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Anvil! The Story of Anvil [DVD]

Anvil , Steve Lips Kudlow , Sacha Gervasi    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
Price: 5.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Anvil! The Story of Anvil [DVD] + This Is Spinal Tap [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Anvil, Steve Lips Kudlow, Robb Reiner, Lars Ulrich
  • Directors: Sacha Gervasi
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Jun 2009
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001PO5UKK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,635 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Nearly three decades on, is Anvil! The Story Of Anvil finally the film that finally gives This Is Spinal Tap a run for its money? Quite possibly so. The recipient of far-reaching acclaim, and with a real run for being named film of the year, this is a superb documentary, that is all the more staggering for being true.

Anvil! The Story Of Anvil follows the band of its title, a heavy metal group who enjoyed moderate success in the late 70s and early 80s, but kept going even when the light of fame and success shone elsewhere. Thus, we meet the band’s members--Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow and Robb Reiner--as they hold down day jobs, record an album and head off on a European tour that could have been taken straight out of the Spinal Tap playbook.

As Anvil! The Story Of Anvil develops, though, there’s a drama at the heart of it that mixes in with the many frequent laughs. And, as it turns out, it’s a film that out of nowhere manages to move you, pretty much the last thing you expect of it.

This is, and there’s no two ways about it, a quite brilliant film, and one of the very best documentaries in some time. It’s outrageously entertaining, very funny and yet human to the core. Anvil! The Story Of Anvil is going to take some beating, and don’t be surprised if it’s another three decades before anything else comes close to it and This Is Spinal Tap… --Jon Foster

Product Description

Documentary about little-known Canadian metal band Anvil, whose 1982 album 'Metal on Metal' influenced a generation of heavy metal bands including Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax, all of whom went on to sell millions of records. But Anvil's career took a different path: straight to obscurity. The film tracks the band as they take an ill-advised European tour and release their 13th album in a last ditch attempt to hit the big time.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Admirable and Life-affirming 10 May 2009
The previous reviews were excellent, especially in discussing the conflicts that arise in Anvil.

I admire Spinal Tap for how the situations, characters and most of all the music actually pay homage to the whole rock genre it so archly satirises. I approached Anvil suspecting it would be a diluted version of the original spoof, maybe even playing on the heavy metal clichés for cheap laughs, but that's not the case. Although Anvil initially promises to expose the failed dreams of two ageing and deluded rock musicians - and there are many uncomfortable and hilarious scenes - by the end of the film you only want success and recognition for them. Their passion, optimism and friendship deserve nothing less.

Beyond the human journey, the documentary is so well crafted, for example, the cohesion of the Japan angle, the understated meetings with other rock musicians and the suspense of the ending. I actually had a tear in my eye on several occasions such as when Lipps' wife is interviewed, but I think these aspects were made more poignant by the exquisitely excruciating Spinal Tap sequences - look out for the rendition of Thumb Hang, the `I'll tell you in one, no two, no three words' conversation, and the textured toilet painting.

I'm not a heavy metal fan but it's difficult to be cynical about these people or the music; this film is so admirable and life-affirming - it's just great.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant documentary 12 April 2009
This is a brilliant, moving documentary that is one of the highlights of the movie year. It was in turns hilarious (like when Lips starts on one of his rambles!), heart-breaking (the empty European basements the band plays in) and heart-warming (the brilliant ending in particular).

Although Lips can be a bit of a klutz and Reiner can be a bit pessimistic (with some justification given their years without major success), together they are brilliant characters and totally likeable. Their long-lasting friendship is really moving as are the scenes when, recording in the UK, they momentarily split up the band in a moment of acrimony only to patch it up soon thereafter. Lips wears his heart on his sleeve and his honesty and lack of pretention is very welcome given the music industry is full of divas. This is simply the tale of honest, hard-working friends trying to live their dream and sacrificing nearly everything to fulfill it. The scene where Lips tries his hand at hard-pressure telesales to fund the band and can't bring himself to lower his moral principles was wonderfully touching. I was really rooting for them both and the band throughout and only the hardest-of-hearts wouldn't want to see their dreams realised and for them to be successful.

Even if you don't like heavy metal and have never seen This Is Spinal Tap, this is really worth seeing. Yet more proof that, in recent years, documentaries are outshining mainstream Hollywood.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Like other people I suspect, I felt split down the middle - funny as hell, and heart wrenching in equal measures.

