Pretenders: Loose in L.A. (Blu-ray Review)

Full confession alert: I highly dislike the Pretenders. I believe they are a moronic, pretentious, and overall unentertaining band. I wasn’t totally engrossed with the idea of watching this on Blu-ray, but I sure wasn’t rejecting it. So I went in open-minded to this, and it ended on a disappointing note. After that, I had to watch the special features, which were just as dreadful as the film itself. On top of that, Pretenders Loose In L.A. features unimpressive video and audio quality. An all-around failure. 



The famous English Rock band is back together for a concert that takes place at the Wiltern Theatre, February 2003, in L.A. Vocalist Chrissie Hynde, guitarist Adam Seymour, bass player Andy Hobson, drummer Martin Chambers, and keyboardist Zeben Jameson are the Pretenders. The band has changed over the years, what with the drug-related deaths along with the numerous charges, but Hynde has always stayed with the band.

Listen, I am all for a good concert movie; I tend to enjoy them for the most part, but every now and then, I come across a band I dislike (and eventually a Blu-ray I came to dislike). Regardless, I will try to sound as unbiased as possible in my upcoming paragraph regarding the bands style of music.

Before I go on, I have found out that I am in the minority after researching this band. The Pretenders receive quite a bit of praise from music critics such as Rolling Stone and Blender. If you are a fan of the Pretenders, go for it and get this Blu-ray. For non-fans, stay far away because it’s highly unlikely this will convert you into one. I find their rock music incredibly unoriginal, repetitive, and quite dull. In other words, you have to have a very specific taste in music to enjoy this.

The film itself has many issues. It is franticly shot, hard to keep track of, incredibly dull, and a truly sloppy presentation. There are a total of 26 songs included in the feature presentation:

Lie To Me
Message of Love
My Baby
Talk of the Town
Who Your Friends Are
Time the Avenger
The Homecoming
Up The Neck
Fools Must Die
My City Was Gone
The Losing
Complex Person
Nothing Breaks Like A Heart
Back on the Chain Gang
Don’t Get Me Wrong
Rebel Rock Me
Night In My Veins
Tattooed Love Boys
I’ll Stand By You
Middle of the Road
Mystery Achievement
Brass In Pocket



Pretenders Loose In L.A. is presented, like all Eagle Rock Blu-rays, in 1080i, (1.78:1). The difference between the others is that they all have a better-looking picture. First off, I didn’t like the way the film was shot in, which consists of non-stop franticly paced shots spanning throughout the entire band. Additionally, there are times when the lens flares get in the way of a decent shot, resulting in an abomination. A let down in the video department.


I hate throwing average scores around but it happens so darn much. Pretenders Loose In L.A. is presented in the acceptable but very average DTS-HD MA 5.1. To put this in context, I have four speakers that operate with my Blu-ray player, to get the best possible sound. The LAST thing you want from a Blu-ray is to have a DVD-sounding audio quality. If this was a DVD, it would’ve gotten at least four stars, but there is no excuse for this. Tones are sharp from time to time, but the songs aren’t nearly as good quality-wise as they could have been.

Special Features

Sorry, the people at Why So Blu? don’t reward laziness.

You Know Who Your Friends Are – Full-length video of the song with backstage concert footage overlapping the performance. Pass.

Backstage Footage – Uninteresting documentary that lasts about 10 minutes showing what it was like backstage for the band.

Concert Montage – Another backstage montage with an overlapping song. Pass.

Final Thoughts 

First of all, I did not like the movie. I found it boring, repetitive, and quite annoying. Watching it on Blu-ray didn’t help at all. Nothing went above average in any department, and completely fell apart in the special features section. I didn’t expect much, but it could’ve been a hell of a lot better.



Order Pretenders: Loose in L.A. on Blu-ray!


2 Responses to “Pretenders: Loose in L.A. (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    “I highly dislike the Pretenders. I believe they are a moronic, pretentious, and overall unentertaining band.”

    So I guess I can’t sell you my Pretenders CDs, huh?

  2. Matt Goodman

    Hah, in time Brian… in time.