Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
59
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£3.94+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 10 May 2009
The previous reviews were excellent, especially in discussing the conflicts that arise in Anvil.

I admire Spinal Tap for how the situations, characters and most of all the music actually pay homage to the whole rock genre it so archly satirises. I approached Anvil suspecting it would be a diluted version of the original spoof, maybe even playing on the heavy metal clichés for cheap laughs, but that's not the case. Although Anvil initially promises to expose the failed dreams of two ageing and deluded rock musicians - and there are many uncomfortable and hilarious scenes - by the end of the film you only want success and recognition for them. Their passion, optimism and friendship deserve nothing less.

Beyond the human journey, the documentary is so well crafted, for example, the cohesion of the Japan angle, the understated meetings with other rock musicians and the suspense of the ending. I actually had a tear in my eye on several occasions such as when Lipps' wife is interviewed, but I think these aspects were made more poignant by the exquisitely excruciating Spinal Tap sequences - look out for the rendition of Thumb Hang, the `I'll tell you in one, no two, no three words' conversation, and the textured toilet painting.

I'm not a heavy metal fan but it's difficult to be cynical about these people or the music; this film is so admirable and life-affirming - it's just great.
0Comment| 60 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 April 2009
This is a brilliant, moving documentary that is one of the highlights of the movie year. It was in turns hilarious (like when Lips starts on one of his rambles!), heart-breaking (the empty European basements the band plays in) and heart-warming (the brilliant ending in particular).

Although Lips can be a bit of a klutz and Reiner can be a bit pessimistic (with some justification given their years without major success), together they are brilliant characters and totally likeable. Their long-lasting friendship is really moving as are the scenes when, recording in the UK, they momentarily split up the band in a moment of acrimony only to patch it up soon thereafter. Lips wears his heart on his sleeve and his honesty and lack of pretention is very welcome given the music industry is full of divas. This is simply the tale of honest, hard-working friends trying to live their dream and sacrificing nearly everything to fulfill it. The scene where Lips tries his hand at hard-pressure telesales to fund the band and can't bring himself to lower his moral principles was wonderfully touching. I was really rooting for them both and the band throughout and only the hardest-of-hearts wouldn't want to see their dreams realised and for them to be successful.

Even if you don't like heavy metal and have never seen This Is Spinal Tap, this is really worth seeing. Yet more proof that, in recent years, documentaries are outshining mainstream Hollywood.
0Comment| 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 March 2009
More than any film that I've seen in a while, this documentary stirred up a wide range of emotions in me, and at times I wasn't quite sure what to feel.

Let me first say up front that this is a great film which I really liked, and is well worth checking out whether you're into heavy metal music or not. Hence one of the many emotions referred to was laughter! As you may have heard, the film is at times hilarious in a "you couldn't make this up" sort of way (apparently some people mistake it for a Spinal Tap style mockumentary, and you can see why - a confusion that isn't helped by the drummer's name being Robb Reiner!). It has some classic lines and situations, and is very watchable. Certainly a film that you can enjoy watching either on your own or in a group.

My conflict came when I tried to work out what to feel towards these aging, passionate musicians. We're often told by inspirational books and films to "follow our dreams" - as a feel good message to motivate us to make the most of our lives. So what are we to make of this band that refuses to give up their art, in the face of obscurity and indifference, and despite the strain that this puts on the rest of their lives? Maybe this depends on what you personally feel about their music: to me they seemed out of touch and out of time...no more than a relic, and oblivious to the fact that they are no longer relevant, or indeed that even if they were still relevant it is hard to get your money back from making an album in this digital download age, or from touring when they've been replaced by younger bands that the kids can relate to. At times you are left with the uncomfortable feeling that they are being exploited.

But right there is the twist and the contradiction that leaves me confused! Because it is as a direct result of their refusal to give up or face the facts of their situation that has resulted in this film being made about them, which has in turn led to them getting a second bite of fame. And it wouldn't surprise me now if they HAVE made money on their album as a result of their new found fame, even though that seemed inconceivable during the film as they desperately tried to find a record label who thought it would be worth releasing. And if this is true, then take nothing away from them...they deserve it!

So many contradictions. Should I pity these guys and feel sad for them and their broken dreams...or admire them for their boundless enthusiasm and refusal to accept life's limitations, and feel happy for them that in some strange way it now seems to have paid off!? Well, I'm certain that in the wake of the film they have no regrets, and feel in some way vindicated, so hats off to them. For the rest of us, I guess all we can do is sit back and enjoy the ride.

In summary, a fascinating and enjoyable documentary, which I recommend.
0Comment| 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 June 2009
Like other people I suspect, I felt split down the middle - funny as hell, and heart wrenching in equal measures.

