U2: The DVD Collectors Box [DVD]

U2: The DVD Collector's Box didn't have a chance, quite frankly.


The DVD Collector's Box

MPAA rating: N/A
Label: MVD
US Release Date: 2007-06-05

U2: The DVD Collector's Box didn't have a chance, quite frankly. For starters, there is not a single piece of new, current content in it. This "collector's" box consists entirely of two unauthorized documentary DVDs that have been previously released, recently released, neither of which are out of print. Bono: God's Favorite Son is a 2004 release that concentrates on the ever present, constantly open mouthpiece of the band, while U2: An Unforgettable Journey is a 2003 retrospective on the career of the band to that point. To be fair, it offers the two documentaries at about a $10 discount, but any fan of the band that's frenzied enough to shell out the dough for this particular Collector's Box probably has those two DVDs, already.

So that leaves the question: What exactly is collectible about this Collector's Box? As near as I can tell, the one unique thing about U2: The DVD Collector's Box is…(wait for it)…the box. The flimsy, disposable, fugly, gray, recycled picture-laden box.

There is not a "collector" in the entire world who, deep down, wants this. This is the sort of thing that completists buy for the sake of having. Even such enthusiasts will ultimately come away from the purchase feeling a little dirty.

The content of the documentaries doesn't help a whole lot, either.

U2: An Unforgettable Journey is an amalgam of stock footage and interviews with people that, generally, nobody has ever heard of, talking about either the grand statements of the band or their own incidental part in the band's history. Most hilarious in this latter respect is the fellow who takes obvious great pride in the fact that he put together a high school festival-style concert that U2 just happened to play at (but didn't quite headline, losing out to bands like the inimitable Rat Salad).

Most interesting about the documentary are the theories about the future, theories that usually center around the fact that U2 was going to have to retreat into a folksy, introspective band because their tremendous success would suffocate their ambitions for the future; the fact that since An Unforgettable Journey was made, U2 released one of the biggest, grandest, most stadium-ready albums of their career in How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004) lends a humorous air of irony to these newly re-released sentiments.

Perhaps most out of place, regrettably, is the music -- as an unauthorized documentary, no actual U2 music could actually be used. As such, there is a sort of faux-U2 series of relaxing loops that play in the background of the documentary, in a failed attempt at lending a "U2 feel" to the proceedings. Hard as the filmmakers tried, however, the obvious lack of sounds that actually came from the band is both glaring and damning.

More interesting, actually, is the Bono documentary, despite its idol-worshipping title God's Favorite Son. For one, the concentration on the person of Bono makes the lack of licensed music far less awkward; the biography of a single person tends to fare much better without music than that of a band. Interestingly enough, however, the insights as to the origins of the band are actually far more profound on Bono's half of the DVD Collector's Box as well.

Interviews with the boys' schoolteachers in the early days of the band when they called themselves "Feedback" actually lend some insight as to what they went through and the environment in which they were formed; not that it sounds as though there was a lot of strife or hardship for any of them, but they sound like driven little chaps. The reminder that, once upon a time, U2 was "Larry Mullen's band" is always an amusing one as well. As it progresses, God's Favorite Son goes downhill, as the reliance on stock footage and industry-specific talking heads increases, and lots of flowery language serves to circle around an obvious point for a few minutes before actually reaching that point. These are the types of moments that mar both God's Favorite Son and An Unforgettable Journey, giving both documentaries the tedious air of a household chore.

And the extras? Oh, the extras! Each DVD has a text (text!) discography of its subject, and a quiz. The quizzes are fun once, but they’re all of 15 questions, and once they're done, there's no reason to go back to them.

U2: The DVD Collector's Box won't be bought for the sake of unearthing revelation, or for entertainment; it'll be bought for the sake of, well, collecting. As a few pieces of plastic in a "collectible" box that'll sit on somebody's shelf between the new age tribute to U2 album and a pair of Bono's shades tossed into the audience during the PopMart tour, it'll work just fine. As entertainment, however, it is sadly lacking, and surpassed in informational value by plenty of other band-specific documentaries, not to mention just about every book written on the band. Knowing all this, if you choose to buy it anyway, well…you deserve what you get.





