Few artists have been as revolutionary and influential as Patti Smith (b. 1946), often described as the 'The Godmother of Punk,' but whose actual work goes far, far beyond that limiting title. An instant iconoclast with her album debut HORSES, she has remained one of the most unexpected talents of the past forty years, and she would certainly be an excellent subject for a documentary. Sad to say, PATTI SMITH: UNDER REVIEW is nothing of the kind. It does contain some basic autobiographical material; it also contains a few snips of Smith in concert. But ultimately, this is an hour and a half of people sitting around talking about Patti Smith, with most of their attention centered on her first four albums, HORSES, RADIO ETHIOPIA, EASTER, and WAVE.
This might not be a bad thing, and indeed it isn't always, particularly when the various producers of her albums talk about their experiences with her in making those albums. (Jack Douglas is particularly fun.) But the truth is that most of these people are pseudo-intellectuals that Smith herself probably wouldn't give the time of day. In the end, PATTI SMITH: UNDER REVIEW is worth sitting through for hard-core fans like myself, but not more than once, and you'll probably know more than these people have to say anyway.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer