Friday, April 04, 2008

Shine a Light and Leatherheads

A few nights ago, we all got tickets to see an advanced screening of Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones documentary at an IMAX theatre.

It was amazing, but to call it a documentary is something of a misnomer. True, it has documentary elements to it, perhaps 20 minutes of fantastic archive footage, but this really is a concert film.

But what a concert film!

The Rolling Stones have been a rock and roll mainstay for as long as I've lived doubled and to see them on a screen four stories high, I assumed that their age would show. I'm so glad that assumption was laid quickly to rest.

The performance of the Rolling Stones hasn't aged a day.

This film proves without a doubt that the Rolling Stones deserve their long careers as rock stars, no questions asked. And each member of the band was given his time in the spotlight, both in the archive footage and on the stage. Aside from Mick Jagger, who has always been and probably always will be the most energetic member of the group, it was amazing to see Keith Richards step into the spotlight. It doesn't look as though time has been kind to him, but when the he steps into the spotlight it's like he's a different person.

The sound and image were so good that I felt like I was part of the crowd. So much so that I felt like the people behind me were clapping. Also, I strongly desired a beer.

My only complaint about the film? I wish there was more of the documentary interludes. In a 2 hour film, we got 1 hour and 40 minutes of concert and 20 minutes of documentary and I would have liked to see that evened out a little bit more.

But how can I complain? I watched an amazing Stones performance that's probably the closest thing I'll ever get to seeing them live... Unless they tour again. In which case, I'm there.

My recommendation? If you like the Rolling Stones, you have to see this film. If you don't like the Stones, well then... There's probably something wrong with you.

So, next on the agenda:

George Clooney's Leatherheads. I went to see this tonight and it was pretty funny. I mean, there can be no mistake, it really is a fairly competent ape of screwball comedies from the 30's. It's not as good as my favorites, but it was competent.

Clooney has impressed me as a filmmaker with all of his films. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Good Night and Good Luck have both found their way into my DVD collection. I really liked the both of them. Clooney also has this Cary Grant quality to him that is undeniable. He's just bloody fun to watch.

This was clearly a directorial outing based around recreating a light-hearted screwball romp and it works. Yes, it has problems. Yes, there are a few weird things with the time setting of the film in relation to the War. Yes, the other guy, Kraz....whatever the dude from that show on TVs name a little too old for the part.

But it doesn't matter. This movie is a throwback to a day when movies didn't have to make total sense. And they could have wholes. It was a throwback to when all a movie had to do was entertain and that's all this movie did for me. And it did it in a style I love.

And so, that made it worth watching for me.

Another important thing to note: I hate, hate, hate football. And that wasn't a deal breaker in this movie. There really wasn't much football in it. It was about the characters and that was good times.

So. There you go. Shine a Light and Leatherheads.

No comments: