More from Henry's Never Ending Stream of Contentiousness
Dave Id | Flagstaff, Arizona | 09/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Once again, Henry Rollins doesn't just get in your face, but he's all over it. His never ending stream of contentiousness is captured for an evening once again for his 2006 DVD. HenRoll's got some great stories that I could listen to him tell over and over, just like you would for a good buddy recanting the war stories from the good old days.
A lot of these spoken word/talking shows seem interchangeable to me, where if you like one, you'll like the next -- and I do like them. Not as many bonus features as "Up for It" had; but ironically, there was a featurette of cut clips from the Uncut performance... wha? Oh well, stuff like that just happens sometimes.
Jens Kaae Kapper | Denmark | 07/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This show is one of Henry's best so far. With the same gripping intensity and humor as "shock and awe" he delivers one sharp-edged obeservation after the other. With fire and intensity he has created a show worth remembering."
Toothless stand-up routine
K. Sullivan | Virginia - United States | 10/31/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This was my first Henry Rollins DVD and I was very interested in seeing it. I really thought it might be a powerful and challenging experience. When I think of Henry Rollins I envision an angry punk attitude and the articulate talking head on VH1 or some other channel. I assumed he was very intelligent and would level thought-provoking and challenging indictments at society at large. I was sorely let down.
First, one must rightly understand what spoken word means here. Naively, I thought it was going to be more artistic, more poetic, more depth (think Saul Williams, etc.). "Spoken word" apparently just means a stand up comedy routine without the laughs (though there were occasional funny bits). He shared a few stories about trips to Australia, Oklahoma City, and Russia. He talked about Wal-Mart, hunting, and squirrels. He naturally talked politics albeit briefly. But nothing was provocative. Nothing was worldview challenging or altering. He is truly articulate. He is charismatic. He seems likable however hard he tries to be "angry." He appears thoughtful. But there was no sting to what he was saying. I did not expect what he was saying to be so easily dismissed. There was nothing groundbreaking or insightful here.
A couple things bothered me slightly. Apparently, Henry really dislikes Wal-Mart (as some people do). He then shares with apology that he does shop there 20-30 times a year. He contends it is the only place his tour bus can get into and out of and it is the only place he can refill on water, etc. But, Henry, you simply cannot go to Wal-Mart for convenience sake without seeming a real hypocrite when in your act you suggest they are the personification of capitalist evil. Your tour bus can fit into other lots. He insultingly talks about Wal-Mart employees like they are the "walking dead", though they are the "salt of the earth" (I would have been mortified listening to him if I worked at Wal-Mart). At one point he claims they will not hire anyone unless they are young but he then recounts how this "septuagenarian" greeted him at 4:30 am (and knowingly indicates the audience has no doubt had similar experiences). Whereas one could argue this is not flat contradiction, it is certainly inconsistent and one would think someone of intelligence could spin a more internally consistent yarn. Finally, one of the salty employees was sharing how she and her husband had almost saved up enough for a washing machine. Henry claims that in such a circumstance where someone has worked so hard just to get a simple necessity, someone should just give it to them. He then acknowledges he did not. He suggested such an offer would be insulting. On the other hand, I could envision such an offer being a welcome blessing. He didn't even try. Seems to me Henry's idealism has not broken through into his actual life.
The other blatant letdown was as he recounted a story about a fellow passenger on an airplane who reported him to the authorities for reading "Jihad." Without ruining the story, he calls the guy a coward for not confronting him and asserts that he is going to recount this story every opportunity (interview, show, etc.). He suggests one day the passenger's friends will call the gentleman up and say Henry is "ripping him a new one" or some other similar expression. The problem is that his indictment was neither stinging nor much reproving. He says the guy was a coward and he would like to knee him in a private location. Is that really ripping someone a new one? Does he really think he has been so adroit? That is a real let down. I expected better.
As the camera occasionally scanned the audience, it felt as though I may have been looking into a mirror. Sure, there was some laughter on cue but there were a lot of uncertain stares. Maybe like me they hoped for something more."