25 abr. 2011

My Review: Anvil! The Story of Anvil (8/10)


¨Everything on the tour went drastically wrong. But at least there was a tour for it to go wrong on.¨

That is the kind of attitude that Steve ¨Lips¨ Kudlow, lead singer of the Canadian cult metal band Anvil, has had during his entire life. Things have gone wrong with the band, but his positive attitude and his fight for achieving his dreams and goals are what have made the band stick together for more than 35 years. This documentary, directed by Sacha Gervasi (who also wrote The Terminal) is a truly emotional experience that tries to examine what went wrong with this promising band from the 80`s which disappeared from the map all of a sudden. Anvil seemed to be heading to certain fame in the early 80`s when they went on tour opening for Bon Jovi with their hit song ¨Metal on Metal.¨ Something went drastically wrong, due to poor managing, and the band was soon forgotten by almost everyone. Other bands such as Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax that did make it big time in the metal world claimed to be heavily influenced by Anvil, but somehow Lips` band faded away. Now more than 30 years later, Gervasi (a Canadian himself) decided to make a documentary as to the whereabouts of the members of the band. Lips and drummer Rob Reiner have stuck together during all these years playing at small shows and recording new albums, while at the same time working full time jobs in order to sustain their family. They have remained best friends since they were young teens and have played together during their entire lives despite facing great adversity. The inspiring and sometimes funny story makes for an unforgettable and emotional film.  

The documentary begins by introducing us to this promising Canadian band from the 80`s that was opening for Bon Jovi and through their music influencing some of the biggest names in rock history. Despite the spectacular moment the band was living, they were the only one`s not to ever make it mainstream in the Metal world. Something went wrong and they were soon forgotten, until 30 years later Gervasi decided to make a documentary about their life. Surprisingly the band was still together playing at small gigs and releasing their 13th LP. Lead singer Steve ¨Lips¨ Kudlow and drummer Rob Reiner now in their fifties are still rocking together and dreaming of one day being able to achieve their dream. They have families to maintain and other jobs to pay the bills, but they still live for the music. Out of nowhere they receive an offer from a European fan who wants them to go on tour all over Europe. They decide to follow their dream once again and begin touring in Europe alongside their new manager Tiziana Arrigoni (the fan that e-mailed them about the tour). Things don`t turn out as expected and the band returns to Canada once again with their hopes down. Lips is too much of an optimist and a fighter to let go of his dream so he continues to pursue it alongside Robbie and together they decide to release a new CD and hopefully make it big time in the music industry that has turned its back on them time after time.

Let me level with you guys: I’m not a heavy metal fan at all, I don’t like it. I`m not a big music fan for that matter either, but Anvil is an excellent documentary worth watching because it tells a great story we can all identify with. These two buddies have dreamed of being rock stars all their lives, they were really close to making it once and they didn`t, but that never stopped them from trying and pursuing their goals. Time hasn`t been on their side, much less the music industry, but the passion these guys have for what they do make the journey worthwhile. Lips and Robbie are real life friends and as such they have their up and downs, they joke, they fight, they laugh, and they cry. There is a lot of emotion here, and these heavy metal guys aren`t really as tough as one might have expected. They never quit, they keep on going, and that is a very rare quality to find nowadays. A few try, but when they fail they let go of their dreams and try to fit in, but these guys keep at it time after time. Anvil might be a documentary, but it`s a much better buddy comedy then you will probably find from Hollywood these days. The movie is really worth a watch, it has so much emotion put into it, I really had a great time with this documentary.

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