Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Anvil The Story of Anvil|
Actors: Robb Reiner, Steve 'Lips' Kudlow, Tiziana Arrigoni, Kevin Goocher, Glenn Gyorffy
Director: Sacha Gervasi
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
AT 14, THEY MADE A PACT TO ROCK TOGETHER FOREVER. THEY MEANT IT.
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Anvil: The Band That Didn't Make It, But Should...
Jym Cherry | Wheaton, IL United States | 10/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Story of Anvil is a Rock 'n' Roll cautionary tale for those of us living out our Rock 'n' Roll dreams. You can be an innovative band, have the respect of your peers, and have the same access to fans but still not make it into big time Rock 'n' Roll. The story of Anvil is also a story of hope, friendship and following your artistic vision to create something that not only do you like but will be there after you're gone.
Anvil is a Heavy Metal band created by childhood friends Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner. They've been together as a band for almost 30 years and while bassists have come and gone they still share a dream to make it to the big time. Their belief in themselves isn't unrealistic, as proved by interviews by such Heavy Metal luminaries as Lars Ullrich, Lemmy (from Motorhead), and Slash attest to. They credit Anvil with being Heavy Metal innovators not only in their music such as songs like Metal On Metal, which Ullrich says other bands used and borrowed without ever looking back, but in stage appearance such as Lips early penchant for wearing bondage outfits onstage, and using dildos as a guitar slide.
There is a pathos present too. As the band embarks on a European tour that was managed by an amateur promoter, they played bars where the band almost out number the patrons, or a bar owner that tries to rip them off. There's also the family and friends who are shown and they understand and support the dreams and ambitions of Reiner and Kudlow. A sister of Kudlow going so far as to front money for Anvil to record with Heavy Metal producer Chris Tsangarides (Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy).
Why didn't Anvil make it? The movie isn't about that, although, Lips and Robb wrestle with it a little. Lips seems to think it's because in 25 years of Rock `n' Roll they never had good management. Another reason that might explain why they didn't make it goes uncommented on by either the filmmaker or the band themselves. It may be the reason they didn't rise in the Rock `n' Roll world is the band members themselves. During a recording session, which they shelled out 13,000 pounds to producer Chris Tsangarides and for reasons not clear at first, Lips blows up at Reiner and even goes so far as to say Reiner is "fired." After an impromptu therapy session run by Tsangarides, Lips and Reiner make up. How much of this played into their not making it to the big time? The movie doesn't delve into that aspect at all, and keeps the focus on their struggles of the present.
Some reviewers and critics argue that Anvil just wasn't as good as other bands they were contemporaries with, such as The Scorpions, Bon Jovi, Metallica. I'm not much of an expert on Heavy Metal but both in the vintage footage of them playing in Japan and in hearing songs off their new album This Is Thirteen they sound as good as any other band in the oeuvre. Their music has moments where the music has something of interest, but my only complaint is the same I have for any other Heavy/Speed Metal band, is they blow past those moments too fast looking for the next interesting phrase.
The movie seems to elicit Spinal Tap comparisons. Maybe it's because the format resembles Spinal Tap so much. We can't leave out the coincidence that the drummer and founding member of Anvil is Robb Reiner. But there are some Spinal Tap moments in the movie such as when the band is recording and the producer turns up a volume control that you quite clearly can see goes to 11! There is also Reiner's painting of a giant anvil in the middle of a park. Other paintings of his are quite good, reminiscent of Edward Hooper. There are moments the band itself seems cognizant of being like Spinal Tap, such as when the band is being lead to the stage and Lips is delivering a monologue about them being lost backstage.
One question I asked myself while watching this movie is, it's very cool to have all those heavy hitting, heavy metal rockers saying how cool and innovative Anvil is, but couldn't they ask Anvil to open for them? That might get them the exposure they need. Hopefully, this film will bring Anvil a larger audience."
Great documentary! Must-see for even non-metal fans!
C. E. Hoskins | Ellicott City, MD United States | 08/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was great, my boyfriend is a big fan of theirs and he showed me a YouTube clip of the movie. The clip almost brought me to tears, these guys really are endearing, so we went to see the movie and it was GREAT! You see their high's and lows (mostly lows!), and you're rooting for them throughout the whole movie. The band was big in the 80s' when metal was real popular. Then once the metal craze died down things started going sour for them...they had to get "real" jobs but they still had thier dream of playing in front of huge crowds. The ending was great (and fairly predictable!) but you really do grow fond of the guys in the group because they are trying SO HARD to make it again in the music industy. The bond between Lips and Rob is a true testament to friendship and it's a huge part of the movie. Rock on Anvil! You've got a new fan!
Never Give Up
Daniel A. Modell | 01/05/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anvil: the Story of Anvil chronicles the journey of the band from near fame to near obscurity and back again in the unyielding pursuit of a dream. The band battles through a series of uproariously funny events, maddeningly frustrating encounters, and, finally, agonizingly poignant exchanges. Their story, expressed in the crunch of distorted guitars, the abandon of the stage and the rebelliousness of leather and long hair will excite a very pleasant nostalgia for those steeped in the ethos of 80's metal music. But the incomparable glory of this documentary is that, in the deepest sense, it is not about music at all. Music is simply the means through which deeper themes are voiced. In the end, The Story of Anvil is about loyalty, friendship and perseverence: the single-minded perseverance to follow your deepest aspirations, unbowed, in the teeth of any and all opposition."
You don't have be a metal fan to love this story
M. Sady | Krakow, Poland | 08/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't say enough about just how much I enjoyed this film. I wasn't an Anvil fan before, but I sure as hell am now. This is a story about how two friends started a band and would absolutely not take "no" for an answer until they made their dreams come true. A concert "festival" promised to have "thousands" of fans draws fewer than 200? An almost 1:1 ratio of band members to audience members at a club show? Nothing is enough to discourage these guys to keep rocking and the life lessons for everyone are clear and touching as they maintain the attitude and the desire to keep it all going. Back in the 80's they inspired bands like Metallica, Slayer and others & they will inspire you to keep focused on your dreams no matter what bumps you might face along the road. You can't help but cheer them on & the ending is....well, just watch it yourself"