Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Slade in Flame|
Actors: Don Powell, Jim Lea, Noddy Holder, Dave Hill, Tom Conti
Director: Richard Loncraine
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Studio: Sony Music Release Date: 03/23/2004 Run time: 86 minutes Rating: Nr
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"8 Mile" is "Flame's" Love Child.
John J. Baker | New York, NY United States | 12/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having only heard Slade's standards "Cum On Feel the Noize," and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now," someone had taken a real gamble giving "Flame" to me as a Solstice gift. But she knew about my taste for, in her words: "A load of ugly f*ckers from the seventies who play good, loud music." I gave it a viewing once, then twice, then three times...
My verdict: "Flame" is good, raunchy fun. I got a good laugh watching the prologue featuring the group as a middling wedding band. I became entranced with the opening track, the wistful "How Does it Feel?" By the time the wedding band got in a row with rival band The Undertakers, I was sold.
I'm not at all surprised that "Flame" and Eminem's "8 Mile" follow the same "fortune, glory and ill-gotten gains" formula. What surprises me is that two films dealing with two disparate genres, two different neighborhoods, and two different subcultures took said formula and became gritty, offbeat masterpieces. Noddy's "Stoker" and Em's "B. Rabbit" are both rough, gritty and driven characters with endearing character quirks. Jim Lea, the Mehki Pfieffer of this earlier film is the perfect foil for Noddy as the partner in crime who occasionally butts heads with his mate. And the shootout at the Thames Estuary pirate radio station is every bit as surprising and hilarious as when "Cheddar Bob" shot himself in the bollocks in the Eminem vehicle.
Enough comparisons, on with the story. After the wedding band ditches their slobby frontman Jack Daniels (Alan Lake) in favor of ex-Undertaker Stoker, and in turn get ditched by their shifty Gangland manager Ron Harding (Johnny Shannon), they are quickly snapped up by two stuffy corporate opportunists played with cold deviousness by British All-Star Tom Conti and Kenneth Colley (known to Star Wars fans far and wide as Admiral Piett!) Conti and Piett-- erm, Colley repackage the quartet as "Flame", who spends their 15 minutes of fame conquering the UK. Just as they plan to invade the States, Gangster Ron and Jack Daniels (paging Wink from 8 Mile!) conspire to wrangle their share of the profits, and the phenomenon. What ensues is a duel of words and muscle between Blue Collar Gangsters and White Collar Suits as "Flame" crash, burn, and prepare to fizzle out.
The members of Slade hold their own alongside Conti and Admiral-- ah, Colley, most especially Noddy and Jim. Don Powell's charming performance as the shy, down-to-earth drummer is made all the more poignant due to the fact that he suffered from memory retention lapses in real life. Dave Hill is the resident comic relief as he looks up women's skirts and bolts Noddy/Stoker into his casket during the Undertaker gig. For all the world Dave Hill looks like a bucktoothed Davy Jones.
It's astonishing to see how many of the performers - along with the writer and director - saw their careers take flight after this obscure, yet surprisingly well executed film.
A minor greivance: Good as I am with picking up British accents (A damn sight better than most Yanks,) it would have helped to have some caption option on the DVD to keep up with the North England accents.
As for extras, the DVD boasts a lovely 50 minute interview with "sing-guh" Noddy Holder, circa 2002. With his wild grey curls, the aged Noddy looks like a cross between "Doctor Who's" Tom Baker and Gareth Thomas from "Blake's 7!" ;-)
I proudly place this music gem in my DVD library next to "24 Hour Party People," "Hedwig," and "Pink Floyd - The Wall.""
Them Monkeys Can Swing!
R. Pettie | OWINGS MILLS, MARYLAND United States | 05/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is strictly a Slade fan collectible. The DVD itself has some problems ie. sound, picture grainy at points. BUT - for the true Slade fan look past this! The story of two bands competing with each other and then becoming what is Slade is truly entertaining (the premise is that the story while fiction is loosely based on fact). The Noddy interview is worth the price of the DVD alone. SLADE ROCKS - FOREVER!!!!!!"