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3.6 out of 5 stars33
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 24 June 2009
If you've heard all the hype about Neil Boorman's 'Bonfire of the Brands', I'd urge you to watch this film. Unlike that gimmick-laden publicity stunt of a book, Gorman's film does what it sets out to do simply and effectively, without ignoring the practicalities. Not for Gorman pointless symbolic gestures (you won't find him pouring BP petrol down the drain or throwing WalMart food in the bin) - he gets on with it and tries his best to complete the journey on the terms he set out to. The results are at times fascinating and often touching. As other reviewers have said, you may feel like you've suffered from 'how do I get petrol?' overdose by the end, but there is a point to it - aside from the practical aspect of needing petrol to complete a journey, independent gas stations were once a big part of America that is dying out. What was once something for a working class man to aspire to own is no longer a realistic option.

If you're looking for a laugh-a-minute road trip show with crazy events, this is unlikely to excite you. But it's interesting, watchable and above all, real.
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on 19 February 2008
I have enjoyed Dave Gorman's other stuff and eagerly awaited this one. I have to relcutantly admit it was disappointing. Great idea, to travel across the USA only using independant gas stations, motels etc.. We see far too much of Dave predictably agonising where he'll get his next tank of 'unchained' gas etc, far too many in-car shots of anguished faces and not enough of the charachters along the way or why the journey is important.. Ultimately it turns out to be a bit dull, not enough fun, colour and interest to keep it going. Loyal fans will enjoy perhaps but not Dave's best work on this occasion.
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on 30 March 2008
This isn't actually a thrilling documentary (it's very short, given how long Dave was in the USA). It doesn't go into much detail about the journey, spending more time pondering about the lack of petrol than talking to the people Dave met on the way.

BUT it's worth remembering that - in fact - Dave set out to do this journey for a BOOK, not a FILM - the film idea only came later, and Dave only agreed if it could be one filmmaker (not a car full following behind) and that the cameraman would also be the Producer/Director.

So, enjoy the DVD, but wait for the book too.
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on 5 May 2009
Disappointment!
After having read his book (America Unchained) which by the way was fantastic, this DVD ruined my imagined picture of D.Gorman's adventures in the USA. If it was meant to be documentary then it is not very interesting. Lack of continuity and sudden jumps from one place to another leaves the viewer confused and doesn't leave space for imagination. Very boring! Read the book insted! My rating for his book 5/5, for the DVD 1/5.
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on 18 April 2008
I loved this documentary when it was on TV so was really chuffed when I saw it was going to be released on DVD. Enjoyed it even more on second viewing and have lent it to a couple of friends who have raved about it too.

Yes it's different to Are you Dave Gorman and Googlewhack Adventure but it has an important point to make. After all it's a documentary, not a comedy, and in order to keep it authentic he hadn't researched his route or had a massive entourage like other travellers (take note McGregor and Boorman), so what you see is what you get - the real account of a road trip.

I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to see the other side to the corporate America we're all so familiar with or has an interest in supporting independent businesses. There's some wonderful stories and captivating scenery. Well done Dave on a genuine film, beautifully shot.
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on 19 February 2008
Dave Gorman is a talented comedian, and an excellent writer.

However, this documentary falls between two stools. There are moments that are genuinely entertaining, but there is no real vision. Yes, he wants to avoid buying food or petrol in corporate run chains but what is he really trying to prove?

It has little substance and is slightly meandering. Wheras in his stand up comedy there are always moments of real humor that really shine through, this documentary does not live up to the work of truly fine documentary makers such as Morgan Spurlock, Michael Moore, Louis Theroux or Nick Broomfield.

If you are really interested in Dave Gorman, I'd recommend buying his first two books or taking a look at his photos on flickr, all of which are really top notch. But you are unlikely to be amazed by this diverting but underwhelming film.
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on 1 May 2008
I really enjoyed this film when i watched it on more 4 and hoped that the DVD would hold extras, especially considering it was filmed in late 2006 and released 2008 with a good years worth of editing i guess i was expecting more than just the film.
despite this though i am glad i bought it, and very glad i bought the book as well as the DVD.
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on 31 August 2013
You can't go wrong with Dave Gorman but read the book instead Dave himself is his consistent and very funny self and cannot be criticised but for me it was the way the film was edited. Of course the book will contain so much more detail but having read it I so looked forward to the DVD however there was so much detail missing from it. It would have been much better made into a series as it lost its magic somewhere along the way. I suppose I expected the characters and places to materialise before me but it never happened. A real shame.
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on 16 March 2010
Some of the criticisms are that this film is too short and i'd certainly like it to be longer than it was, but it's Dave Gorman's film and his choice to choose the length. Others have said that it's "boring" and "not much happens" but it's precisely this laid-back, leisurely approach that makes it so enjoyable and relaxing to watch. My only real criticism is not of the film itself but the DVD. No DVD extras? That's disappointing.
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on 29 February 2008
This is a brilliant little film to show that true independence maybe facing extinction due to globalisation, but Dave shows it just maybe possible to make it across America (In A Very Round About Way) without paying "The Man". There genuinely is some great moments along the journey and ultimately the film leaves you feeling with mixed emotions about the future, "The Man" may want to take over the place and make everywhere the same but its Man-Kind who can fight the good fight and not make it easy for them!
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