An honest, and real biography
Bt | Parts unknown | 02/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm glad I didn't let any negative review sway me from getting this disc. While the A&E biography is a "feel good" story of this legend, this disc is much more honest in it's portrayal of Johhny. They don't hide the fact that he had two sides, & W.C. Holland, & brother Tommy Cash recall with great detail what a fully human being the Man in Black really was. The narrator is fine, & the re-enactments are minimal, and needed to tell the types true stories that these wild boys went through. It doesn't take anything away from the story. The disc doesn't focus on his music so much (as there's no full songs presented), as on the man he was. That's ok; I have enough of John's music to compensate for that. I love the guy even more now then before. No sugar coating; just like Johnny would've wanted it."
A great product!
F. Endre | 11/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A really great biography with loads of info and dramatization of several events in Johnny's life. Good interviews with Fluke Holland, the drummer and Tommy Cash, the brother. For me, the most interesting parts are from the TV show 'This is Your Life'. It's a real MUST for a Cash-collector. You'll love it as I do."
Mark Adams | Redwood Estates, CA United States | 01/25/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is the most horrible documentary I've ever watched. The narrator's tone is dreadful (sounds as if the DVD were made for children) and the re-enactments are torturous. There are some high points, snips of interviews from Johnny and others, but there is very little performance, beyond what I assume would be "fair use." Further, this DVD really doesn't add anything, nor does it shed any new light on Johnny Cash. The A&E Biography DVD is far more enriching.
Edit: I feel I really need to protect people from this product. First, many of the interviews are found on other products. Second, the packaging is painfully misleading. It suggests it has never-released concert footage of the Nixon concert. I couldn't find it apart from a few seconds of footage. Third, it's just plain boring. I've read the biographies, I'm not looking for a feel-good documentary, but I'm also not looking for a get-bored documentary. If you're just going to repeat what others have said, what's the point. If I could give it zero stars, I would."
There are better...
Frank C. Zimmerman | Creston, BC | 01/22/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If I had not seen any other video's on Johnny's life, this one would have held more interest, as it does a reasonable job of going through the details of his musical career. However, a lot of time is spent dwelling on his prescription drug problem, and the hotel room violence that he sometimes practiced on the road (undoubtedly largely due to the influence of the drugs plus the stress of the road life).
I had to ask myself if it was really necessary to do theatrical "mock-ups" of Johnny smashing a hole in a hotel room wall, or throwing a TV set out the window? Okay, so he did those things, but a lot of film time is wasted dramatizing these events that could have been spent on the more relevant parts of his life.
Just before watching this video, I watched the BBC TV production of "Johnny Cash - The Last Great American" and came away from that viewing inspired by the man, regardless of the weaknessess. "Unauthorized Life," by comparison, was a let-down. If I might compare just a few things between these two, which I'll refer to as LGA and UL:
1. LGA had more reviews from people who knew him (especially his daughter, Rosanne Cash), and other music contemporaries, such as Kris Kristofferson and Elvis Costello.
2. LGA had more details about Cash's identification with the underdog, such as the native Indians, and the prison inmates.
3. LGA had more snippets of concert footage.
4. LGA had more details about the last 10 or so years of Johnny's life, during the time that he worked with Rick Rubin...which is very interesting, especially Johnny's appearance at Johnny Depp's club, the Viper Room, which opened up before him a whole new audience of today's generation of youth.
On the other hand, UL did have some interesting details about Johnny's early life in the military, but other than that, I wouldn't have missed much by not seeing it.
I would say this: if you can get the BBC production "Last Great American", go for that one instead (although I could only find it on the torrent sites at the moment). Otherwise, you could get Unauthorized Life as a "second best" (or if you're a Johnny Cash fan who just has to have everything that was ever done about him) but just remember there are far better film biographies out there.