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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard-knocks to magnificence.
Ian Dury's life was tumultuous, but maybe not quite as exciting as this film. From the thrilling Peter Blake animated montage opening to a glorious 'coming of age' moment experienced by Baxter Dury at the end, the film won't let the viewer relax.

Andy Serkis is painfully realistic as Dury, forever imprisoned in his calliper and haunted by memories of being...
Published on 29 July 2010 by Ms. Felicia Davis-burden

versus
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For all you Blockheads out there
I have seen Ian Dury & The Blockheads in concert several times, the best for me being their gig at Ronnie Scotts. So clearly I'm a fan. I therefore enjoyed this biopic of the man and his band. However I think to really enjoy this biography you would have to be a fan, given that it is drawn out ever so slowly.

There are numerous flashbacks to Dury's younger...
Published on 17 May 2010 by Jones the Film


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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard-knocks to magnificence., 29 July 2010
By 
Ms. Felicia Davis-burden (Staines, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll [DVD] (DVD)
Ian Dury's life was tumultuous, but maybe not quite as exciting as this film. From the thrilling Peter Blake animated montage opening to a glorious 'coming of age' moment experienced by Baxter Dury at the end, the film won't let the viewer relax.

Andy Serkis is painfully realistic as Dury, forever imprisoned in his calliper and haunted by memories of being struck down with Polio, agonising confinement in an iron lung, and his time in the Chailey hospice for disabled children. The message of Chailey that stayed with Ian throughout his life was that if you fell down, you get yourself up again: which is all well and good, as long as those meant to encourage you are not sadists. The warder in charge of Dury's ward provided further inspiration for his irascibility. Dury's reaction to the man's fate is understandable, only shocking if you were 'on the board' and not in the ward.

There are surely few men whose wives and mistresses actually bond through the shared experience of living with, caring for and putting up with a man as 'difficult' as Dury. Olivia Williams and Naomie Harris give passionate performances. Ray Winstone gives a touching portrayal of father Bill Dury - himself ordering his son to get himself onto his feet - loving and gentle, despite a gruff demeanor.

This is as much Baxter Dury's story as it is his father's: From the moment of his birth, we follow Baxter's difficult childhood and his father's idiosyncratic involvement. In fact, Baxter shared the role of right-hand man for his father with Chaz Jankel - both in the band that started as the Kilburns (Kilburn and the High Roads) and evolved into the Blockheads - and in everyday life.

This is a tremendous acheivement. Dury might have scoffed and argued about goodness-knows-what, but I think he would be deeply moved by the film. Often frighteningly powerfull and funny, this is a high-standard Biopic of a much-missed man. Punk's Noel Coward crossed with Gene Vincent and Spartacus - Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Ian Dury!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sex and drugs and Ian Dury, 29 Aug 2010
By 
SilentSinger (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll [DVD] (DVD)
I must be in a bit of a music biography mood, but why not when there are a couple of cracking examples of the genre currently on the DVD rental market? This one concerns the life and times of the late Ian Dury, a boy crippled by polio in his early years who forged a career as a new wave poet and musician, but had a difficult family life and strained relationship with his eldest son, Baxter.

The central performance by Andy Serkis was a masterpiece; he managed to attain all of Dury's mannerisms, speech patterns and movement to a tee, which was no mean feat. The young actor playing his son Baxter (Bill Milner) was impressive, although he didn't seem to age much during the film, which was a little odd? The other central roles of Dury's first wife Betty (Olivia Williams) and his partner Denise (Naomie Harris) were also truly believable. The narrative form jumps around a bit and uses Dury's music hall inspired performances to show some of his backstory, especially the time when he was sent to an institution for the disabled and others of his distant, but loving father Bill (Ray Winstone),

Probably the best thing about this film, as well as the music, is the fact that the screenwriter and director didn't shy away from showing Dury's volatile and often violent nature, which is a fact often missing from more sycophantic films. In conclusion, myself and my husband really enjoyed this film and it's a must see for any music fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll - I don't want to be remembered, I want to LIVE!, 31 Jan 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll [DVD] (DVD)
A great biopic that perfectly captures all the facets of the genius that was Ian Dury. As befits the man, his tale is told in a quirky fashion with much humour and pathos. It doesn't shy away from our hero's less than heroic qualities, especially the way he treated those around him, which is to the picture's credit. It charts his rise to success and the huge amount of graft he put in to make himself the star that he was. It shows the effect success had on him and those around him. In flashback it shows just why he was the way he was. It's deftly scripted and moving. It has a feeling of realism, perhaps due to the close involvement of the Blockheads and Dury's family. Andy Serkis' portrayal is a real tour de force. He just IS Dury. Ray Winstone in a short but powerful cameo casts a brooding presence that threatens to dominate the film. The film shows the highs and lows of this true individual, and even if you don't appreciate the music you will appreciate the story. Great stuff.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For all you Blockheads out there, 17 May 2010
This review is from: Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll [DVD] (DVD)
I have seen Ian Dury & The Blockheads in concert several times, the best for me being their gig at Ronnie Scotts. So clearly I'm a fan. I therefore enjoyed this biopic of the man and his band. However I think to really enjoy this biography you would have to be a fan, given that it is drawn out ever so slowly.

There are numerous flashbacks to Dury's younger days, and much of the story centres around his relationships with his wife, his son, his dad, his mistress (played by the very beautiful Naomie Harris), and somewhat surprisingly, Kirk Douglas as Spartacus. But given Ian Dury and the Blockheads' main claim to fame, there's not as much music as I would have expected.

That said, Andy Serkis shines throughout with a mesmerising performance. It's not just that he looks like Ian Dury, but he got the nuances of the man just right.

A must see film for any Blockheads out there. Whether others will enjoy it as much remains to be seen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong and believable performances, 4 Dec 2010
By 
Hywel James "Hywel James" (Devon, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll [DVD] (DVD)
Andy Serkis heads a great team of players in this movie about the much-missed Ian Dury. Bill Milner, in particular, who plays Ian's young son, more than holds his own among a cast of highly distinguished and distinctive actors, which is a tribute to the strength of his performance.

From the opening titles designed by Peter Blake the film has enormous impact and maintains a furious pace throughout and these features are key elements in conveying the personality of its subject and the effect he had on everyone around him - for good or ill.

Likewise the narrative sequence of the film is frequently interrupted and offers fragments of the story, rather like a mosaic, and this feature provides insights into the profoundly disturbing story of Ian Dury's upbringing and throws light on the driven nature of his creative gifts.

Altogether a fine tribute to a great musician.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Punk with Style, 24 Sep 2010
This review is from: Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll [DVD] (DVD)
Great music in a great movie - quite frightening at times, and really moving. Whoever would want to live with a rock star?