'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' Is  Better Than Okay

The first season of Freeform's Everything's Gonna Be Okay is a funny, big-hearted love letter to family.


Jordan Rakei Breathes New Life Into Soul Music

Jordan Rakei is a restless artistic spirit who brings R&B, jazz, hip-hop, and pop craft into his sumptuous, warm music. Rakei discusses his latest album and new music he's working on that will sound completely different from everything he's done so far.


Country Music's John Anderson Counts the 'Years'

John Anderson, who continues to possess one of country music's all-time great voices, contemplates life, love, mortality, and resilience on Years.


Rory Block's 'Prove It on Me' Pays Tribute to Women's Blues

The songs on Rory Block's Prove It on Me express the strength of female artists despite their circumstances as second class citizens in both the musical world and larger American society.


The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 3, Echo & the Bunnymen to Lizzy Mercier Descloux

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we have part three with Echo & the Bunnymen, Cabaret Voltaire, Pere Ubu and more.


Wendy Carlos: Musical Pioneer, Reluctant Icon

Amanda Sewell's vastly informative new biography on musical trailblazer Wendy Carlos is both reverent and honest.


British Folk Duo Orpine Share Blissful New Song "Two Rivers" (premiere)

Orpine's "Two Rivers" is a gently undulating, understated folk song that provides a welcome reminder of the enduring majesty of nature.


Blesson Roy Gets "In Tune With the Moon" (premiere)

Terry Borden was a member of slowcore pioneers Idaho and a member of Pete Yorn's band. Now he readies the debut of Blesson Roy and shares "In Tune With the Moon".


In 'Wandering Dixie', Discovering the Jewish South Is Part of Discovering Self

Sue Eisenfeld's Wandering Dixie is not only a collection of dispatches from the lost Jewish South but also a journey of self-discovery.


Bill Withers and the Curse of the Black Genius

"Lean on Me" singer-songwriter Bill Withers was the voice of morality in an industry without honor. It's amazing he lasted this long.


Jeff Baena Explores the Intensity of Mental Illness in His Mystery, 'Horse Girl'

Co-writer and star Alison Brie's unreliable narrator in Jeff Baena's Horse Girl makes for a compelling story about spiraling into mental illness.


Pokey LaFarge Hits 'Rock Bottom' on His Way Up

Americana's Pokey LaFarge performs music in front of an audience as a way of conquering his personal demons on Rock Bottom.


Joni Mitchell's 'Shine' Is More Timely and Apt Than Ever

Joni Mitchell's 2007 eco-nightmare opus, Shine is more timely and apt than ever, and it's out on vinyl for the first time.


'Live at Carnegie Hall' Captures Bill Withers at His Grittiest and Most Introspective

Bill Withers' Live at Carnegie Hall manages to feel both exceptionally funky and like a new level of grown-up pop music for its time.


Dual Identities and the Iranian Diaspora: Sepehr Debuts 'Shaytoon'

Electronic producer Sepehr discusses his debut album releasing Friday, sparing no detail on life in the Iranian diaspora, the experiences of being raised by ABBA-loving Persian rug traders, and the illegal music stores that still litter modern Iran.


From the Enterprise to the Discovery: The Decline and Fall of Utopian Technology and the Liberal Dream

The technology and liberalism of recent series such as Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, and the latest Doctor Who series have more in common with Harry Potter's childish wand-waving than Gene Roddenberry's original techno-utopian dream.


The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 2, The B-52's to Magazine

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we have part two with the Cure, Mission of Burma, the B-52's and more.


Emily Keener's "Boats" Examines Our Most Treasured Relationships (premiere)

Folk artist Emily Keener's "Boats" offers a warm look back on the road traveled so far—a heartening reflection for our troubled times.


Paul Weller - "Earth Beat" (Singles Going Steady)

Paul Weller's singular modes as a soul man, guitar hero, and techno devotee converge into a blissful jam about hope for the earth on "Earth Beat".


On Point and Click Adventure Games with Creator Joel Staaf Hästö

Point and click adventure games, says Kathy Rain and Whispers of a Machine creator Joel Staaf Hästö, hit a "sweet spot" between puzzles that exercise logical thinking and stories that stimulate emotions.

Collapse Expand Reviews
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.