DVD Reviews rss

Guided By Voices: Live From Austin TX (New West)

Guided By Voices’ appearance on Austin City Limits was supposed to be the band’s big, nationally-broadcast fare-thee-well, shortly before they completed their final tour. Regardless, it’s a fine performance of a band at the top of its game, and there’s not a nostalgic moment to be had; it’s a vital, exciting performance from a band that still has a lot to give.

Eric Johnson: Live From Austin TX (New West)

Texas guitarist Eric Johnson’s career was in an odd place in the 1980s; though a superbly talented musician with a Grammy nomination under his belt, he had difficulty finding a proper home for his music. Instead, he focused on his live show, and became a top-notch live act. This concert, recorded in 1988, captures him in his prime, shortly before he scored a surprise commercial hit with his song, “Cliffs Of Dover.”

Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years (Apple/Universal)

This excellent documentary offers a glimpse into the life and times of The Beatles. Though the history is well-known, this film gives a fresh look behind the curtain of the first four years of the Beatles’ professional existence.

Scarred But Smarter: Life N Times of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ (Shanzing Films)

The story of Southern rocker and lifer Kevn Kinney is told with this superb documentary.

The Melvins: Across The USA in 51 Days: The Movie (Ipecac Recordings)

This short film captures The Melvins during their 2012 “51 shows in 51 days tour,” and is less a tour documentary than a collage that wonderfully captures the mindset of a band on the road with a lot of spare time on their hands. In other words: twisted, demented fun. In other words, The Melvins!

Straight Outta Compton (Universal Pictures)

This 2015 biopic is a no-holds-barred look at one of the founding groups of modern rap music, and is easily one of the finest hip-hop biopics to date.

The Honeymoon Killers (Criterion)

Leonard Kastle’s The Honeymoon Killers is a true-crime/horror/film noir masterpiece based on actual events, but its backstory is so convoluted that the making of the film is equally as engaging. Criterion’s recent reissue of the DVD brings this classic to light, reintroducing it to a new generation of movie buffs.

Rifftrax: The Wizard

This hilarious take on one of the most egregious examples of corporate exploitation of youth culture is delightful, snarky, and yet, oddly thought provoking.

Five-Eight: Weirdo Reborn

A mini-documentary about a band righting a musical wrong that was inadvertently thrust upon them twenty years ago by their record label.

Every Other Summer (TrixieFilm/dBpm)

Every Other Summer is a documentary film of the Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival, and this film about the 2013 edition highlights what makes this a different kind of festival experience.