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  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 58:31)
  • English: Dolby Digital Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital Surround
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  • Theatrical trailer

In Bed With Madonna

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 115 mins . R . PAL


In Bed With Madonna, also known as Truth or Dare, is a feature length documentary that takes us behind the scenes and gives us an insight into life on the road of a super star, the ever steamy Madonna. Filmed in 1990 during her Blond Ambition Tour, we travel with the Material Girl from rainy Japan to conservative Canada, where she is threatened with arrest if she performs her "indecent" show. Then back home to the good old US of A and a visit to her mother's grave before heading off to Europe. Along with the behind the scenes disasters that happen such as rain and sound problems, we are shown how demanding a tour of this size can be. The plot is simple, give cameras full access to Madonna throughout her world tour. Now to me this would equate to literally days worth of very interesting material. This has somehow been edited down to 115 minutes and I for one would love to see the footage that didn't make the final cut.

Love her or hate her, there is no disputing the impact Madonna has had on the world music scene since she first demanded attention in the early '80s. She is renowned for her provocative nature as much as for her music and she thrives on the attention it creates. She has always been chased by paparazzi and her every move is usually front page news in the gossip magazines. Over the years her music style has taken on many different moods, but has always remained popular.

Obviously Madonna is the primary character in this documentary, but the supporting cast offer some very memorable moments also. Famous faces such as Warren Beatty, Kevin Costner (sporting an incredible mullet), Sandra Bernhardt and Antonio Banderas make cameos throughout. The backup dancers and singers also provide some very funny moments including a game of truth or dare (the film's title in the US) featuring the infamous Evian bottle scene.

"Truth of dare Madonna, show us with that bottle how you…"

This feature is very well made with the majority of footage in black and white, giving the documentary a good raw image. The extensive concert footage is in glorious colour, giving a nice break from the black and white footage and really boosting the performing presentation. There are many songs featured that demonstrate the terrific stage presence of Madonna and her need to push the envelope or as she calls it, "artistic expression".

Madonna can be a complete bitch at times and is quite proud of that fact. She does show this side here to some degree, but it does seem a little too staged. The Madonna we all know and love wouldn't think twice about telling one of her tour staff that they weren't doing something right and she does here, but with the cameras rolling it doesn't seem instinctive. Don't worry, the swearing is here in abundance and she does flash her breasts a couple of times, hence the R rating, but you get the feeling that she would be sacking people and punching people if there were no cameras around.


This feature is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, is 16x9 enhanced and can best be split into two categories, the black and white documentary footage and the colour concert footage. The black and white suffers the most, but is still very good. The biggest problems are with some grain and quite a few film artefacts in the form of white flecks. Although a little annoying, these are still at an acceptable level. Picture is sharp throughout and both colours used are true (joke).

The concert footage is very good indeed, footage doesn't suffer too greatly from stage lighting with the only real problems coming from some grain and the occasional over saturation. Colours are vibrant and detail is reasonably good. The layer change occurs at 58:31 and is quite noticeable as Warren Beatty is suspended mid-sentence for a few seconds. There are a multitude of subtitles supplied and the English ones viewed were true to what was said on screen.


Audio supplied is a choice of English, French or Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround. This is a very good audio track with dialogue clear at all times during the documentary segments and a much fuller sound for concert footage. Separation is used well for ambience and occasionally for directional effect. Although a DD 5.1 or DTS track would have been good for the concert footage, overall this is not required as the DD 2.0 does a more than sufficient job.


Only one extra is supplied with this release, a solitary Theatrical Trailer. This runs for 2:05 and even contains beeps for general viewing. It is presented in the same aspect ratio as the main feature and is in DD 2.0 stereo.


Overall this is quite an entertaining documentary with some very good concert footage. An attempt is made to show how life is behind the scenes for a superstar on a world tour and to a degree this is accomplished quite well. It does show life backstage and it does show Madonna as a prisoner of her own popularity, but there is no doubt that the viewer doesn't get to see anything that Madonna doesn't want them to see, luckily with Madonna, her idea of censorship is not the same as most. Love her or hate her, this is an entertaining film that most should enjoy.

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      And I quote...
    "Madonna showing her breasts, simulating sex and being provocative, no this is not her latest music video, it's a very interesting documentary..."
    - Adrian Turvey
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