I'd heard of the band, and probably heard one or two tracks over the years, but they never entered my life as such. Probably indicative of their story really, never getting that 'killer' tune, or getting the breaks. In the 80s I was into mainstream rock, and saw the occasional poster with their name on it, but never batted an eyelid really.

This DVD could be their triumph, and only now can these boys possibly consider that their break has come. It takes you through all aspects of their life; the home drudge, the failed tour, the arguments and the stab at a killer album which would change their world. Lips is as vivid a character as you'll ever come across; never quite aloof enough to become a metal legend...he's more of the bloke around the corner who's in a band. His passion rages at times, and it was this that got me. Being the same age as these guys, and also being in a band, and also having dreams in my teens....a lot of what they said and showed hit it home to me what I was like.

I throughly recommend this DVD to anyone. It's ending is sublime. Just when you thought the band would get lost backstage (a la Tap) they entered the arena expecting 15 people there, and it wasn't quite like that. Boys, this is your legacy! Fame didn't come quite as you'd wanted it to, but whoever suggested making a DVD of your struggles and dreams, was a genius. This is a sublime piece of documentary.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 25 August 2011
I'm not a heavy metal fan, in fact some heavy metal fans frighten me but this is way beyond the music. A heartfelt true story of two musicians still trying to make the big time after about 30 years and their passion for playing their music to people and their faith in themselves. This should be manadatory viewing for all X-Factor and similar show hopefuls because this is the reality of trying to make it in the music business.

I love the film, the DVD is well worth buying as it not only has the director's commentary but also the bands commentary separately. My wife also likes it very much, the characters are very engaging and extremely likable, I think it should appeal to a wide audience. If I had to find fault which is very difficult, I would say that the band's music shown in the film is not fully representative of what Anvil does, I have since listened to other tracks and would categorise them more as a heavy rock band than heavy metal, some of the tracks are very melodic and Lips is a very accomplished lead guitarist which doesn't come over so much in the film, no doubt becuae of time limitations and the fact that their fanbase is heavy metal orientated.

I highly recommend this, I even bought the t-shirts !
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 May 2011
Utterly entertaining , whether you listen to rock music or not . And the last few minutes of the film will lift you from your grey world . Just avoid the extras - they make you forget ( slightly ) how great the film is .
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I first came across this film late one night on TV and thought it was hysterical, seeing a rock band tour dismal venues, playing to less than a handful of people, managed ineptly and apparently missing every train on which they were booked to travel. Initially the film continues in this vein, but then an incredible warmth begins to show itself.

This isn't a spoof - Anvil are a real band, still together despite the odds, and the two main members clearly share a deep love for one another, almost like brothers. In the film we see them bicker, then argue, then leave the band before returning in tears minutes later and all is well again. They share an incredible sense of belief that one day they will be truly huge, and we see them travel from record label to record label, handing over promo CDs of their new album which are hastily dismissed, before deciding to sell them themselves. We meet their families, many of whom seem to feel Anvil are wasting their time, yet they support their loved ones in their dreams. It's actually a very emotional film, about rock music, brotherhood, and belief, and if the ending doesn't make you grin from ear to ear you have a heart of stone.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 August 2011
Great documentary about the most loveable bunch of "losers" on the planet - ahh - but losers they most certainly are not - the film is brilliant, their music career has had HRT and everybody loves them whether they like the music or not - good on ya fellas and keep on rockin'.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 April 2014
Not a big metal fan, but I loved this documentary about 'Where are they now?' rock band Anvil. Perhaps the hard truth is that they'll never recapture the 15 minutes of fame they had in the early '80s and aren't going to conquer the world, but you've got to admire them for keeping the dream alive rather than just accepting the mundane drudgery of their post-rock careers. Really got to like the two main protagonists and best friends, lead singer Lips (Steve Kudlow) and drummer Rob Reinner. Touching accounts of their family lives too, which are expanded upon in the additional DVD material as 'deleted scenes'. You don't have to be a metal fan to enjoy this documentary, in fact you could even hate it and still find something in this film. Great stuff! If you haven't seen it, rectify this state of affairs now!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 February 2010
Watching the journey of Anvil's life you kind of get a taste of their crazy marathon quest for stardom. And i loved it! From the dingy european bars to the making of 13, there's never a moment you dont want them to triumph. Success, however seems against all odds and even though they once rocked with the rock elite life has dealt them a different hand. At 50 you can argue Anvil's destiny has been mapped out! Or has it!?! This movie is really excellent and worth the time spent watching it - let Anvil take you on their rock train! You wont regret it!
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse