Sunday, September 16, 2012

Movie Review: This is Spinal Tap

I'm in a video class this semester at school and for our first project I came up with a mockumentary-ish idea and a few people said that I should see Spinal Tap since it was the best example of that. As an added bonus it's on Netflix streaming and a pretty short filming, clocking in at just 82 minutes, so even though I wasn't really familiar with the genre they were parodying I decided to give it a shot.

This Is Spinal Tap

Summary: Director Marty Dibergi follows the British heavy metal band Spinal Tap as they tour the US to promote their new album and the internal drama the band has. 

The Good: Despite the fact that I haven't seen many, if any come to think of it, rock band documentaries I was still easily able to see what the movie was mocking and it was still an amusing watch. I would have enjoyed it more if I had been familiar I think but none of the humor seemed outdated and I was amused throughout so I think it succeeded. If it was a real documentary I'd say it had a really good balance between interviews, "non-scripted" segments  and commentary from the director and was a good length which I suppose I can praise here as well. As odd as it may sound, it was a well put together film and it was rather fun. 

The Bad: Even saying all of that, if you aren't really familiar with what a rockumentary looks like or a fan or parodies in general I don't know how much you'd enjoy this film. It's also quite crude (it's NSFW) which will turn some people off but it's not crude without reason, it's very deliberate and feels very in-character for the movie.  

The Audio: I'm not sure if this was on purpose or not but there were a number of songs by the band where it would start out and I would think "oh, this is actually a decent song, I kinda want it" and then it would get terrible, given the tone of the movie I think that was on purpose. I was also amused by how the band kept switching genres, although that has less to do with the music and more with the narrative, but it was still amusing.   

The Visuals: It's a film shot in the 1980s on what looks to be a pretty small budget, there's not much to say otherwise. It doesn't look that great today, I doubt even a remaster could make it look good, but I don't think that detracts from the film either. 

With something so short that's more character driven than plot driven and is a comedy there's really not much more for me to say here. So yes, I enjoyed it, more than I expected, and can see why my classmates/teacher were advising I'd watch it as well. It's streaming on Netflix so it's easy to find so if people want to see it, go for it, at the very worst it won't take much of your time.

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