. Watching this concert there is little doubt that her rock career is going to be short-lived, as any forced vanity project should be.

Sporting spiky blond hair and looking like a decidedly more cherubic Cyndi Lauper, Osbourne does her best to sing along as her backing group does the three-chord thing like a well-heeled bar band performing instantly anonymous melodies that have the misfortune of all sounding eerily similar. Her voice does begin to fail her a bit near the end of set, and in the mix her occasionally atonal vocals are dropped to levels barely above the din of the guitar, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Her rendition of Papa Don't Preach is included here (as a show-closer, no less), as is a cover of Corey Hart's I Wear My Sunglasses at Night, which receives the same phony bull-in-a-china-shop-this-is-punk treatment as the other songs do.

When I was a teenager I would have killed to play rock star, and there are times when I still wish I could. Kelly Osbourne has lived the life, and she gets to play dress-up, dance around and put on concerts that eventually get released on DVD. It doesn't mean she is making substantive music (which hasn't ever stopped a million other so-called legitimate bands, for that matter), but in her case it seems especially hollow and pointless.

Set List:

On the Run
Shut Up
Right Here
I Wear My Sunglasses at Night
Too Much of You
Come Dig Me Out
More Than Life Itself
On Your Own
Papa Don't Preach

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: C-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The concert disc is presented in what appears to be an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is in anamorphic widescreen, to boot. Colors are presentable, though somewhat on the steely side, and image detail is relatively clean throughout. A bit of smearing, thanks to stage lighting, gets a little ugly from time to time, but for a glorified vanity project this is certainly tolerable.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: I'm guessing that this whole thing could have been made remotely more endurable if the 5.1 audio track had contained some balls, but instead it is a rather anemic mix that lacks any bottom end, and one that blurs and buries the vocals and the music together into a grating, flat mess.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+ 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 12 cues and remote access
2 Documentaries
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Music video
Extras Review: The concert itself was marginal, at best, so the underlying need for extended Soundcheck footage (15m:18s) is even more suspect, other than as padding. Likewise with the Kelly Osbourne Interview (16m:58s), in which she is lobbed Journalism 101 questions, and gets to grumble about how misunderstood she is.

The best part of the extras is the music video for Changes (04m:08s), an anonymous duet ballad with a black-haired Kelly and tottering dad Ozzy rotating around in what looks like an antique electric chair, that features assorted home movie clips from different stages in their lives. It is all set to a theme about the gaps and bonds between parent and child, and I'll give you that it almost sucked me in for a minute, old parental softie that I am. Almost, I said.

The disc is cut into 12 chapters, one per song.

Extras Grade: C+

Final Comments

It would be easy to discount this completely and mercilessly, but I don't fault Kelly one bit for taking the chance to play rock star. I'd probably have the done the same thing in a hearbeat, given the chance. Who wouldn't?

The problem is that it doesn't make this concert or music particularly enjoyable or memorable, even with all of the screaming fans and forced rock-and-roll trappings that come from being a flash-in-the-pan media curiosity and more importantly, the offspring of a world-famous rock star.

Rich Rosell 2004-06-16