I'd heard of the band, and probably heard one or two tracks over the years, but they never entered my life as such. Probably indicative of their story really, never getting that 'killer' tune, or getting the breaks. In the 80s I was into mainstream rock, and saw the occasional poster with their name on it, but never batted an eyelid really.

This DVD could be their triumph, and only now can these boys possibly consider that their break has come. It takes you through all aspects of their life; the home drudge, the failed tour, the arguments and the stab at a killer album which would change their world. Lips is as vivid a character as you'll ever come across; never quite aloof enough to become a metal legend...he's more of the bloke around the corner who's in a band. His passion rages at times, and it was this that got me. Being the same age as these guys, and also being in a band, and also having dreams in my teens....a lot of what they said and showed hit it home to me what I was like.

I throughly recommend this DVD to anyone. It's ending is sublime. Just when you thought the band would get lost backstage (a la Tap) they entered the arena expecting 15 people there, and it wasn't quite like that. Boys, this is your legacy! Fame didn't come quite as you'd wanted it to, but whoever suggested making a DVD of your struggles and dreams, was a genius. This is a sublime piece of documentary.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Either heartbreaking...or inspirational! 18 Mar 2009
By Greedo
More than any film that I've seen in a while, this documentary stirred up a wide range of emotions in me, and at times I wasn't quite sure what to feel.

Let me first say up front that this is a great film which I really liked, and is well worth checking out whether you're into heavy metal music or not. Hence one of the many emotions referred to was laughter! As you may have heard, the film is at times hilarious in a "you couldn't make this up" sort of way (apparently some people mistake it for a Spinal Tap style mockumentary, and you can see why - a confusion that isn't helped by the drummer's name being Robb Reiner!). It has some classic lines and situations, and is very watchable. Certainly a film that you can enjoy watching either on your own or in a group.

My conflict came when I tried to work out what to feel towards these aging, passionate musicians. We're often told by inspirational books and films to "follow our dreams" - as a feel good message to motivate us to make the most of our lives. So what are we to make of this band that refuses to give up their art, in the face of obscurity and indifference, and despite the strain that this puts on the rest of their lives? Maybe this depends on what you personally feel about their music: to me they seemed out of touch and out of more than a relic, and oblivious to the fact that they are no longer relevant, or indeed that even if they were still relevant it is hard to get your money back from making an album in this digital download age, or from touring when they've been replaced by younger bands that the kids can relate to. At times you are left with the uncomfortable feeling that they are being exploited.

But right there is the twist and the contradiction that leaves me confused!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Never Say Die
If you are a fan of any kind of Rock or Heavy Metal, then I suspect this is required viewing. At first, it seems that the film is simply going to be another human interest story... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Gavin Strathie
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must For ANY Artist
I have seen this movie at least 7 times. The underlying message is "never give up, never sell out your dreams for a mundane existence". Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bp Nash
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the story of Anvil!
A very good rockumentary of Anvil, one of its main strengths is the friendship between Lips and Rob Rainer, Anvil were apparently very influential, so why didn't they make it? Read more
Published 2 months ago by georgekemp
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and deeply moving film about the human spirit!
Not a big metal fan, but I loved this documentary about 'Where are they now?' rock band Anvil. Perhaps the hard truth is that they'll never recapture the 15 minutes of fame they... Read more
Published 3 months ago by A. J. Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding story of faithfullness
I admire Anvil for their capacity of always believing that they could do better! Their love for music, is outstanding!
Published 11 months ago by Duarte Nuno Correia
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel good film
I really enjoyed this film even though I'm not into thrash metal at all - the music doesn't really matter. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Dan Steer
3.0 out of 5 stars nice story
great ending scene. The unquenchable optimism of lead singer is both admirable yet very silly. Can't help but think they would have made it on a graand stage had they had proper... Read more
Published 17 months ago by mf
5.0 out of 5 stars Metal on Metal
Even if you are not a metal/rock fan this film is one of the best films i have ever seen, as a metal head this film is a true inspiration.
Published 18 months ago by Medina
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't understand the good reviews?
I watched this film expecting a feel good story about a band and the troubles they faced... But no. First off, I am a huge metal fan and I have to say they are a terrible band... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars Humility, failure,hope and redemption- it's all here...
Boyhood friends Steve 'Lips' Kudlow (guitar/vocals)and Robb Reiner(drums)wanted to form a band and make Metal history. It's a heart warming story of ups and mostly downs. Read more
Published 23 months ago by os
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