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DVD Review: Madonna: Wild Angel

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I am a huge, crazy Madonna fan. You probably wouldn't know it by looking at me; I don't have a Madonna shrine in my apartment. Just the normal amount of CDs (all of them) and a handful of books and DVDs. But bring up Madonna in conversation and I go nuts. As a fan for over 20 years, I have seen Madonna's career through all her different stages.

Maybe it is because I am such a fan that I did not like Madonna: Wild Angel. Madonna is more than just a singer or actress or dancer; she is an icon. Love her or hate her, you know of her, can name a dozen of her songs, and can probably give a pretty solid background on her. This documentary is a straightforward, low-rent, unauthorized timeline of her career. Oh wait, maybe I didn't like it because it was just poorly done.

Being unauthorized, there are no interviews with Madonna or any important figure in her life. In fact, the only interviewees featured are a couple of editors from magazines I have never heard of, and a lone biographer. While these types of commentators are common in any documentary, they add nothing to the story.

Shoestring budget does not describe Madonna: Wild Angel. The producers either didn't have the budget or couldn't get the approval to use anything Madonna-related. There is no Madonna music in the background, just vaguely Madonna-esque generic dance beats. There are no clips from Madonna's music videos; instead, the producers hired a terrible Madonna impersonator to recreate some of Madonna's most infamous dances in shoddy costume reproductions. Even her album covers are missing; instead generic title and track lists are created in vaguely similar fonts.

Most of the footage that is used is poor quality news footage and publicity stills that can be obtained inexpensively and are rarely subject to refusals of use. The rest of the footage is generic B-roll. Talking about Madonna's disco days? Let's throw in some generic 1970s New York disco footage! Madonna's workout routine? Let's take some video in a yoga class.

Madonna: Wild Angel feels like a quick, cheap documentary on E! Uninspired voice over, poor footage, no disc extras, and no insight make this a tedious disc. If you need your Madonna fix, go pick up any of her tour documentaries or video collections. Don't bother with this one.

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About Alyse

  • daryl d

    Not really into Madonna’s music anymore but the next time she comes to concert, I’m there. I’ve seen a lot of concerts in my years and she moves crowds like nobody has ever done before (except maybe Bruce in the mid, late eighties).

  • I’ve seen her live twice and she is AMAZING!! The last time, for the Confessions tour, we were upgraded to floor seats! I nearly fainted, then pulled myself together enough to dance non-stop for the entire concert.

  • kris

    I bought the same dvd. 1. because it was Madonna 2. It was something new about her. I agree it did suck. I wanted to shoot the ugly impersonater. Everything was cheap and poorly done. I did like Madonna:Innocence Lost. It too was unauthorized but it was a movie, not a bunch of ppl getting interviewed about someone they dont even know. They should re-release SEX and Truth or Dare. That would make my year.

  • Louise2

    I’ve been following Madonna since first seeing her live in NY in 1982. I’ve been to all her tours, Live Aid, Live 8, Live Earth etc and frankly she deserves better than this. There is no greater all round performer for me. Some of the footage in this DVD has been released in the UK under so many different titles – take ‘Sex Bomb’, ‘Madonna – Girl Power’, ‘Music Box Special’ and most clips originate from ‘The Name of the Game’ from way back. I agree it’s so…..o.o poor. I guess until she authorises material herself we are going to be bombarded with this type of rubbish again and again and copyright prevents them from showing actual performance clips. Like you say – stick to the officially released tour performances and video collections.