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The Smiths 

Under Review: An Independent Critical Analysis

Without the key musical partnership of Morrissey and Johnny Marr, the core of Mancunian quartet the Smiths, the idea of a traditional British rock band might have been lost to the eyeliner-heavy synth-pop revolution of the '80s. This fascinating documentary, part of a new series under the Sexy Intellectual imprint, combines interviews with some key figures in the history of the Smiths, videos and British television appearances. While the group was together for a few scant years, its legacy has endured. What this DVD lacks in creative menu and title graphics it makes up for with its useful bonus features. For those who didn't get enough of the (rather astute) Talking Heads in the main piece, extra snippets of each interview are available. Most impressive is "The Hardest Smiths Interactive Quiz in the World Ever," which definitely lives up to its name. This Smiths junkie only scored a measly four out of 25 questions, and that was by sheer dumb luck. Fortunately, Under Review manages to be exciting enough for casual fans and special enough for the obsessed, providing a lovely time capsule for a band that might have one day ruled the world. 4 stars.

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