Beautiful images of nature, including an ocean-born guitar solo? Check.
Coolest guitar player of the 1980s and 1990s (Slash)? Check.
Live footage of the greatest live band of their era (provided they made it to the show)? Check.
Charles Manson t-shirt? Check.
A storyline that continues that of the two previous epics (Don't Cry and November Rain)? Check.
Dictionary definitions of key words? Check.
Yes, Del James' rendering of Axl Rose's vision is both one of the best and the most bloated piece of cinematic musicianship of its time, but to everyone involved's credit, it makes for a fine short film, and revolves around a pretty good song, a chorus pattern with evolving lyrics, multiple verses and solos, all well-crated and polished tom the extreme. Plus, it's almost 10 minutes long.
Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum, Dizzy Reed, and Gilby Clarke all find a place in the storyline, too, which is cool.
Estranged features some of the best GN'R lyrics, such as these (despite the flurry and rhyming of the word 'baby' in the bridge):
Old at heart, but I'm only 28
And I'm much too young to let love break my heart
Young at heart, but it's getting much too late
To find ourselves so far apart (...)
Young at heart, and it gets so hard to waitIt's not just how you describe the end of a relationship, it's actually more like the very definition of the end of a dream. When Stephanie Seymour broke up with Axl Rose (thus explaining why she isn't in the third part of the trilogy, ironically the one depicting the end of a romance), she didn't just put an end to their relationship, she tore down the dream world he had worked years at constructing for them, complete with fairy tale castles, an unbeatable group of friends who would stick together through the harshest battles, an army of followers and supporters, and them on top of their world, the king and queen of the wedding cake. They weren't just ''a couple'', they were the only couple the protagonist had envisioned in his perfect fantasy, a modern-day Disney/Camelot story.
When no one I know can seem to help me now
Old at heart, but I musn't hesitate
If I'm to find my own way out (...)
When I find out all the reasons
Maybe I'll find another way, find another day
With all the changing seasons of my life
Maybe I'll get it right next time
And now that you've been broken down
Got your head out of the clouds
You're back down on the ground
And you don't talk so loud,
And you don't walk so proud
Any more, and what for
Well, I jumped into the river too many times to make it home
I'm out here on my own, and drifting all alone
If it doesn't show, give it time
To read between the lines
'Cause I see the storm's getting closer
And the waves they get so high
Seems everything we've ever known's here
Why must it drift away and die
I'll never find anyone to replace you
Guess I'll have to make it throuugh
This time - all this time
I knew the storm was getting closer
And all my friends said I was high
But everything we've ever known's here
I never wanted it to die
Sometimes Axl knows exactly how to put his finger on something, and this is just one example.
And, yes, that really was Axl's house.