Anvil! The Story of Anvil (15)

Film

Documentaries

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Feb 17 2009

A fly-on-the-wall doc about some has-been Canadian metal band called Anvil? That’s got to be a piss-take? Surprisingly, it isn’t. Staggeringly, it not only has all the laughs of ‘This Is Spinal Tap’, but its portrait of frayed fiftysomethings putting sanity on the line to live the rock ’n’ roll dream proves a touching, even inspirational fable for our times. Back in 1984, Anvil toured Japan with Bon Jovi and Whitesnake. Today, notwithstanding Metallica’s Lars Ulrich lauding their stripped-down style as a formative influence, the band’s stalwart frontman Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner (!) are holding down manual jobs and playing local Toronto bars, where they still give it everything – even if ‘Lips’ admits he closes his eyes and imagines stadium crowds. An unexpected offer of a European festival tour lifts them off rock-bottom, but the reality turns out to be far from glamorous.

Since the schedule takes them to a shed in Transylvania via sundry shoebox-scaled clubs, hilarious real-life absurdities pile up, yet the movie’s never scornful of the band’s hapless antics and constant in-fighting. Instead its seamless construction and alert observation allows us to take the punches with them, understanding that Lips’s undying devotion to rock has meant a lifetime of sacrifices and stress for his nearest and dearest, all of which only adds to the pressure to give it all up when fortunes take yet another nosedive. Frankly, the guy’s a hero in any musical language, and he deserves this heartfelt, emotive, supremely entertaining tribute. Anvil! We salute you!
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Feb 20, 2009

Duration:

80 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Sacha Gervasi

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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LiveReviews|11
1 person listening
Stephanie

I'm far from a Metal fan, and was very apprehensive about sitting down and watching this movie, but I was won over by Lips and Rob from about five minutes in. I so wanted them to succeed and their attitude is a wonderful metaphor for never giving up on your dream! I was so emotional by the end that I wanted to go out and buy their back catalogue just to help them out. A truly wonderful piece of cinema.

Stephanie

I'm far from a Metal fan, and was very apprehensive about sitting down and watching this movie, but I was won over by Lips and Rob from about five minutes in. I so wanted them to succeed and their attitude is a wonderful metaphor for never giving up on your dream! I was so emotional by the end that I wanted to go out and buy their back catalogue just to help them out. A truly wonderful piece of cinema.

Sutton

A heart warming and life affirming film that showed the value of friendships and chasing your dreams. Evan as a non heavy metal fan, you want Anvil to succeed. The love the families show for the guys is moving and the film has humour and warmth. Good guys.

anno dominique

What a great film! Despite the hardships these guys have to go through this has been one of the most positive films about real people leading real lives and having (not so?) unreal dreams. Wouldn't every music fan want his idols to be half as idealistic as Anvil are? Bono the saviour of the planet who's selling tickets for £180 per person should maybe watch this film.

anno dominique

What a great film! Despite the hardships these guys have to go through this has been one of the most positive films about real people leading real lives and having (not so?) unreal dreams. Wouldn't every music fan want his idols to be half as idealistic as Anvil are? Bono the saviour of the planet who's selling tickets for £180 per person should maybe watch this film.

Paul B

This film is so funny & the characters involved are so brilliant you could be forgiven for thinking the whole thing was scripted. There are moments in this film when I laughed more than I ever have in a cinema, it is amazing to know people like Lips & Reiner aactually exist.

Paul B

This film is so funny & the characters involved are so brilliant you could be forgiven for thinking the whole thing was scripted. There are moments in this film when I laughed more than I ever have in a cinema, it is amazing to know people like Lips & Reiner aactually exist.

Anne Jirschitzka

This will be the film of the year. I laughed, I cried, so inspiring. I am not a heavy metal fan but you can't help but love these guys.

Anne Jirschitzka

This will be the film of the year. I laughed, I cried, so inspiring. I am not a heavy metal fan but you can't help but love these guys.