Thursday, December 3, 2009

SPAZ's ROCKING STOCKING STUFFERS #3




All the positive word of mouth you've been hearing and the critical raves that have shown up in print over the last year are true: this really IS a one-of-a-kind documentary that ANY and EVERY music fan should see! It doesn't matter whether you have heard of Anvil or not... and it doesn't matter if you love or hate Heavy Metal: this is a must-see film!

It seems to combine elements of two very different music-related films that I enjoy: This Is Spinal Tap and The Mayor Of The Sunset Strip. 
Of course, comparisons to This Is Spinal Tap are first and foremost on people's minds, but this is NOT a mockumentary. The Story Of Anvil is about a real band, real people and real situations.  Sometimes, they are funny and sometimes heartbreaking.
I compare it to The Mayor Of The Sunset Strip (a documentary on L.A. trendsetter Rodney Bingenheimer) because it has the same type of sadness to it. You keep rooting for the band, but life seems to throw them a bunch of curve balls. You become so involved with the band members (basically guitarist/vocalist Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner) that you can't help but FEEL for them. Their disappointments become your disappointments: their triumphs become your triumphs. Throught it all, Anvil don't quit when things go sour: they keep going.... and going.... and going...

While the film isn't a career documentary, it does feature classic footage and music.  The core of the film centers around Lips and Robb's determination to keep Anvil alive and rocking long after the general public has forgotten them. It's not an easy thing to do for a Canadian Metal band who achieved great things in the early '80s before being left for dead as that decade came to a close. Lips and Robb are aching to give it one more shot, and they take that 'one more shot' a few times over the course of the film. From a bungled tour to a recording session that nearly tears them apart, The Story Of Anvil is an uplifting and (dare I say it?) heartwarming film.

It's not just about the music: it's also about friendship, trust, belief and determination. The Story Of Anvil is about life, the human spirit and second chances... and third chances.... and 40th chances. It's funny, it's sad and it's everything in between.

I don't know anyone who has seen this that isn't tempted to hit play and relive it all over again. 

In the end, the success of this film gave Anvil the big break that they were constantly searching for and working so hard for. And that's a good thing.

Don't wait. Go out and buy it now!  This one is a keeper, not a renter!

Watch the trailer HERE!

Stephen SPAZ Schnee

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