The rise of the American metal machine in the 1980s has been chronicled in numerous documentary films, but the majority of these tail off into either Guns ‘n Roses or Metallica fanboy-ism. It’s a welcome change of pace to finally find a metal documentary that glosses over these big names and, instead, dives into a more authentic – even if far smaller – segment: Brandon, Florida and in particular, the band Siren.
Back in these halcyon days, Siren played “real” heavy metal – think Iron Maiden or Judas Priest or any of the other legends of the NWOBHM movement – but with a brasher, thrash-infused sonic palette lending the conceptual narrative songwriting approach a balls-ier overall profile. But Siren never “made it,” and the band split apart (after running through multiple lineups and members) due to miscommunication between the two driving creative forces, drummer Ed Aborn and vocalist Doug Lee. Fast forward over three decades, as I’m Too Old For This Sh*t reveals how these two eventually buried the hatchet, just in time for Siren to realize one of their greatest dreams: to play Germany’s Keep It True festival in 2018.
The trailer for the film covers all the core themes – metal, brotherhood, youthful dreams and Gregg getting lost.
The Chris Jericho (of World Wrestling Entertanment and Fozzy fame) produced film picks up here, following the band as it recruits past (and new!) members, rehearses and prepares for the once-in-a-lifetime experience: and the end result is magical. A heartwarming, moving and above all genuine portrayal of friends rediscovering each other and their uniting passion for heavy metal. To an aging metalhead like myself, the film is best summarized in the band members’ own words – “it’s like a time machine.”
What makes I’m Too Old For This Sh*t really special is how down-to-earth all the major players really are: dads with day jobs playing at teenage metal dreamers can only be entertaining and the film style is unobtrusive, yet intimate, capturing pranks, bloopers and mistakes a-plenty, but these all add up to make the end result so much more human – and so much more fun. It becomes all too easy to lose yourself in the story and find yourself sneaking backstage along with Siren, getting palpably excited as they break into “Over The Rainbow,” banging your head along with a dedicated core of ‘true’ metalheads and, by the end, believing in dreams again. Yes, that may sound far more drenched in schmaltz than you would expect from a documentary about metal, but it’s all true.
Siren’s take on L. Frank Baum’s Oz mythos, from the band’s 2018 Keep It True set.
Technically, there may be a few more repetitions than are needed (both of footage and audio) and the B-roll could be expanded even further to deepen the contextual engagement, but overall the ‘underdog triumph’ theme takes centre stage and occupies the attention well enough. The ‘80s metal soundtrack, the support from other Brandon, FL bands (Nasty Savage and Oblivion particularly): it all adds up to 90 minutes of immersive entertainment that, sadly, might be lost on younger audiences. Perhaps director Nathan Mowery misses the boat slightly on this criteria, appealing to nostalgia more than general interest, but I’m sold. After more insipid metal documentaries than I can count, I’m Too Old For This Sh*t is exactly what I needed: real people playing real music for real fans, not celebrities having their every immoral whim pandered to by greedy labels and mindless groupies.
Director: Nathan Mowery
Producer: Chris Jericho
Distributor: Greenwich Entertainment
Featuring: Ed Aborn, Doug Lee, Gregg Culbertson, Todd Grubbs, Hal Dunn, and more.
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Run Time: 89 minutes
‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Biopic Premiere [Event Review]
‘Bob Marley: One Love’ Biopic held it’s premiere alongside personal insights from a guest panel in London recently. Read our thoughts here.
I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to attend an event as special as this one. The venue, the esteemed guests and the incredibly warm staff made for a wonderful evening curated with meticulous detail from start to finish.
Regrettably, I must preface this article by saying that until last night, I wouldn’t have called myself a fan of Bob Marley. However, this night made a great case for that to change.
I don’t believe this event could have taken place at a better venue, Regent Street cinema is as charming as I can only imagine it was in 1896 when it premiered the very first motion picture in the UK. It is encouraging to see this cinema continue to strive for greatness so many years later.
Upon arrival, guests were greeted with tokens for a free cocktail redeemable at the bar. This kind gesture was much appreciated. After a short welcome speech from the cinema and the University of Westminster, the film started to roll. As aforementioned, I am by no means an expert on the life or music of Bob Marley, so I entered this screening almost blind. This was no issue I would wager it made the experience all the more enjoyable as I indulged in this incredible story with no expectations or worries about how they would portray this artist, which I believe has been the main criticism of this film. However, that is almost unavoidable for biopics.
I feel that Reinaldo Marcus Green (Director) did an excellent job of exhibiting the entire story cohesively yet not always chronologically and occasionally through abstract means. The introduction of flashbacks and dreamlike sequences kept the film from losing traction. I particularly enjoyed how the relationship between Bob and his father was depicted through regular brief interludes from the main story; using imagery such as the ring of fire, Green was able to convey a complex relationship throughout the film without explicitly telling the audience. This creative direction sets Bob Marley: One Love apart from your average biopic.
The film contains strong performances from the entire cast, especially Kingsley Ben-Adir, who was incredibly compelling. Not to mention the soundtrack, which, of course, was excellent, too. The film was greatly received by the audience, who regularly sang along.
As the credits began to roll, the film welcomed applause as the roundtable guests took their seats.
The guest panel consisted of Adrian Boot, Island Record’s in-house photographer who worked very closely with Bob and is responsible for the majority of Marley’s most iconic imagery, journalist Chris Salewicz and Bernie Dixon, a childhood friend of Bob’s. The panel was dictated by Dr Mykaell Riley, the Director of the Black Music Research Unit and Reader in Music Production Performance and Business at the University of Westminster.
