Anvil! The Story of Anvil (R) - 2009 - Runtime: 90 minutes
Director: Sacha Gervasi
All the praise to the left is well deserved for this rockin', epic and surprisingly tear-jerking documentary. Anvil, for those not into metal (who are you people?!?) at one time (in the innocent year of 1982), was one of the most influential and popular metal bands on the planet (exaggeration is not mine). And after a great start, they seemed to plummet into obscurity. But nevertheless, they've seemed to stay together throughout the years (somewhat changing the lineup in the 90s), releasing an album every so often to make sure the metal gods were pleased. The story picks up around 2006, when the two original members of the band, Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Rob Reiner, best friends since high school, get a call to go on tour in Europe to supposedly excited and sold out crowds. The tour quickly devolves into disaster as most shows are packed to brim with empty air - there was one show with literally 4 guys in attendance and one of them was rocking it out on an armchair - now that's dedication! At one point Lips gets so mad at the club owner for not paying them he's ready to beat the living daylights out of the guy. It's the lowest of the low for the group and they come back with low spirits.
At least for the most part, because as much as life has kicked Lips and Rob in the balls, repeatedly, Lips continues to be the optimist. His attitude throughout the whole movie is inspiring - never once does he take for granted what he loves doing. No matter how shitty his situation is, he's always had his music to go to - and that's what's at the heart of this documentary. It's an amazing story of rising back up - because the story ends fairly happily and continues to do so. They've succesfully released their thirteenth album to critical acclaim and pretty good sales for a metal band. After the movie was released to much critical acclaim also, the band has found new life in touring with AC/DC. It's a testament to the optimistic spirit in all of us and is really inspiring to never give up on your dreams, as cliched as that sounds.
Even if you are not a fan of metal (once again, who are you?!?) or possibly hate the idea of long, complicated guitar solos with fast drums and power ballads, this movie is more than just about a metal band. It's about an indomitable spirit and willpower that all of us have that tells us to never quit. It does sound like I just strung a bunch of blurbs together, but this movie is worth seeing, so make sure to please the metal gods by checking this shocker of a rocker (blurb overload!) out!
Rating: Rent It!