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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Comedy Drama
Still Crazy- Perfect Comedy Drama
Still Crazy follows the fortunes of a 70s rock group that reforms in 1999 to ‘surf the nostalgia wave’ and attempt to bury their acrimonious past and fulfil their previously unrealised potential.
The band are called Strange Fruit and consist of a clichéd bunch of has-beens that are all scarred by their...
Published on 10 Jan. 2003 by Richard White

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good fun
saw it years ago so happy to now own a copy. Funny and a good film to watch when you want cheering up.
Published on 20 Dec. 2012 by Jan


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Perfect, 21 May 2013
By 
K. Pipkin "Fox7" (Valencia, Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Still Crazy [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
Quite simply, one of the very best comedy dramas I have ever seen.

A stellar cast give wonderful performances as the dysfunctional faded stars of 70's rock band Strange Fruit, reunited for one last bite at the cherry of fame and fortune. I accept that you probably have to have been around in the 70's for this film to truly resonate within you (I was and it did), but anyone who appreciates well crafted comedy will love this.

All the performances are wonderful, from Billy Connolly as the narrator of the tale, Bill Nighy as Ray, the vain yet vulnerable lead singer, Stephen Rea the keyboard player who still believes they can regain their former glory, Timothy Spall as Beano, the crazy drummer and, for me at least, the stand out performance, Jimmy Nail as Les, who, despite his pretence of family-man/provider, really yearns for another turn under the spotlights. The characters are a delight, played by these seasoned actors to absolute perfection, and with an affection for the time and the music that is heartwarming. It's not Spinal Tap, there's no acid satire here, this is a story about never giving up on your dreams. The film is packed with one-liners, hilarious rock star jokes (Bill Nighy with the remote controls and Stephen Rea losing his Jimi Hendrix tooth are my personal favourites), and really good music - I defy anyone to be unmoved by Jimmy Nail singing The Flame Still Burns.

As a teenager of the 70's, one of my favourite films of all time. I laughed, I remembered, I cried. I loved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This has to be the best, least well known film of its age., 2 Feb. 2010
By 
A. J. Sturgess "Alan Sturgess" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Still Crazy [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
Think 'The boat that rocked' + 'The Commitments' + 'The Blues Brothers' and you won't even come close to the music, atmosphere and energy of this superb film. Other reviewers have summarised the story of a defunct band whose members gradually agree to try for a comeback. In this, the main thread is very similar to 'The Blues Brothers', but the characters are totally different and the music is a quite brilliant evocation of 1970's British rock. There isn't a weak character in the whole film. It is a first class ensemble piece, interspersed with great music, dark humour and outright slapstick. There is pathos and affection rubbing shoulders with jealousy and anger. It's all there in one glorious package.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm an American, and I LOVED it!, 16 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Still Crazy [VHS] [1998] (VHS Tape)
This film doesn't cheat. It shows a group of tired, older men who have never quite forgotten their glory days as a glam rock group. You see them as they were when they were younger (played by different actors in the flashbacks, of course), and the breakup of the group. One amazing scene shows Ray (Bill Nighy), standing to make a speech at his daughter's wedding. As this hesitant, stammering man tries to make an effective speech, cuts of him when he was younger and beautiful, on stage with the wind blowing in his hair, are interspersed. It really makes you feel the passage of time in this man's life.
Bill Nighy (Ray) and Jimmy Nail (Lez) perform their own vocals, incredibly. That's just one of the surprises in the film. The acting is impeccable, including Diana Rigg's daughter in her film debut as Clare. Bruce Robinson, better known these days as a writer/director, gives what may be the film's best performance - and if you want to know which character he plays, you'll have to see the movie! I watched it over and over before I had to return it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch this, 15 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Still Crazy [DVD] (DVD)
I just love this film. It is very funny, the music is fab especially The Flame Still Burns. Jimmy Nail's voice is spectacular.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bill Nighy doing what Bill Nighy does best, 8 July 2013
By 
Mr. M. L. West (Southampton, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Still Crazy [DVD] (DVD)
This is a great film.
All of the other actors are great too, but Bill takes the prize.

I love the over reaction about the "50" birthday cake - I can identify with that.

The music is great, and if I am correct was written by the guys from Foreigner (Mick Jones, Marti Fredericksen, Chris Difford)

So the tunes have a good pedigree.

An evenings escapism. Good value for money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rock on., 19 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Still Crazy [DVD] (DVD)
It takes a brave fool to make This Isn't Spinal Tap. In Rob Reiner's film both the comedy and the music are spot-on. We see Tap doing `Gimme Some Money' as young mid-sixties Stones-copiers in Beatle-suits (confused as ever) and then we get their heavy version with every cliche of the Twenty Lorries Concert Tour - but they always sound like a band who started off practising together in somebody's mum's front room.

These Strange Fruits, however, have been harvested from all over the place. Ray (Bill Nighy) is a wrecked rock god sipping herbal tea, Les sounds as if he would be more at home in the Goat at St Alban's than in Wembley Stadium (I mean no disrespect to Jimmy Nail or the Goat) and Beano is a fabulous, foul old Trogg (thank you, Mr Spall). One minute their music might be Status Quo and the next it's more of a Wishbone Ash thing.

No matter: Clement and La Frenais are doing the thing they do best: writing about blokes banged up together - in this case, in a purple tour bus, full of ill-will and nervous flatulence, being driven round the skank-holes of the Netherlands by Billy Connolly, who makes a genial storyteller and convincing roadie.

At the heart of this blokes' film are the women. Helena Bergstrom as the rock god's trophy wife, is great: a berserker in a fascinator. Janet Aubrey, though, as Karen, who grew up with the band but chose respectability, doesn't quite come up to the scratch. It's fine that she should be prim in her hotel-hospitality job but we should see the veils fall away as she remembers how to sweet-talk record company suits, faces rough club managers down and acknowledges the love she ran away from.

