Tuesday, October 6, 2009

At fourteen, they made a pact to rock together forever. They meant it.

Hello fellow rock lovers I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

When you think of heavy metal what do you think of? Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax? Or maybe some of the new age metalists like Disturbed or Dragonforce? Well when I think of the essence of heavy metal I think of one thing: Canada...more specifically: ANVIL. Never heard of them? I dont blame you. Unless you live in Canada or went to every Bon Jovi and Scorpions concert ever in the late 70s early 80s you probably never heard of them. Which is a real shame.

Anvil became well known for its balls-to-the-wall over the top lyrics, as well as their amazing drummer (Robb Reiner...not the director although a bit ironic for my next sentance), they were like a more metal version of the fake band spinal tap. Crazy gimmicks, wicked costumes, and one controversial thing that brought a little media attention (Lips the main guitarist has been known to use a vibrator on stage to play his guitar). Anvil was actually the inspiration for Slayer and Metallica! But what happened to them?

Although they were playing with bands that would later become legendary Anvil had two major issues: The first was bad management. Their manager screwed them out of a few big labels. The second was the labels they were with. They shorted Anvil on the profits, didnt promote their albums and ultimately screwed over Anvil without even knowing. All in all they had made 12 albums with only one being semi successful.

But did that stop them? No. That is where this film comes. It IS a documentary but a lot of times you cant feel that in this film. It really feels like Spinal Tap with real people mixed with the story in The Wrestler. I mention the wrestler for one major reason, and that major reason is the overall theme of the movie: preserverance in the face of adversity. In the movie they are in their 50s. Working at catering buisnesses or construction sites by day they have a normal life. But at night, even if the pay sucks, they go out and play in front of a crowd of somewhere between 5-50 people. But they dont care, they love the music and they love the bond they share as a family.

The one between Lips and Robb is especially touching. Robb is very straight faced and logical while Lips is loud, obnoxious and emotional. Despite the extreme personality differences they are best friends and have been for 40 years. Theyve been through hell and back but stick it through, despite arguments and threats of leaving the band. You know why they dont leave? They need each other. And also because even at 50 they will not give up their dreams.

The movie is only an hour and a half and never at any point does it drag. If they dilly they cut to a dally. They refuse to stay in one spot longer than they have to. The movie is extremly deep and moving and like Murderball gives you hope for the future and also the message that if you never give up your dream, it will come true someday. And despite the skeptics, I really do believe that message to be true.

You owe it to yourselves to see this. If you like rock music, if you like comedy or if you like to see dreams come true than this is the movie for you. Its almost the perfect documentary. Almost. But its well worth watching.


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