This film should have had much greater distribution - it's stunningly effective and, apparently, very honest
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like the 'BLOCKHEADS' this is a gem of a story !!, 26 Jun 2010
This review is from: Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll [DVD] (DVD)
As a serious look at the life and times of Ian dury and the blockheads you need go no further than this DVD.
Serkis is brilliant as Ian (including his singing) and is supported by great acting including Ray Winston as 'his old man'.
The film follows Ians progress as an entertainer very accurately from the late sixties up to his success of the late seventies/eighties. I'ts not a happy ever after or feel good movie and shows a darker side to Durys nature. contains very strong language......In fact it contains sex & drugs & rock & roll.Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll [DVD] [2009]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "one of few true originals of the English music scene", 26 May 2012
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll is the story of Ian Dury, legendary punk and lyricist who, together with his band The Blockheads, created some of the wittiest, most original songs to come out of Britain in recent decades. During his lifetime and to this day, Dury inspired admiration and hilarity, using his childhood experiences (including the polio that disabled him) and acute powers of observation to fashion a unique hybrid of rock 'n'roll and the musical hall. Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll follows the brave, irreverent Dury from early adversity to art school maverick, from doting father to unlikely international pop-star.
WHAT CAN I SAY?
whither you like or don't like the music of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, you have to admit Dury is a legend, the peoples poet in fact. Even if you're not into the music believe it or not you will still enjoy this film. It shows Ian growing up as a young boy with Polio, to his early days in music with the Kilburns and of course the Blockheads. The soundtrack to the film is obviously the Blockheads with Andy Serkis as Ian on vocals. Serkis pulls off an incredible performance as Ian,it is also career-defining performance from Andy Serkis...his BAFTA nomination was more than well-deserved. He literally inhabits this physically and emotionally demanding role. The film does not sugar-coat the fact the Dury was a hard man to be around. Superbly edited as well, combining graphics, animation, varying film-stocks and angles, B&W, flashbacks, and fantasy sequences as do all of the cast.There's some great Graphics linking the scenes together.also this film is about Dury as father and as a son with the relationship with Dury and his son, Baxter played brilliantly by Bill Milner (Son of Rambow) is the main thread of the movie. Initially reticent, Baxter becomes increasingly influenced by his rebellious father and follows suit. Again, like Dad, in response to the bullying and humiliation he faced at school.also as Dury
as son who loves his father played by Ray Winstone in flashbacks.growing up as a young boy, bullying at school by his class- mates and one particular teacher..this is a faithful film about a difficult person but he was an artist who contributed well to popular culture. and this film is a good tribute to a great artiste
Dury died of metastatic colorectal cancer on 27 March 2000, aged 57. in this film , Dury, if only for a moment, seemed to have become what he could never have been while alive: a national treasure. He escaped that dubious accolade because his persona, like many of his songs, was too rough and ready, too dark and edgy, to be truly subsumed into the nation's collective consciousness.He could be warm and witty... or cruel and obnoxious. But there was never any doubt he was a true artist
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of them is to be magnificent!, 23 Mar 2012
By 
This review is from: Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll [DVD] (DVD)
Im trying to review the film rather thn the person, which is quite a difficult act, so if I stray forgive me. The movie explores the complex world of Dury's relationship with his father and his son, his battle with polio and his absolute refusal to let it beat him, and his attitudes towards others in his life, including- especially- women. All this against a backdrop of some of the most boisterous, raucous and unfettered music seen or heard before or since.One of the things Ian Dury was certain of, and he was certain of a lot, was that he and the Blockheads were musically astonishing, and could play live like no one else.He was dead right.The playing in this film really gives it life, and along with a number of other factors raises this movie from the mudane biopic it could have been in the wrong hands, to a real crackler.
The period covered is mainly between the last embers of Kilburn and the High Roads, and the time following the Blockheads much deserved success.It is sad to think in a way that someone as unique and talented as Dury could have a heyday, but this movie can be said to cover that era.
Interwoven with details of his formative years, his relationship with polio, his father, school, and not afraid to show his intolerant, angry and selfish side, this attempts a fully rounded portrayal of a three dimensional human being. A character with wit, grit, an unstinting self belief, personality and talent, but also failings which manifested themselves with a real unpleasantness.
This fireball of contradictions was played by Andy Serkis, who became famous for not being a screen actor, but for providing the movement of Gollum and King Kong. It is often said that no-one else could play Dury, and I have to agree. He gets inside the character of the man, his mannerisms,his voice,even his walk in an incredible performance.He is utterly convincing in every way.(there is the occasional slip into Keith Allen, or even (gulp) Shane Ritchie as Alfie Moon but really, that is a minor quibble. He is BRILLIANT.)
The man himself of course was a wordsmith, a poet.As such he was exceptionally quoteable. Whether it was the right thing to do to shoehorn as many lyrics as possible into the script, or to try to fit every word of wisdom Dury was known to have uttered in there somehow is arguable.The scene at his ex wifes door where he is quoting the lyrics to "Reasons to be Cheerful" seems a little clunky.The "Spartacus" scene also spells things out a little too obviously. There is a small vignette when his ex lectures Dury about his sons behaviour ("He's been stealing. Porn" she says. The reply is "well, its not so bad, its part of growing up") Its lovely, and really subtle when you realise that this is a reference to "Razzle in My Pocket" a song Dury wrote about exactly that.
As a portrayal of the man, this film works hugely.As a portrayal of his life, well, I don't know, but I'm prepared to believe it does with a little embellishment.I like the way that outside influences such as punk just don't get a look in,like the subject himself its a very tightly focussed, almost selfish orbit the film moves in. As a way of getting into the music, or reminding yourself just how good it was, its pure gold.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Only Things I've Missed (in Life) are a Few Buses", 11 Feb 2012
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll [DVD] (DVD)
So surmises Andy Serkis, as punk poet extraordinaire, Ian Dury. How the most unlikely of popsters made it to the top despite crippling polio and how that both complicated and fuelled him as both a person and an 'entertainer' (as he describes himself). When I heard that this film was being made and Serkis was cast as the uniquely ambiguous Dury, I was both delighted and deeply satisfied. That Dury's legacy was to be laid out by 'Golem'. Not that we've seen a lot of Serkis, the actor, though his physical adaptability and no bulls**t, in-the-face approach bore well. And that in my mind, he would do proud the now late, rascally, lyrically dexterous Essex wide boy, Ian Dury.

I've been aware of the Blockhead's music rather than an avid fan but do at least own their greatest hits CD. I also really like my rock'n'roll biopics - from The Doors, 24 Hour Party People and Sid & Nancy. The more honest and frenetic the better. The ups and downs, the grime as well as the fame. That way, we can live for a couple of hours as the 'dream' but knowing as we do, the downsides. I like them a bit mysterious too, with symbolisms and dreams and druggy effects. That way, I tell myself, I don't have to actually do things that like myself, in 'real' life.

So, how does this fit in with those others? Surprisingly well - and better than more sedate reviewers had suggested. In depth, without being overlong, I know more about Dury, his psyche and his life - and I was entertained along the way. Which is about all one can ask for, really. Except, we get get some other great British acting talents adding colour and familiarity to the motley crew and the film's overall colourful tapestry.

Downsides - Yes. A couple. The oft cited film's lack of portraying the big time - 'Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick' stuck out like a sore thumb when it hit no 1 in the UK singles chart. (I remember it on BBC Radio 1's Sunday chart show at the time) More than a novelty song, it really was a breath of fresh air. That must have been on Top Of the Pops - it's certainly on YouTube now. The film should have shown that, at least.

In conclusion, Serkis is great (anyone else being unimaginable) as is the witty script, cast, period detail and most else. Whether a Blockhead fan or not, this film really adds to the line-up of decent music biopics. Like its subject, it's bitty and scarrelous but entertaining enough for most people who want to take a peek behind the scenes of one of music's most charismatic and misunderstood British heroes.
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Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll [DVD]
Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll [DVD] by Mat Whitecross (DVD - 2010)
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