The guests all shared personal stories from their times with Marley, respectively, which gave the audience a much more personal insight into the life of Bob. It was endearing to see these three men who had never met each other interact like lifelong friends through their collective love for the man.
Panellists told tales of Bob’s not-so-secret love affair with Cindy Breakspeare, who was briefly in the movie yet unmentioned. Dr. Riley asked who they thought the primary audience for the film was, which excited Salewicz, who was very quick to vocalize his opinion on the negative reviews this film has received by anonymous users who he suspected hadn’t even seen the film yet. This was due to the divide within Bob Marley’s fan base, ‘the purists’ vs ‘the masses’. The panellists settled on the film being made for ‘the masses,’ which justified some key characters being left out.
The event finished with some questions from guests, which made the conversation feel inclusive and tied off the evening very nicely. I would like to thank everybody involved for creating such a special viewing experience.
For more information on Bob Marley: One Love, head over to the official website.
Gothic Masterpiece ‘The Crow’ Getting 4K Ultra HD Release
Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the thrilling, cult classic ‘The Crow’ when it arrives for the first time on 4K Ultra HD™ May 7, 2024 from Paramount Home Entertainment.
Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the thrilling, cult classic The Crow when it arrives for the first time on 4K Ultra HD™ May 7, 2024, from Paramount Home Entertainment.
Originally released on May 13, 1994, The Crow entranced audiences and critics alike with its gothic aesthetic, breathtaking action, and Brandon Lee’s soulful performance at the center of director Alex Proyas’ revenge fantasy. A sleeper box office hit, the film developed a passionate cult following that spawned three sequels, a television series, a video game, toys, and novels. Based on the comic book saga of the same name by James O’Barr, The Crow delivers an action-packed thriller bursting with hypnotic style and dazzling visuals.
Newly remastered, The Crow will be available nationally on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc™ with new and legacy bonus content. In addition, there will be a limited-edition SteelBook™ with a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc featuring an o-sleeve with a cutout of a crow that lifts to reveal a portrait of Brandon Lee with his guitar.
Both releases include a brand-new three-part documentary created for the 30th anniversary entitled “Shadows & Pain: Designing The Crow.” The new piece is a fascinating deep dive with legendary production designer Alex McDowell, who discusses all aspects of designing the 1994 classic, as well as his experience working with visionary director Alex Proyas and the film’s late star, Brandon Lee.
Also, for the first time on disc, the releases include a conversation with the late Hollywood legend Edward R. Pressman, who discussed his prolific career on the occasion of Sideshow Collectibles’ release of a limited figure for The Crow.
New and legacy bonus content included on all three 4K Ultra HD releases is detailed below:
- Shadows & Pain: Designing The Crow – NEW!
- Angels All Fire: Birth of the Legend
- On Hallowed Ground: The Outer Realm
- Twisted Wreckage: The Inside Spaces
- Sideshow Collectibles: An Interview with Edward R. Pressman – NEW TO DISC!
- Audio Commentary with Director Alex Proyas
- Audio Commentary by Producer Jeff Most and Screenwriter John Shirley
- Behind the Scenes Featurette
- A Profile on James O’Barr
- Extended Scenes:
- The Arcade Bombing
- The Funboy Fight
- The Shootout at Top Dollar’s
- Deleted Footage Montage
Salah Bachir Publishes Titillating Memoir ‘First To Leave The Party’
Salah Bachir recently released his titillating memoir, ‘First To Leave The Party,’ offering intimate details about the rich and famous and Bachir’s gusto and lust for life.
Author, entrepreneur, art collector, movie industry insider, and philanthropist Salah Bachir recently released his memoir, First To Leave The Party: My Life with Ordinary People…Who Happen to be Famous, a collection of stories revealing his joie de vivre, his love of human interaction, and his altruism.
After immigrating to Canada from Lebanon in the 1960s, Bachir started Videomania, Canada’s first video magazine, followed by establishing Premiere, a trade publication for video distributors and retailers.
For more than a decade and a half, Bachir was the president of Cineplex Media and boss of Cineplex Magazine, Canada’s wildly popular and widely read magazine, serving more than four million readers per issue.
A fixture in the world of film for decades, Bachir naturally met Hollywood’s superstars. Yet what sets him apart is his charisma, compassion, his personal style – chic hats, diamonds, pearls, brooches, and elegant scarves – and his full-blown zest for life and people.
First To Leave The Party recounts his relationships with a literal who’s who of Hollywood: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Joan Rivers, Mary Tyler Moore, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Edward Albee, Orson Welles, Aretha Franklin, Norman Jewison, and Elizabeth Taylor — although it’s true that Katharine Hepburn once turned him down, very nicely.
There are also stories about Marlon Brando, Princess Diana, Muhammad Ali, Princess Margaret, Sean Connery, Ella Fitzgerald, and Doris Day.
Co-written with film critic Jami Bernard of the New York Post and Daily News, a portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the LGBTQ+ rights program at Human Rights Watch.
Featured in numerous publications, including The Globe & Mail, Playback Magazine, Dolce, and Toronto Life, Bachir has received five honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Alberta, Ryerson University, York University, OCAD University, and Wilfrid Laurier University in recognition of his business expertise and philanthropic work.
Along with a long list of deserved awards, Bachir, because of his entrepreneurial spirit and advocacy of the arts and social justice, is a member of the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada, as well as a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and two-time Grand Marshal of the Toronto Pride Parade.
The stories related in First To Leave The Party not only provide a parade of intimate detail about the lives of the rich and famous, the entertainment industry’s elite, but also bare Salah Bachir’s gusto and lust for life.
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