Rolling Stones at the MAX is only shown locally at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science's Blockbuster IMAX (short for image maximum) Theater. There's something deliciously ironic about these Satanic Majesties, the poster boys of drugs, decadence, and dissipation, singing "Paint it Black" inside a property financed in part by Mr. Family Values, Wayne Huizenga. Can't you just picture Wayne and Keith swapping methadone stories?
At the MAX is no artsy-fartsy Gimme Shelter-like documentary. There are a few seconds of behind-the-scenes peeks -- band members psyching each other up, Charlie Watts doing a nervous softshoe to blow off some pent-up energy, that kind of thing. Then the flashpots explode and suddenly you're onstage with the Rolling Stones, and a perfectly ghoulish-looking Richards is cranking out the opening chords of "Start Me Up."
The visual detail afforded by the IMAX process is absolutely spectacular. You can count the grey hairs in Charlie Watts's head, the lines in Jagger's face, or the cigarettes remaining in Ron Wood's box of Marlboro Lights. You're there with Mick prowling the stage in front of tens of thousands of rabid fans, or with Keith as he dips, splits, and kicks his way through a vocal turn on "Happy." You get a sense of what an exhilarating high it must be to be a member of the world's greatest rock-and-roll band while you simultaneously experience the thrill of watching yourself from the best seats in the house.