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Beware of Mr. Baker [Blu-ray]

4.5 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Ginger Baker, Eric Clapton, Stewart Copeland
  • Directors: Jay Bulger
  • Format: Import, Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Curzon Film World
  • DVD Release Date: 22 July 2013
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CFL5598
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,944 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Ginger Baker is the mad, bad drummer best known for playing in Cream and Blind Faith. One of rock's most colourful characters, his reputation for drugs, violence and all forms of excess preceded him everywhere. This brand new documentary includes revealing interviews with Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Carlos Santana and more to paint a fascinating portrait of a musical icon.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I saw the film in the cinema and enjoyed it as a psychological insight into Mr Baker and as, what seemed to me to be, a really good piece of film making. Old footage was intelligently intercut with modern stuff. There was a good sense of his early life, musical influences and of his own music-making. I swung between liking and disliking Mr Baker as a person. His championing of black particularly African music and its exponents, who were often challenging the rulers of their own countries, contrasted with his polo playing with an exploitative African elite; a man of great contradictions. The most difficult bit for me re his personality was how badly he treated his wives and kids. He seemed to have been greatly under the influence of various substances for so long, which put him somewhere out there in hyperspace; and also under the influence of his only real true love - music. And yet despite his casual cruelty to family, aggression and rudeness I kind of liked the man.
There is a great deal of explicit swearing, so not suitable for young kids or anyone likely to be offended by this.
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Format: DVD
I was lucky enough to see the limited release in my local cinema yesterday, and I am still buzzing!
This is NOT easy viewing, and the 15 rating is to be taken seriously - if you want to show the kids your hero then let them see Cream's farewell concert or an Airforce DVD if you can get one.
I thought I knew a lot about Mr Baker, but I never knew he was bullied at school or is a polo fanatic (most of his money goes on buying stablefuls of polo ponies, apparently! (Probably should have read the book)
Don't be taken in by the list of "guests" - the real interviews are with Ginger's family, and especially his son.
If you want to join Ginger on the roller coaster of his amazing life, with some concert footage that I imagined had long since been lost, then you must buy this.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This documentary will not please those who hold in their heads a picture, image, impression of Baker as a simple & gifted uber cool drummer ................ take the time to let the messages sink in and what you get is a bully, a whimp, a misogynist and a very insecure man. Yes, without doubt he is perhaps the most gifted drummer to date - the line up of greats who sing his praises atest to his reputation. Bottom line - great drummer. total egocentric waster. Worth watching? Well, yes not least of which to remind us that genius is often blighted by stupidity.
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Format: DVD
Rock biopics aren't to everyone's taste, but I generally quite like them, and this one benefits from having as its subject a genuine rock legend about whom little is generally known and there is a real story to tell. Ginger Baker is best known as the wild-eyed, mad-haired, flame-bearded drummer with `60s supergroup Cream, but he has roamed the musical (and geographical) landscape before and since, leaving a heroin-tinged trail of destruction wherever he has gone, alienating pretty much the whole world in the process.

Documentary maker Jay Bulger himself has an interesting story to tell: of how he blagged his way into Ginger Baker's now necessarily reclusive world by posing as a journalist with Rolling Stone, thereby scoring an interview which he then ingeniously managed to get Rolling Stone to publish, launching his own rock career. In this film Bulger returns to Baker and, despite being tempted in early exchanges, manages to keep himself well out of the frame for most of the rest of the film.

What Bulger comes up with is a cleverly constructed biopic which pivots around a series of filmed interviews with Baker, now a frail old man with osteoarthritis, and more or less in penniless exile on a South African ranch. His eyes may be dim but Baker has lost none of his irrascibility - Bulger sustains a nasty bleeding nose at one point for suggesting he will be talking to former band mates - and is a magnetic subject.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An interesting study of a boorish, bullying, unattractive man, who was also a great drummer. In the film he claims that Phil Seaman, the great jazz drummer, introduced him to drugs, and they have clearly been his undoing. He is a rather sad character at the time of this film, isolated in South Africa, having spent the large amounts of money he has earned, full of anger and spite about almost everyone mentioned to him or by him.
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While the format of the film is a documentary which attempts to offer the facts at face value, the narration becomes more and more emotionally charged and it loses objectivity toward the end. Ginger Baker seems to surround himself by an air of menace wherever he goes and some interviewees are still in awe of his reputation. Musically, the DVD is a great discovery. I knew some parts of Baker's remarkable career - Cream and his work with Bill Laswell - and I was struck by the variety of his musical experience and his lifelong search to ascend to the Olympus of jazz drumming.I was amazed by the drumming contests that he organised with Art Blakey, Max Roach and others. This is the central theme of the film, Baker's insatiable search for recognition from those who he considered the top musicians around, which led him in his odyssey across continents. The fact that he left everyone behind - first family left on brink of bankruptcy, other wives left after a few years, no more contact with his son and heir apparent - is shown in the film as a proof of this obsession. This becomes the main theme presented by the director and I am not entirely sure that this is a correct view. I find this DVD engaging and interesting nevertheless, an excellent introduction to the complex life of this musician.
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