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4.5 out of 5 stars134
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2013
Bought it, watched it, loved it. Director Shane Meadows ( 'This is England' 'Dead Man's Shoes') doesn't go down the biographical route in his documentary which celebrates the reforming of 90's Icons The Stone Roses. There are no probing and intimate interviews with Ian, Mani, Reni & John its simply all about the music and fans as it should be.

However for 'newbies' to the music of the Roses their history gets documented in narration by the band themselves with revealing archive footage and TV interviews. Shane Meadows has been unfairly criticized by the the odd reviewer for not adopting the inquisitive journalistic approach in this documentary but for me and countless others I'm sure he was perfectly right to focus on the music and fans and not the personal lives of individual band members There are countless biographies around on 'The Stone Roses' so the message is resoundingly clear, if your after more in-depth personal information on the individual band members go buy a book or surf the Internet and rightly so.
Shane, a huge Stone Roses himself, lets the camera roll and lets the music and fans do the talking. There is wonderful rehearsal and warm up gig footage that ends with their culmination gig at Heaton Park. When a free gig at Warrington is announced on the day the gig was to take place itself Shane is there with camera in hand to capture devoted fans arrive unceremoniously as they queue in hope and sheer desperation to get one of only 1000 tickets issued.
There are some great moments here as fans talk candidly about their love of the Stone Roses and how the music has meant so much to them in their lives. As with the age of the band members many are middle aged people now. Some arrive with their various memorabilia from back in their youth when The Stone Roses first exploded onto the British music scene with the debut self-titled album in 1989. Stories of children being quickly dumped at childminders, people coming in their paint covered overalls, lies being told to employers to get out of work, all for the chance of being one of the lucky few to acquire a ticket.
Later on during their warm up gigs in Europe an incident in Amsterdam results in drummer Reni walking off stage and things unfortunately go from bad to worse as he decides to go home. Shane decides to bypass the details of this event in the film other than suggesting it could have stemmed from a monitor problem that Reni had experienced on stage. I think Shane was right to do this as things behind the scenes were clearly volatile at this point and I'm sure Ian, Mani & John as well as their band management had more important things to do at the time rather talking about it on camera.

Its then onward's to Film's finale at Heaton Park as Shane films the band in all their reformed glory as they perform a guitar fest 15 minute version of' 'Fools Gold'. John Squire may be 50 years old now but he hasn't lost one ounce of his talent. He's even better. He demonstrates yet again what a dynamic Guitarist he is and why he deservedly came 13th in a BBC poll of the most influential guitarists from the past 30 years.
Its John's guitar playing that defined the Roses sound as with Liam's voice in 'Oasis' without either musician both bands wouldn't have climbed to their respective musical heights.

Shane Meadows documentary is a job finely done and explores a reunion of a glorious band consisting of what are now middle aged men but who still have more than it takes to influence a new generation as they did in the early 90's. Whether they'll stay together long enough and write new material for this to occur is another question. Their comeback album 'The Second Coming' from 1994 after a 5 year hiatus may not have appealed to every debut album Roses fan and music critique who were waiting with bated breath for their much delayed follow up. However after listening to a lot of British guitar music around these days its clear and evident it wasn't that bad after all.
The only one negative aspect to the Film is that Shane didn't ask a few questions pertaining to new material. In one scene during their rehearsal sessions the band have a blackboard setup with a list of their familiar songs to work on but clearly noticeable on the list is one scribbled 'Newie'. Shane spots this and makes reference to it but unfortunately doesn't pursue it with band members at a later stage. Shame, that would've surely made for an interesting talking point.

I suspect you wouldn't get favorable odds at the bookmakers of The Stone Roses reformation having any chance of lasting a decent time span as historically things haven't been that lasting. However in the meantime if you are a fan of The Stone Roses or just come across the band as a young and new fan you need to own this film......9.5 /10

Dave Griffiths
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2013
This may sound like an obvious statement but this is a film for fans of The Stone Roses. That's not to say that people unfamiliar with the band shouldn't check it out - they most definitely should - but this is a film that has been made (by an exceptionally talented director and super-fan) for fans of the Roses. And didn't he do well.

As expected, the access he has to the boys is unprecidented and this really becomes apparent during the jaw-dropping rehearsal footage. Shane was able to get right in their faces and you see them connect with each other like never before. I was smiling so hard my face was aching and just seeing this footage is worth whatever price Amazon ends up charging for the DVD. I was lucky enough to see it on the big screen last night and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy so I can watch it again. And again.

There are so many other highlights - the Parr Hall footage that takes you behind the scenes but also makes you feel like you were AT the gig (I've never felt that from any other documentary or live film before) - the Heaton Park footage - the opening scene that just pulls you in and gives you goose bumps - the fan interviews that make you realise how much they still mean to so many people. I could go on and on.

