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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 15.22%
Average: 26.09%
Pretty Bad: 26.09%
Total Crap: 0%

7 reviews, 4 user ratings

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Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!
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by Thom

"the films concept isn't deftly realized"
3 stars

The trouble with amateur bootleg films is that they are shot by amateurs. I know I vaguely remember a time when I would have done anything to get my hands on any shred of memorabilia related to my rock idols. But I am waaaaay past that point.

Eventually, there had to be one of these official bootleg films. Directed by Beastie Adam Youch, the films innovative concept falls short of cinematic greatness but hits the mark of delivering a "for the record" concert film.

Here's the idea: Give 50 fans a digital video camera and tell them to keep them cameras rolling throughout the entirety of the Beastie Boys symbolically important concert at Madison Square Garden, conveniently located to all major transit hubs be it trains, planes, buses or the subway. And that's why New York is such a BFD. You can play a concert where anyone, anywhere in the entire world can easily get, provided that those fossil fuels hold out.

"Shoot anything you want," they are told. And what they ended up with, I imagine, is hours and hours of grainy, distorted, poorly lit footage. Fortunately, it appears that they had also had a professional camera crew there that night because there are some pretty awesome footage in there.

Some of the highlights are a walk into the mens' room, people dancing and more people dancing and more quizzical looks at the guy who's filming himself pee. No genitalia though. I leave it to your imagination to figure out just exactly where that stream of urine is coming from. If you've never seen a subject's eye view of a guy taking a whizz, you haven't experienced what real cinema could be. Lars Von Trier only wishes he thought of that.

And now an aside, which I think is an important aside. I saw the film in a room that was built for sound, at Dolby digital labs in San Francisco. I mean, if you are going to see a concert film, that's the place to do it. So even if the footage at times was a little bit boring, the music fuckin' rocked it. I sat in the back just so none of those other "serious" critics could see me doing heavy metal head banging and thrusting the sign of the devil into the air.

Inexplicably, a big chunk of the film was also the bands half-time show of another band. A good band with horns and guitars and many members, kinda jazzy and funky with conga drums on a floating dais decorated with strings of electric lights giving it a Buena Vista Social Club kinda feel. But really, it was over a third of the film. I got into the moody, soulful jazzy rock connectedness of it all, but it was like a mini-concert film all unto itself. So way to go Yauch for putting the spotlight on your musical compadres like that. I wish I could remember the name of the band though. The press notes were no help at all.

The editing effects got creative at moments which I thought may have reflected Yauch's Tibetan buddhist practice and I enjoyed the inward expansion illustrated by certain moments in the film. It was clever and subtle and interesting and could be interpreting as a hokey use of stock filters but it gave the film some depth and texture. The frame froze (a key frame, for all you editing wanks) on a guy with dreadlocks who had just tossed his head back in aural bliss and suddenly rainbows were radiating out from him and then there was a tropical background that he was superimposed on and it was all sunny and goofy.

Surprise cameos by Ben Stiller singing along to a particularly fast and furious song is an enlivening moment. I guess you can't call it a "cameo" since he just happened to be there. I wonder if Yauch had to secure the rights to use his image. It's certainly not part of the promotional package. The New Beastie Boys Film starring Ben Stiller (for a minute or two).

The film was shot by 50 amateurs, but it was edited by someone who had a perspective and a point of view. Awesome, I Fuckin' Shot That at times transcends the concert film genre and it will be a worthwhile part of any fans collection. You would have to really like the Beastie Boys to go see it though because it's not interesting on a purely filmic level. You already have to be hooked to stick around. I saw it with a non-fan who just keep looking at his watch.

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originally posted: 04/11/06 13:33:24
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Sundance Film Festival For more in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 South By Southwest Film Festival For more in the 2006 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/30/08 eyedea fucking rocked!! 5 stars
12/12/06 William Goss Even as a passive fan, a relentless blast of a concert film. 4 stars
3/31/06 Elisa G. Rather good actually. F***in' flippin'. 5 stars
3/30/06 Pootytang I've seen this film twice and looking forward to seeing it the 5th time. 5 stars
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  31-Mar-2006 (R)
  DVD: 25-Jul-2006



Directed by
  Nathanial Hornblower

Written by

  Beastie Boys

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