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They Might Be Giants - Direct from Brooklyn (2003)

John Flansburgh , John Linnell , John Flansburgh , Adam Bernstein  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Flansburgh, John Linnell
  • Directors: John Flansburgh, Adam Bernstein, Nico Beyer, Lidia Pryzluska, J. Otto Seibold
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (PCM Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Restless Records
  • DVD Release Date: February 18, 2003
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008AOT0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,961 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "They Might Be Giants - Direct from Brooklyn" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Videos: Doctor Worm, Snail Shell, The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight), The Statue Got Me High, Istanbul (Not Constantinople), Birdhouse in Your Soul, They'll Need a Crane, Purple Toupee, Ana Ng, (She Was a) Hotel Detective, Don't Let's Start, Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head
  • Video clips of "Particle Man" and "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" from the Tiny Toons cartoon series
  • Quicktime home movies for view on DVD-ROM players
  • Bonus audio tracks "McGyver" and "Your Mom's Alright" from the Japanese release of Mink Car
  • Unreleased promotional radio audio track "Man It's so Loud in Here (Hot 2002 Mix)"
  • Trailer for the documentary film "Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns)," a movie about They Must Be Giants
  • Never before seen special live video of "Why Does the Sun Shine? (The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas)" from the 2002 tour

Editorial Reviews

The wit and whimsy of John Linnell and John Flansburgh, collectively known as They Might Be Giants, is on display in this thoroughly entertaining video compilation. Twelve of the group's videos (dating from the mid-'80s to 1998) are here, filled with all manner of craziness and looking and sounding great. But the real prize may be the two clips from Tiny Toon Adventures, marrying TMBG's silly but also smart and clever music with the cartoon series' riotous animation; the twin Giants actually didn't write "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," a "Puttin' On the Ritz" soundalike that's also one of the 12 main videos (with different animation), but it fits their style to a T. All of this quirkiness and freneticism can get a bit wearying after a while, but in small doses it's lots of fun. DVD extras include Linnell and Flansburgh's straightforward, informative audio commentary; there are also bonus audio tracks, a live video, and more. --Sam Graham

Product Description

Track Listing:

1. Doctor Worm

2. Snail Shell

3. The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)

4. The Statue Got Me High

5. Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

6. Birdhouse In Your Soul

7. They'll Need A Crane

8. Purple Toupee

9. Ana Ng

10. (She Was A) Hotel Detective

11. Don't Let's Start

12. Put Your Hand Inside The Puppet Head

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh, how paltry MTV looks now! February 10, 2004
Jonathan, you might want to check your DVD player, because I had none of the problems you had -- "Play All" DOES play all, and all of the videos have commentary. A few of the older videos are grainy, but I suspect that's more due to the source material, and I doubt they'd go to the trouble of professionally touching up and restoring them.
I don't know why they bothered to put the Quicktime "home movies" on the disc. I thought it was odd that they didn't make them available as regular DVD "special features" videos, but then I found out -- they're VERY low quality, and they're only about a minute each -- just snippets of the songs. There could have been much more in the way of extras, but, fortunately, there's a treasure trove of extras available on the _Gigantic_ DVD, and the ones that are included here -- the "Tiny Toons" clips, the "fiery" live performance, and the audio tracks -- are not on the _Gigantic_ disc. Plus, the "commentary" for the "Snail Shell" video is actually another song! Overall, this is a great video collection for TMBG fans. (By the way, I'm sure that the reason "Boss of Me" is not included is that it's owned by Fox, so perhaps they couldn't get the rights to it, or didn't think it was worth it, or maybe they're saving it for the next collection...)
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TMBG's Video Collection Rocks! September 29, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
TMBG's video productions are just as wacky as their music. This tape is superbly formatted, has very good quality and the music is great! The videos are arranged in order from newest to oldest.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
TMBG fans must have. Note the early low tech but high energy style. John and John are excited to perform. The bigger budget videos follow, and the latter show a restrained use of sets and camera that comes with less cash for production. The music remains the best kept secret in rock, the videos serve as a chronologically reversed study of the duo. People paid 40 or 50 bucks to get the 1986-88 TMBG tape on e-bay. Here's your chance to see why.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic May 19, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is a perfect companion for every Giants fan. Many music videos that MTV nevered played. Included are some animated music videos from the now defunct Tiny Toon Adventures cartoon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Joy, joy, joy, joy, JOY!! February 24, 2003
I'm not that fond of DVDs which collect band videos, because they seem disjointed. However, this DVD works for TMBG because each video (and the songs) are -already- disjointed. And of course the songs are wonderful (you already know...). I'd never seen most of these videos (I'm a little pre-MTV I guess), and it was so much fun to watch these, alone and with the Kid Unit (who is turning into quite the TMBG fan). It seems a little incomplete, though. For the sake of the Kid Unit I was hoping for the cartoon version of Dr. Worm, and mildly disappointed. Also, some information on the total time of the DVD would have been nice on the outside of the package (it runs about 40-45 minutes), and a booklet listing more about the details of the videos would have been nice to see as I watched (directors, locations, etc) rather than having to wait to learn while listening to the 2 John voiceovers. But these are quibbles: more of a recommendation for future DVDs than a genuine complaint about this one. Don't wait to go get it, because you're older than you've ever been, and now you're even older. (Uh, "Older" is not on it, don't mean to mislead you.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good TMBG, better time capsule September 14, 2005
This excellent compilation of video work from They Might Be Giants could in one sense be a model of how to combine images with music. The artistry here shows that songs mixed with imaginative visuals can, in the right hands, become more than the sum of their parts, and with most of these, that is exactly what happens.

