Axl Rose - The Prettiest Star is the first ever documentary to reveal the true story of Axls life and career, from his earliest days growing up in Lafayette, Indiana, through his escape from abuse and neglect via music and... more » onto his incredible success with« less
It has high highs, low lows, and (surprisingly) I recommend
Jessica Lux | Rosamond, CA | 06/27/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I rented this movie fully planning to write a scathing review of it. As a two-decade fan of Guns N' Roses, I have been absolutely disgusted at the recent releases of books and "documentaries" which have absolutely no new information about the band, and just regurgitate already-published facts. As a fan for about 75% of my lifetime, I am as qualified, if not more, than many of the hangers-on who are quoted in these dreadful books. Many of the books have egregious typos and terrible editing, and I have Spotlight 1-star reviews on several of them, so I rented this film planning to bash it.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that it had redeeming qualities! This is not a GNR concert DVD, and anyone who buys it as such will be disappointed. The GNR Behind the Music episode is outstanding as the true, objective story of the band. Unfortunately, since Axl owns the rights to the GNR name and disputes the generally-accepted truth about the band, I doubt it will ever come out on DVD. Fans are left, therefore, with unauthorized stories by producers who will NEVER get the rights to GNR music or footage. Do not buy this DVD planning to see GNR footage. Go buy Live in Tokyo if you want to watch GNR concerts.
DO buy this DVD if you are a hardcore fan who has read the other publications, the trade magazine interviews, and followed the scene. This is not definitive source, but it is an excellent companion to the other official GNR releases. It is not without its failings, however.
First, The Lows: The documentary interviews some very dubious sources, such as a random guy named Gizmo Martinez whose only credit is "Scenester." Vicky Hamilton is touted as the "ex" band manager, when in reality she was a scenester who let the band crash at her house, and she never had management duties when they were with a label. A disproportionate amount of time is spent on the formation of GNR, and the years 1987 through 1993 are zipped through, in comparison. The film claims one version of the GNR evolution and tells it very convincingly; however, published interviews with the actual band members have proven that there are several versions of the events, and there is no generally accepted consensus on the precise details of the genesis of GNR.
There are also The Highs: This documentary offers some outstanding commentary from music industry experts who lived through the GNR era. Journalists Bernard Baur and Malcolm Dome are not household names, but they provide insightful expert commentary on the history of the band, including comments on the Geffen releases schedule (ballads vs. rock songs), the Donnington incident, the relationship between Axl and Izzy, and more. Roadie interviews about life with the band are absolutely priceless.
Bottom line: pair this with the GNR official releases (albums, Live in Yokyo DVD, Welcome to the Videos DVD), with the Mick Wall biography, with VH1's Behind The Music, and with the Wikipedia article, and you've got some terrific insight into the band. There is new material, in the form of interviews, in this DVD, but it is not an Axl biography. "
Cheap hack video
Heather E. Ogilvie | Chicago, IL USA | 10/10/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This starts out by saying that none of this has been authorized by Axl (of course) and that no Guns N Roses music is used in it. The music is cheesy as is the entire video. It's almost painful to sit through. It mostly consists of interviews with Hollywood has-beens including one guy that is labeled "scenester". Definitely don't buy this unless you're a super hard-core collector or fan that just insists on having everything. A couple of shots of Axl that I hadn't seen, but probably not worth the dough."
A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT
DANDT | L.A. | 04/04/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I thought this would be more of a documentary of Axl and the band, especially, doing performances, which is what I really hoped for because they were my all-time favorite '80's rock band, and Axl was the BOMB!....but the movie was just about several peripheral people, managers etc, in interviews giving their accounts and opinions of Axl, etc. Only 1 very short, poorly shot scene of Axl on stage, and 1 short clip of him on the plane with Stephanie, but otherwise, really NO SHOTS OF AXL or the band ANYWHERE! This was a terrible disappointment. Really deserved NO stars!"
Heard it all before.
Rachel Sohrabi | VT | 08/19/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Apart from the last five minutes at the end of the 'film' portion, not much is said about Axl's personality or who he really is. This DVD mostly focuses on the creation of Guns N' Roses and the LA club scene in the early 80's. It barely even touches on Axl's childhood and the only credible person interviewed is Robert John. Vh1's Behind the Music is practically a biography compared to this DVD. The narrator's voice is annoying and since the DVD's unauthorized, there's no GN'R music playing during the documentary. Erin Everly is mentioned only once and not in relation to Sweet Child O' Mine. As for the "behind the scenes footage", there's mostly performance shots with a few seconds of Axl on a plane or in a hallway. The actual number of images of Axl or GN'R pale in comparison to how many minutes you spend watching the interviews. Honestly, anyone who's visited [...] and read some of the articles would know more about Axl than what's found on this DVD. Nothing new here, nothing special. Except maybe for the bootlegs but personally I don't they're worth it. You want to hear Axl talk about himself in his own words? Go to the site I mentioned and look for Axl Rose: The Rolling Stone Interview. I'm giving this DVD two stars because even though it's quite trivial, it still helps to keep the memory of Axl Rose alive. Every little bit helps."
Totally bizarre title?!?! What's up w/ that?!?!
jyl_renee | Michigan | 03/04/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's an ok DVD but much redundant information. It could be read in any biography in a fraction of the time. Not nearly enough footage of AXL, lots of the same footage, which resulted in a fairly boring video. The lack of GNR music helped contribute to the boredom factor. Every time a pivotal moment was discussed, I kept expecting GNR's music to come blasting on, further illuminating the scene. Oh well...The VH1 special ("Behind the Music", I think) on the boys was much better (much cooler footage). Too many people talking...Anyway, I watched the UYI2 DVD right after, and remembered why I fell in love w/ them in the first place. Psychoanalysis we don't need as much as Axl being Axl on the stage."