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Captain Beefheart: Under Review
Captain Beefheart Under Review
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
NR     2006     1hr 55min

Captain Beefheart - Under Review is a two hour documentary film tracing the roots and history of this iconic musical legend. It features rare live and studio performances of Beefheart, interspersed with contributions from...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Documentary
Studio: Sexy Intellectual
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/25/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 55min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A Waste of Money
Sherringford Clark | Mayor's Income, Tennessee | 04/29/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD was quite disappointing. None of the musical footage is presented in its entirety, and sometimes people are talking over the music. Also, even though a good number of Magic Band members are interviewed and a good number of anecdotes are provided, the interviews frequently contain such insights as, "It did what it did" (Elliot Ingber commenting on "Alice in Blunderland" solo).
In addition, the manner of interviewing people is really tacky: John French on a telephone in a tree, Eric Drew Feldman in a toy truck, Elliot Ingber in a parked car, Gary Lucas in bed with some weird blue nightlight. This method of marketing the Magic Band as freaks just detracts from the content of the interviews. Overall, the production is gimmicky, with annoying graphics for each band member that go on far too long. The opening image is just so tasteless, and really says it all about this DVD: the Captain's voice issuing from a doll's head.
Yet, the biggest problem is that there is simply too much talking and too little music. I found the DVD to be actually kind of boring, with many of the interview segments going on far too long.
So, I wouldn't advise anyone to buy this film, but rather to seek out a bootleg copy of the vastly superior BBC documentary "The Artist Formerly Known as Captain Beefheart" as well as a bootleg disc of actual live footage of the Captain and his Magic Bands."
Still Never Before Available
Raven Shaddock | USA | 04/30/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"You know, I got this DVD thinking maybe I'll get to see some "rare musical performances never before available on DVD" as they printed on the back cover. They only play a piece of these videos. So if you are looking to see some footage of the band performing at least 1 song in it's entirety this isn't the one for you. I did enjoy the interviews w/ past band members and their insight to the songs and albums. I only wish if they couldn't get Beefheart himself for an interview couldn't they find some old footage of him talking about some of these great albums.
This isn't a DVD that I will play often. It's a shame. I think the Captain would be disappointed w/ the DVD."
This is a decent documentary, not a collection of videos or
KV Trout | Los Angeles, CA USA | 10/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Most of the complaints among reviewers here are that the performances are not long enough. Well, this is a documentary, folks, and that is the way documentaries are made. Documentaries almost never contain complete performances, go watch some and see for yourself.

This is a relatively low budget documentary about a guy who is surrounded in controversy, who would not cooperate in the making of it, and whose bandmembers also did not all participate. So getting footage was not easy and getting interviews and info was limited. Combine that with the low budget, and I think the documentary makers did a very good job here!

First of all, unless you are a hard-core collector, this dvd has quite a bit of rare footage, and a lot of info and opinions I had not heard before.

It moves well, you don't get bored because they include snippets of music every so often, and yes, that is what music is for in a documentary. Okay, I agree, they could have left some of the performances a little longer, but for me it was about the Information, not the music. I have enough Beefheart music in my collection. This is a good overview of Beefheart and his rise to fame and his going into (intentional) obsurity.

I am one of the world's original Beefheart fans, having bought Trout Mask the day it came out, (okay, I know some of you were around since Safe As Milk, but still, Trout is early...), and I consider him one of the world's living musical geniuses.

I enjoyed this documentary and am glad I bought it. It's all we have unless someone comes along with more money to spend on one, and gets Don's cooperation. Unlikely.

Some day you will see a documentary about Don Van Vliet, the PAINTER, as his fame and respect in the art world grows. Chances are it won't be until after he dies. So enjoy this for now.

Meanwhile, go to youtube and beefheart dot com and find all kinds of rare footage and music."
Not as Bad as Some Say, But Could've Been Better
Brian J. Greene | Durham, NC | 08/31/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"What keeps this from being a great documentary is simply some poor editing decisions. Throughout the almost two hours-long program, the viewer is teased by scenes of Capt. Beefheart and His Magic Band performing - odd promos, concert snippets, and TV performances from the A&M Sessions/Safe as Milk era, all the way to Ice Cream for Crow time. But every time one of these cool-looking clips appears on the screen, and just as you're settling in to enjoy it, someone starts talking over it and the camera cuts away to an interview segment. Ouch. But the interviews themselves are quite enjoyable. Various members of the Magic Band, Beefheart's biographer, music journalists Alan Clayson and Nigel Williamson, et al, all offer interesting insights into the career of the Captain. The musicians are upfront in describing both how wonderful and how impossible it could be to work with Beefheart, the analysts don't mind telling you awful they thought some of the records were, while also wildly praising some of the other records. If the performances had been left to play through, and had there been just a little less talk, I would be giving this 5 stars. I'm not sorry I bought it, but boy do I wish I could see some of those performances in full."