Basically, if you're a fan go and see it at the cinema!!! If you missed the chance to do that, pre-order this DVD and wait by the letter box until it arrives.

You won't regret it, you lucky people. Cheers Shane - you nailed it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2015
Having got into the Stone Roses after their split in the mid 90's I had heard almost every track and read a lot of articles since.
This DVD offered nothing new, which was a shame, I wanted to see more about how they got back together perhaps some reflection on the split etc building up to and including the concerts. There were some good rehersal session clips but only Fools Gold from Heaton Park, that aside the DVD just seemed to be fillers of bits of interviews already seen on youtube cut with some of the clips from the "Love Spreads" music video.
A big drama played out as Reni stormed off stage in Amsterdam but this was then almost brushed over as a non event.

Generally disappointed although the rehearsal tracks made it worth any fan keeping a copy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2015
I have to be honest and say that the ending is such a let down, and I feel sorry for the filmmaker as after the bust up in Amsterdam the content is practically null. It seems really clear that the band or management cut access to the lads after that and the film suffers massively as a consequence. Up to that it is outstanding and sends shivers down your spine at certain points.

Anyone who went to the Heaton park show will know what an incredible show it was, and the build up and backstage access and coverage of the day is non-existent in the film. A real shame.

It's still a must have for any Roses fan and inspirational, but prepare for some disappointment as the film doesn't get the ending it deserves.
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on 3 November 2013
This is a great documentary film about the reunion of one of England's greatest bands. Neither a concert film nor a fly on the wall style nor a collection of old clips, this film by Shane Meadows stitches elements of each of these into a portrait of a band reuniting after a long time in the wilderness.

The film is ostensibly the journey from announcing the reformation to the triumphant Heaton Park gigs that The Roses put on in the summer of 2012. The intimate footage of the band members is in segments of footage before the press conference to announce their resurrection and before their warm-up concert in Warrington. The performance footage comes from the aforementioned Warrington, Heaton Park and, perhaps best of all, the rehearsal room.

I am a devoted Stone Roses fan. Like many people. There are significant parts of this film that are about the fans. I am not interested in Stone Roses fans. I saw the premiere of this film (a featurette about the premiere is on the extras disc) and the bits I hated were the massive cheers for (1) they guy from the trailer who claims The Stone Roses are the reason he has never worn a tie - he definitely has worn a tie, and (2) when the footage from Heaton Park included a bit where around 100 people force down a perimeter fence and jib the gig. I didn't cheer, I'd paid £65 to get into that gig and seeing people steal it annoyed me.

Mainly the film focusses on the four members of one of the greatest bands ever. There is some great archive footage, which shows why anyone would fall in love with this charm: their confidence and charm was central to their appeal. That and the music.

If I was asking for more it would have been more interview with band talking. When the film was released there were claims that the band's disintegration was not covered as Meadows was too much of a fan boy. There isn't a probing interview but it is covered. I imagine this lack of interviews was more to do with the members of the band rather than Meadows editing it all out.

I feel there was a truly great documentary to be made here but I'll settle for the very good one that we got.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2013
Enjoyed watching the DVD. I especially enjoyed the rehearsal footage.It is worth a watch whether you're new to the band or not.One thing that Amazon failed to state is that the dvd has Audio Description, which to me as someone with a visual impairment was a brilliant suprise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2015
Love the stone Roses, and the performance Footage of Fools Gold at the end is worth the purchase, but a huge chunk of this documentary is just interviewing people waiting to get into their gigs, which is spectacularly boring.
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on 11 January 2014
I love this from the start to the finish.

The first half hour is slow in comparison to the rest of it, but that is no negative remark. It's just that the rest of the film is so damn good.

Parr Hall kick starts this film into the upper echelons of music films and from then on it is totally enthralling.

The climax of Heaton Park is just unreal. I was a slight fan of the band before this and now I feel that I missed out on one of the best bands in history.

If you're just a music fan that likes documentaries this will soon be one of your favourites.

p.s. top marks for the production and camera work. makes it what it is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2015
I love the Stone Roses. Fantastic band, great music but this doco could have been so much better. They skipped quickly over their early story and focused too much on their rehearsal and secret first gig.
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on 3 January 2014
For any Roses fan this is a must. It was emotional for me to see the band reform, even though I was a second generation Roses fan. I got into the band during the rise of Britpop. This documentary is great and their are great interviews and you get to see the band playing live in the studio. The documentary shows just how important this band are to millions of people in the UK, it is a great reminder that there are people in the UK that do not buy into Xfactor and all the corporate nonsence of the modern day. If you like or love the Roses then this dvd is a must. Lots of great extras as well. Buy it!!!!
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