It's almost worth the DVD alone for not one, but two versions of "Istanbul(Not Constantinople)," both using animation, but in completely different styles. The song is catchy enough on its own, but the visual elements make it irresistible. Other favorites are "Snail Shell," "The Statue Got Me High" and "They'll Need a Crane," as well as the now-classic "(She Was A) Hotel Detective."

If not every single track is at the same high level, never mind. This DVD is still a terrifically entertaining document that shows these guys at their creative best, not to mention valuable for marking their progession over the years. The extras are good, too, but the videos are so good -- and the price is so low -- that any extras almost don't matter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Videos are fun, Commentary is Priceless! October 11, 2003
This DVD is definitely a must-have for any TMBG Fan. The video commentary is absolutely hilarious! Other extras include a few audio-only songs, and a live video of "Why Does the Sun Shine?".
There's not much more to say. It's just classic TMBG fun!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! February 25, 2003
By A Customer
If you are a TMBG fan, which I am sure you are if you are reading this, buy it. All the videos and a bunch of extra stuff including a live video of The Sun which is great! The only thing that is missing is remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, but the sound is still by far better than CD. Very Cool DVD...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars the best from the best!
if you like TMBG, you'll love this (except for the 2 warner brothers videos at the end...)
Published on April 23, 2009 by Ken I. Mataya
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally...
A great collection of their music videos up to "Dr. Worm" (one the bands best more recent efforts). Watching these videos makes an old fan understand why they like them and a new... Read more
Published on July 20, 2008 by Eric D'Asto
4.0 out of 5 stars MTV - is it Art?
Maybe a Picasso or a Garfunkel. Like all new forms, a lot of the most creative usage of MTV occurred when MTV was brand new. Read more
Published on April 10, 2005 by John P Bernat
4.0 out of 5 stars Great collection but...
The collection is great but on the John & John commentary, John Linnell is extremely hard to hear which is extremely dissapointing.
Published on December 26, 2003 by Johanna
5.0 out of 5 stars Super for TMBG Fans
What a great DVD of TMBG's greatest songs! It includes their original videos, of course, along with their commentary. Overall, I was very happy with this. Read more
Published on August 7, 2003 by Christopher Hefele
4.0 out of 5 stars One fun collection
You could say a lot about these videos by They Might Be Giants. One word that keeps coming up in my mind is "Fun! Read more
Published on July 2, 2003 by Jonathan Monaco
5.0 out of 5 stars Even if you have the VHS, you need this!
Finally, a music DVD with good extras! The commentary is what makes this DVD for me. Some people seem to not be that crazy about it, but I think it's hilarious. Read more
Published on May 4, 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars They are still going...
I admit, I never knew They Might Be Giants had even made music videos. Having learned otherwise, I was eager to pick this up. Read more
Published on March 1, 2003 by Chris B
3.0 out of 5 stars Great band, great videos, lousy commentary
If TMBG did nothing else in their career, John Flansburgh and John Linnell would be remembered as the shock troops of the alternative movement. Read more
Published on February 26, 2003 by Center Man
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