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Paul Dugdale
The Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ron Wood)
Writing Credits:
Mick Jagger/Keith Richards

Olé Olé Olé! A Trip Across Latin America follows The Rolling Stones on their 2016 tour through ten Latin America cities whilst at the same time trying to stage their first ever concert in Havana, Cuba, a colossal once-in-a-lifetime open air free show the likes of which Cuba had never seen before.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English LPCM Stereo
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 110 min.
Price: $26.98
Release Date: 5/26/17

• 7 Bonus Tracks
• Booklet


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

Rolling Stones: Ole Ole Ole! [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 11, 2017)

Subtitled “A Trip Across Latin America”, Ole Ole Ole! offers a glimpse of the Rolling Stones circa 2016. In the spring of that year, the band played 15 shows in eight countries, all of which culminated with a major free concert in Cuba.

In addition to Stones Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood, we get comments from production designer Dale “Opie” Skjerseth, Cuban show producer Adam Wilkes, Keith Richards’ manager Jane Rose, Rolling Stones’ manager Joyce Smyth, tour director Paul Gongaware, tour logistics director Frankie Enfield, and creative director Patrick Woodroffe.

Ole gives us a brief glimpse of rehearsals before we follow the band on the road. The Stones start in Chile and proceed to Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Peru and Columbia before the big finale in Cuba.

In addition to our time with the Stones as they progress, we follow the preparation for the Cuban concert. We see all the groundwork needed to go into play and the obstacles faced along the way.

Some of which we already know from Havana Moon, a program that focuses solely on the Cuban show. That Blu-ray largely depicted the concert itself, but it also offered some documentary material about the Cuban trip.

Ole offers much more of a true documentary, though some concert pieces appear as well. We hear “Start Me Up”, “Out of Control”, “Paint It Black”, “Honky Tonk Women”, “Sympathy for the Devil”, “Midnight Rambler”, “Street Fighting Man”, “Wild Horses”, “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Satisfaction”. Unfortunately, other than “Satisfaction”, none of these give us full performances, so we just get snippets.

As a documentary, Ole lacks a lot of consistency, which means it comes across as a travelogue more than a coherent look at the band and/or the tour. Sure, the work done ahead of the Havana concert offers something of an “arc”, but it doesn’t dominate the program, so we mostly just get nearly random bits ‘n’ pieces.

How well these work probably depends on how much you like the Stones – and even for diehards, Ole seems spotty. I’ve been a pretty big Stones fan for more than 35 years – including more than 50 concerts since 1989 – so I guess I fall into the “diehard” category, and I do find some fun moments here.

Most of these stem from moments with the band. I like the too-short view of rehearsals, and the acoustic performance of “Honky Tonk Women” from Mick and Keith offers a rare glimpse of their lifelong bond. We often get the sense Mick and Keith don’t much care for each other at this point in their lives, so moments of apparent warmth between them are nice to see.

A lot of Ole revolves around the fans in the various countries, and those scenes vary in quality. Many seem fairly pedestrian, as they offer little more than the usual praise for the band, but a few stand out as interesting.

In particular, a look at the “Rolingas” – an Argentinean culture built around the Stones – works well, especially when two musicians/fans get a private chat with Mick. Jagger seems to enjoy the meeting and he opens up a little more than one might expect in this too-brief snippet.

The hodgepodge nature of Ole does become a problem, mainly because the movie tries to pack in so much, and without a lot of rhyme/reason much of the time. For every intriguing moment like the meeting between Mick and the fans, we get generic ruminations about life on the road or some such.

All of this adds up to a spotty documentary. As a long-time Stones fan, I can find more than a few moments to like from it, but the whole package doesn’t hold together as well as I’d prefer.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C-

The Rolling Stones: Ole Ole Ole! appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, the documentary looked good.

Only a handful of soft shots materialized, as the majority of Ole provided concise visuals. This meant a program was largely tight imagery. No shimmering or jaggies came along for the ride, and I saw no signs of edge haloes. Some intentional “print flaws” popped up – used to give the show an “aged” look on rare occasion – but the movie lacked any real source defects.

Colors varied and offered a broad range of hues. These appeared vivid and lively. Blacks seemed deep and dense, while shadows seemed clear and smooth. I felt pleased with the visuals.

Unfortunately, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack worked less well, partly due to a lack of balance during concert scenes. These accentuated crowd noise to a heavy degree, so the surrounds threatened to drown out the front speakers.

Otherwise, the placement of the music seemed fine, as vocals and instruments cropped up in logical spots. Non-concert scenes – which dominated the film – lacked much ambition but they managed to create a decent sense of place.

Audio quality was mostly good, but vocals suffered during concert shots, as Mick’s singing displayed too much reverb. Again, crowd noise was too loud, which gave it an unnatural feel.

The rest of the music sounded good, though, and environmental material offered nice clarity and accuracy. Outside of the concert shots – which were moderately infrequent – this became a satisfactory mix.

Note that a fair amount of speech came from fans in the various Latin American countries, and these folks tended to use their native languages. The Blu-ray doesn’t default to English subtitles for this material, so you need to activate these yourself.

In terms of extras, the disc includes seven Live Performances, and these fill a total of 53 minutes, 33 seconds. “Out of Control” and “Paint It Black” come from Argentina, “Honky Tonk Women” and “Sympathy for the Devil” stem from Brazil, and “You Got the Silver”, “Midnight Rambler” and “Miss You” are from Peru.

These offer full-length renditions of the songs, which makes for a nice bonus. All these songs appear on Havana Moon with similar performances, and that limits their utility a little, but they’re still good to hear.

Finally, a booklet concludes the package. It shows credits along with representations of each country’s poster art.

As a view of the Rolling Stones’ 2016 Latin American tour, Ole Ole Ole! offers an erratic exploration. While it comes with some fascinating moments, it lacks consistency and doesn’t provide enough strong material to sustain it across 100 minutes. The Blu-ray offers largely good picture with acceptable audio and a few bonus songs. Diehard Stones fans will want to give this a look but it’s not a great documentary.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.5 Stars Number of Votes: 6
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