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Old 07-10-2014, 10:00 PM   #1
Mr. Boston
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Default Rock Documentaries and Biopics

What are some good ones?

It could be anything from fictionalized biopics ABOUT a rockstar or band, like Oliver Stone's "The Doors," to more straight-up documentaries like "It Might Get Loud," with Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White.

What are some of your favorites?

I'll start with the two I mentioned:

The Doors is a fictionalized film by Oliver Stone, loosely based on the story of the band. I've read that the band members themselves feel Stone took extreme liberties with it. I don't think it's represented at all as a factual telling of their story. Any inaccuracies aside I found it to be an amazing film, very stylistic and engaging, and you can't beat the soundtrack! Val Kilmer was absolutely riveting as Jim Morrisson too.

It Might Get Loud is a documentary, not about rock stars so much as it is about the guitar as seen through three different guitarists, namely Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White. While I wouldn't put any of these three guys in my top 10 favorite guitarists list the film is really spectacular. I've watched it 3 or 4 times. Each guy has his own very unique approach to the instrument, to tone, to technology, etc. It's basically like being a fly on the wall during a discussion between three very notable axemen with some very different ideas about the instrument itself. You do get enough backstory on each of them, and their respective musical journeys to make it interesting even for non-guitarists

Standing in the Shadows of Motown and Muscle Shoals are both documentary films about the hit-making legendary studio bands behind MoTown Records and Fame Recording Studios respectively. They're very similar films dealing with similar stories about the travails of extremely gifted session men who never got the limelight in their own time. Both fantastic flicks.

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Old 07-10-2014, 10:27 PM   #2
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Hail, Hail Rock and Roll The movie where Keith Richards tried to get Chuck Berry to play a formal gig and totally failed. Chuck Berry has some great comments on the Music business in general. This one is a must see in my book.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:44 PM   #3
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I can't think of any actual docos off the top of my head, but I have enjoyed several of the "Behind the Music" series.

Although not docos or biopics per se, some of the classic "concert" films are among my favorites:

The Song Remains the Same
Woodstock
Gimme Shelter
The Last Waltz


As for biopics:

The Doors - Perhaps my favorite music biopic. It's in the DVD collection, and my wife and I watch it at least once a year. I also agree with the observation about Val Kilmer in the role of Morrison. After the first half hour (or less) I forgot that I was watching Kilmer play Morrison; he was that convincing (not that I have any reference point for what the "real" Morrison was like) that I felt like I was watching Morrison play Morrison.

Almost Famous - another fictionalized account, loosely based on Cameron Crowe's experience as a teenage writer for Rolling Stone. I loved the story and the music as they really captured the heyday of the rock scene in the 70s, with Stillwater as the fictional band that combined so many traits, habits, and issues of any number of bands and artists back in the day.

Ray - I thought Jamie Foxx was great as Ray Charles, who was such an incredible artist that overcame so much adversity and despite success remained a semi-tragic figure throughout a great deal of his life.

Walk the Line - Johnny was the country artist with the rock and roll attitude.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDawgsByte View Post
Hail, Hail Rock and Roll The movie where Keith Richards tried to get Chuck Berry to play a formal gig and totally failed. Chuck Berry has some great comments on the Music business in general. This one is a must see in my book.
Yeah, nothing like watching 2 egomaniacs battling for control. I'd love to see some of those out-takes.
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:14 PM   #5
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The buddy holly story.I think Gary busey was more buddy holly than the man himself.Busey did all is own singing and played guitar a bit.

Oh and Kurt russels Elvis.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:00 AM   #6
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:01 AM   #7
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Sound City Studios.
The Doors: Making of LA Woman
Don't Be Denied: Neil Young Documentary

A few others that I can't remember the names of about tom petty and the heartbreakers, the eagles, and a few others.
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:45 AM   #8
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Backbeat. Don Was did a great job on the soundtrack. Of all the Beatle bioflicks (excluding Anthology) it is the best. They (whomever they are) say the movie clearly shows that John had a serious thing for Stuart but honestly I don't see it. What I do see is the portrayal of a guy who admired and looked up to a friend but at the same tine was deeply jealous of Stuart's talent as an artist and thefact that Stu got the girl.

Two of Us is pretty decent but totally a fictitious account of a meeting between Lennon an McCartney in New York 1976 that didn't actually happen.... at least not like that.

I forgot about Busey as Buddy. I'll have to look for that one and watch it. I've wanted to see Russel as Elvis again for a while now. I remember seeing it years ago.
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:22 AM   #9
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:03 AM   #10
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Rock School is one of my favorites. No legendary rock idols in it, but it's about this guy called Paul Green and a bunch of kids that he and his staff teach (Zappa!) music to. Those kids kicked some ass.
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