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Anvil: The Story of Anvil

Director:  Sacha Gervasi
Year Released:  2008
Rating:  2.0

Loving but schematic look at heavy metal act Anvil - consisting of "Lips" on lead vocals and Robb Reiner on drums - who emerged in the early 80's, influenced many and yet never found the success they think they deserved. Former roadie-turned-filmmaker Gervasi captures such idiosyncratic moments I couldn't help but wonder how much of this was planned - I had to actually check AllMusic to see if the band was fictitious (one of the few luxuries of home viewing) - and the supposedly sordid details of the band's early days are bypassed in favor of playing up their woe-is-us story. As I wrote about the band AC/DC elsewhere, it is truly noble to stick with a band for several decades (30 years!) and it is also noble for a bunch of old(er) guys to refuse to give up playing loud ass music, but it's hard to develop much pity for guys who got to tour Europe (to some degree), fly back and forth to England - taking months off their real jobs and neglecting their wives and children - and eventually getting paid to play (and sight-see) in Japan things more talented bands have never had the opportunity to do. I've heard Slayer, early Metallica, Napalm Death and the like and there is a clear reason why - to me, at least - these two Canadians were never as successful.

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