It is Rachel Stirling, as the teenager dragged along to spend her school holiday finding launderettes in small European towns and finding, by the end of the tour, that she has taken responsibility for the band and been captured by their music, who (along with Bruce Robinson) gives the strong, poignant performance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny and entertaining, 9 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Still Crazy (DVD)
Following the fortunes of a reformed 70s rock band, this entertaining film is brilliantly scripted, well acted and keeps you watching. Given its nostalgic look at the music scene there are comparisons with other films to be made (including The Boat that rocked and Spinal Tap). Personally I think the former is a bit boring and I don't really get the catchphrase culture that has grown up around the latter. Still Crazy is, in my opinion, a better film than either of these. The casting is spot-on and it would be difficult to single anyone out. If you have Prime this is free to stream - watch it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The fun begins when Tony Costello - with the help of ..., 11 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Still Crazy (DVD)
'I hope you guys are still crazy or I'm outa here'. So says road-dog Hughie (Billy Connolly) as he appears to resume his role as roadie for Strange Fruit, the band who so nearly made up to the top in the 70s and had broken up due to 'artistic differences' after Ray had taken over from lead singer Brian. Old stalwart Les (Nail) eyed Ray with some contempt as he brought a pseudointellectualism to the altar of rock n roll, something Les sees as unpardonable. The fragile, damaged Ray is superbly acted by Bill Nighy who - as do the others - fleshes out the part and makes him utterly credible. Credit must also be given to the incredible Timothy Spall, whose Beano acts as comic relief and the epitome of the unhinged drummer. The fun begins when Tony Costello - with the help of groupie-cum-manager Karen (Juliet Aubrey) tries to bring them all back together for the Wisbech festival and the music moguls demand a European tour before signing them up. The uneasy relationship between Les and Ray is always on the point of blowing up and the unsure band slowly gain strength from their shaky tour. Clement and Le Frenais (Likely Lads, Auf Wiedersehen Pet) provide a sparkling script while the top-notch acting make this a treat to watch. Hilarious and at times moving, we 'wait with baited breath' to see if these old rockers can desperately hold it together and succeed, with Wisbech hanging over their heads. Very little seen on the big screen - the distributor should be shot - but while available on DVD this is an absolute treat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great little film from the writers of Auf Wiedersehen Pet., 22 Jun. 2008
By 
Lee Thomas (South Tyneside, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Still Crazy [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
This is a simple story about a fictional 70's rock band called Strange Fruit who split up 20 years ago because of misfortune and
too much hostility within the ranks. Now, 20 years later (in 1998) the band decide to reunite for a forthcoming open air festival.

The humour in this film comes mainly from the band members, who still cannot get along with each other, always arguing, and it's obvious that they're actually too over the hill for this reunion.

The film features some of the best acting talents the UK has to offer. With strong performances by Stephen Rea, Timothy Spall, Bill Nighy, Jimmy Nail and Billy Connolly.

Stephen Rea is the sensible, mild mannered, keyboard player.
Timothy Spall, a panic stricken, hyperactive and rather naive drummer.
Bill Nighy plays a doped up Ozzy Osborne type lead singer.
Jimmy Nail, a moody bad tempered bass player.
Billy Connolly, the sceptic roadie who's just... well, mad!

Most of the songs thoughout the film were performed by Bill Nighy, Jimmy Nail and the band. The song at the end is a joy to behold!

Because the band members' characters are so well portrayed by the actors, you really warm to each and every one of them. You find yourself wanting them to get over their differences and succeed in their goal.

There's also plenty of screen time for each character, not bad considering this is only a 90 minute film.

When you reach the part in the film where they go on tour over in Holland, it really feels like you're on the road with these guys. It's a very similar feel to Auf Wiedersehen Pet (for those of you who's seen it), where it felt like you lived on that building site with those characters.

If ever there was a film where you wished that a sequel or a spin off TV series was made, then Still Crazy is that film.

Sadly though, when the film ends you'll be left wanting to see more of these characters, but there's no sequel to follow.

All in all it's a wonderful British comedy that has a great story, great songs and very little special effects. It's a perfect example of how to make a good film without relying too much on those CGI gimmocks! And although it's now 10 years old, it's as fresh now as it was when it was first released.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Donnelly's Guitar Work Soars, 17 July 2008
By 
Stephen Cobb (Upstate New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Still Crazy [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
I really enjoyed this movie, which worked for me on several levels, or at least across several generations. I was there in the seventies listening to bands like Strange Fruit, and the film got the feel of those times right. Now I'm an old geezer like the band members, and the film got the feel of that right too. Connolly as roadie was a good choice, providing a salty anchor for the sometimes thin narrative.

One thing that seems 'off' about the way the film was promoted is the praise heaped on Mick Jones (Spooky Tooth, Foreigner) and Chris Difford (Squeeze) for the great music. Their names don't even appear in the IMDB listing for the film and I got the impression that the real force behind the music was Steve Donnelly, who is credited with the all important "Brian's Theme" on the soundtrack album, and whose trademark soaring guitar work is evident throughout. Of course, as a session musician Donnelly doesn't bring 'named band' status to a PR pitch. But regardless, the film would not have succeeded without the great soundtrack, which achieves a rare balance between a send-up and genuinely good listening.

It's a great shame director Brian Gibson died just six years after making the film. I think he would have given us many more good films to enjoy. Indeed, I reckon there was enough meat in this cast of characters for a Still Crazy II that riffed on the ever more absurd re-re-unions of people my age playing at being rock stars.
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Still Crazy [VHS] [1998]
Still Crazy [VHS] [1998] by Brian Gibson (VHS Tape - 2002)
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