Old 01-30-2001, 02:08 AM
Video Capsule: "This is Spinal Tap" (9/10)

Form many a recommendation, I finally bought the DVD at my local mall last Friday. My only regret from this whole experience, was that I wish I saw this masterpiece sooner.

The band "Spinal Tap" is falling apart. They do gigs that have fewer and fewer audience. But that is predictable, since they have been going on for two decades. One band can't last forever, right? Tell that to these guys...

The band started out as a young folk band in the 60's, looking very much like "The Beatles" did when they started out. When the 70's came, the turned into a psychedelic hippe band, that made such songs that were titled "(Listen To) The Flower People". Then, when the hippies slowly faded off into oblivion, they made a drastic change (again) in the style of their music. They were finally an 80's heavy metal band. They even had 5 different drummers, that all died on rare and unbelievable occurences. One died in a freak gardening accident, one choked on vomit ("But it wasn't his own vomit"), one spontaneously combusted on stage, one had an accident on stage, and the last one just dissapeared off the face of the earth. And their sixth and last drummer is worried that he's next to die.

The band members (actors) are Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean) and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer, voice on The Simpsons). We watch how Nigel looks at David with hopeless puppy dog eyes, waiting for their lifelong relationship to blossom. But he knows he never has a chance at that, since David's girlfriend is going on tour with them, and that they are really in love.

One of the things that make the film funny, is that the band members of "Spinal Tap" take their music very seriously, when it is obviosly very terrible. But, their music isn't all much different from the other bands form the 80's at the time, so it makes you think. And thats a big part of what makes This is Spinal Tap so damn funny and tragic, is because they take theirselves and their music so seriously. They love and appreciate their tunes, even when they know it is very obvious to the people that they are sell-outs, in a harsh term.

But they still have an obvious passion for their work. Take the "amplifyer" scene, where Marty (the filmaker in the movie, who is Rob Reiner) sees Nigel's point of view about his systems power. All of the equipment goes up to eleven, NOT ten, because they want to be the best. Marty tries to reason with Nigel and asks why can't they just make ten a little louder, and have ten to be the highest number. Nigel almost stops chewing his gum, and simply replies "Ours go to eleven."

This film gave me big laughs. I think we can all agree (whoever seen the film) that the "Stonehenge" scene is close to brilliant. But one of my personal favorite scenes is when they all get lost backstage, and end up running into a janitor TWICE, asking him how the hell do they get out of here. Funny as hell.

Sorry for such a long review, hope I didn't ramble too much. Just want to plug in again how a great movie this is. (9/10)
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Old 02-08-2001, 05:22 AM
<moderator bump>
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Old 02-08-2001, 02:32 PM
Truly a classic film, and just another piece of proof that Christopher Guest is the master of fake documentary's

FACT: There is a deleted subplot in
the movie which explains the
cold sores on the band
members' lips: the band takes
on an opening act for the tour
and the lead singer, a slutty
girl, sleeps with each
bandmember, giving each one
herpes in turn.

Here's a few of my favorite soundbites:

[Nigel is playing a soft piece on the
Marty DiBergi: It's very pretty.
Nigel Tufnel: You know, just simple
lines intertwining, you know, very
much like - I'm really influenced by
Mozart and Bach, and it's sort of in
between those, really. It's like a Mach
piece, really. It's sort of -
Marty DiBergi: What do you call
Nigel Tufnel: Well, this piece is
called "Lick My Love Pump."


Nigel Tufnel: You can't really dust
for vomit.

[Nigel Tufnel is showing Marty
DiBergi one of his favorite guitars]
Nigel Tufnel: The sustain, listen to it.
Marty DiBergi: I don't hear
Nigel Tufnel: Well you would
though, if it were playing.
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Old 02-12-2001, 08:50 PM

Somebody actually commented on my video capsule? ::looks out window:: No Horsemen...Well, the end of the world isn't just yet, m'boy.
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Old 02-12-2001, 08:57 PM
You got it Randall Patrick McMurphy...if no one else will do it, than I'm your man...I made a vow, and as long as I am still breathing, every one of you schmoes will get at least one reply...
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Old 02-12-2001, 09:25 PM

I really didn't catch the whole "pseudo homosexual" undertones between David and Nigel. In fact, I've seen the movie a few times and never really picked up on the whole subplot. I know Roger Ebert in a recent article on the movie commented on the gay relationship between the two...but I still think it's a case for looking for something that isn't there. I never even considered that as a possibility...

Stonehenge rocks, easily one of the funniest scenes of all time.
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Old 02-13-2001, 07:26 AM
Look at the way Nigel looks at David when he is on the phone with his girl. Look how he acted when David's girl became the new manager "Dolby, not Doubly! Hah!". If that wasn't an gay undertone then I don't know what is. It's like saying that Beavis and Butthead never had thoughts of "you know what". I know it's not really a "gay" thing, but there was a strong feeling of detachment on Nigel's part. I mean, they were attached to each other since the begining of time, and Nigel fealt like David was his soulmate in a sense.

I just read Ebert's new (well, almost new) "Great Movie" movie, and the thing I don't get by his review is his excuse and explination for those weird red marks/blisters above the band member's lips. I thought it was some sort of disease (as Rob Reiner hinted on so blantantly), but Ebert said it was attempted ring piercings. Does anybody know what's the deal? Did I miss something in the film? I know I missed a lot of the one-liners that were said, but...I'm confused.

[This message has been edited by R. P. McMurphy (edited 02-13-2001).]
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Old 02-13-2001, 08:44 AM
I remember reading somewhere that in the original version of the flick, there was supposed to be a scene where the band gets a new mananger who was supposed to be a big skank who sleeps with each member of the band, giving them herpes and that's why they all have cold sores on their lips. She was then supposed to be fired.

I guess it ended up on the cutting room floor.
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Old 02-13-2001, 09:32 AM
The herpes sores on their lips is from the deleted footage where they tour with another band and the lead singer of the other band is a slut who gives it to them all...this is from the Criterion Collection disc extras released years ago...
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