Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Only the Strong Survive - A Celebration of Soul|
Actors: Wilson Pickett, Sam Moore, Mary Wilson, Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas
Directors: Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
One reviewer has called Only the Strong Survive "an American Buena Vista Social Club," and that's not a bad way to describe this entertaining 2002 documentary. It certainly has a righteous pedigree: co-directors D.A. Penne... more »
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Member Movie Reviews
Helen R. from CHICAGO, IL
Reviewed on 8/29/2009...
This is a great DVD that gives some of the history behind the great R&B acts who primarily recorded for STAX. Great interviews, great music clips, and lots of laughter and sweet memories. We gave it four stars because we learned a lot, and enjoyed it very much.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Great Live Performances, Not Great Documentary
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 04/27/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Let me say first that the performances themselves of the artists presented here are unianimously fantastic, and deserve repeated viewing. If you are a fan of soul music, and want to see the talented singers doing their great shows still somewhere before the excited audiences, this film is for you. And I really enjoyed the music part of the film.
Unfortunately, very few archive footages are used, and there is no James, Smokey, or Aretha. But the live performances (mainly from the year 1999-2000) are all wonderful. The artists recorded here include, Jerry Butler, The Chi-Lites, Isaac Hayes, Sam Moore, Ann Pebbles, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Wilson Pickett, and Mary Wilson. They all sing one song or two before the very lucky audiences.
But you may ask me, Why three stars. Oh, it's because of the directors, who do not show the due respect to the history of the soul music itself. D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus do not know which they want to make, documentary or live music recording. It seems (and probably is) that the crew only recorded whatever they can quickly, and put the footages together. How can they put Mary Wilson (ex-Supremes) and Isaac Hayes in the same film without explaining the history of the soul music? I don't see the point of putting them together except that they are both great artists.
Still some moments are very touching to see. Sam Moore reveals his painful past while he was selling illegal stuff on the street around 1973, and it's joyful to see Carla Thomas and Rufus Thomas having good time together.
As documentary 'Only the Strong Survive' is never informative. You see this movie, and your knowledge about this great music doesn't change. Still, the live performances from the recorded artists are all dynamic and thrilling. Though you might find Wilson Pickett, when off stage, a bit too talkative, his singing ('Land of 1000 Dances' and 'In the Midnight Hour') on the stage is really exciting even more than 30 years after they became the hits. Watch these great live acts, and enjoy them."
Songs for people with very short attention spans
Lance Ingraham | Tri Cities | 07/04/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"With just two exceptions, of the 15 GREAT, live, concert performances available to have been included in this production, all have been trimmed to about 30 seconds in length. For those of you who have attended a performance of James Brown any time in the last 20 years, it will remind you of his technique of trying to fit 6 hours of hit music into 90 minutes. The few measures of Wilson Pickett performing "Land of a Thousand Dances" and "In The Midnight Hour", Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave) singing "Soul Man", Isaac Hayes "Theme from Shaft" and finally "Don't Let Go" were all HUGE disappointments. Just as each song begins to move your mind, body and soul, it's over."
Soul Sister | Quebec, Canada | 02/25/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I would ordinarily give this DVD a 4 star review except for all the needless chit chat included in it. How wonderful to see Sam Moore performing again. Perhaps his voice is not the powerhouse it once was but his soul is screaming to entertain. Jerry Butler is still incredible as are most of the entertainers on this DVD. If you are a serious soul collector you need to have this. Sandy"