Directed by Antwone Fuqua ("Tears of the Sun", "King Arthur"), "Lighting in a Bottle" is a concert documentary that looks at the "Salute to the Blues" concert that took place at New York's Radio City Music Hall in 2003. The concert features performances from blues legends like BB King, Bonnie Raitt, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Buddy Guy and newcomers like Macy Gray. Between performances, Fuqua's camera goes backstage or elsewhere to visit with the perormers and learn more about their history through enjoyable interviews. The concert is captured superbly by Fuqua's smooth camerawork, and the performanes are outstanding. Overall, this is a magnificent presentation of old school and new school blues.
VIDEO: "Lightning" is presented by Columbia/Tristar in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture quality is excellent; sharpness and detail are very good, and the image remained crisp and well-defined throughout, with no apparent softness or other concerns. This is not a bright/overly-lit concert presentation, but the picture maintains detail quite well.
Some minor shimmer was spotted at times, but the picture did not show any instances of edge enhancement or pixelation. The print also appeared to be in perfect condition, with no dust, specks or marks. Colors, such as in regards to stage lightning, appeared rich, with nice saturation and no smearing.
SOUND: The concert is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. The film's audio mix provides a nice, enveloping experience, with good reinforcement/ambience from the surrounds. The audio is nicely spread across the front speakers, and quality is first-rate, with a full, dynamic quality and excellent clarity.
EXTRAS: There's an interview included with director Antwone Fuqua, bonus performances from Aerosmith, Mos Def, Chris Thomas King, Greg Allman and Buddy Guy; and previews for other Columbia/Tristar titles. The bonus performances are worthwhile viewing, and the interview with Fuqua provides some insight into the concert and how he approached filming.
Final Thoughts: "Lightning in a Bottle" is a remarkable gathering of blues legends, and the both the concert performance and filming are terrific. Columbia/Tristar's DVD doesn't provide a lot of supplements, but audio/video quality is quite good. Recommended.