Overview: There is no question that The Rolling Stones have left their mark on the musical landscape of the U. K., the USA and the world. As they celebrate 50 years of their brand of Rock and Roll this extensive documentary plays back over the band’s career. It is a 100-minute ride through their highs, lows and changes from filmmaker Brett Morgen.
Expectations: Simple. It is to ride the raucous sound of The Stones and relive their illustrious history. I hope it won’t be just a dry historical documentary but that it will be as fun, feisty and as pumped up as the legendary band it chronicles. To ensure I’ll be amped up by it I am watching it on HBOGo with my best earbuds because, if nothing else, the soundtrack should be awesome.
Gut Reaction: The Rolling Stones! Anyone who appreciates the music category known as “Classic Rock”; anyone who appreciates the historical impact of rock and roll around the world; anyone who appreciates artists who stick to their roots but are able to bend with the times; anyone who likes their rock and roll tinged with the blues has got to love The Rolling Stones. And as this film indicates many fans have and still do rave for Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood and former members Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor.
The archival footage covers all the major points of the band’s career and some quiet ones too. There are plenty of screaming fans filling stadiums; moments of song writing, the typical party times and talks of tragic deaths of band members and fans alike. Link all that with a soundtrack that won’t let up and you can get some satisfaction.
This documentary is clearly a required taste. If the younger generations aren’t into the Stones they are not going to seek it out but, it will be a fulfilling experience for those who want to celebrate a band and its evolution. They rocked it through the turbulent 1960’s and into a new millennium. I know I don’t tire of them. I also didn’t tire of the film as a whole. It was entertaining as well as informative as I had hoped.
In Conclusion: Some might be miffed that today’s Stones don’t appear in this work. Well, I should rephrase that. They do not appear on camera but only via voiceover. They don’t narrate our journey through their career, but offer commentary upon reflection. This device in the film doesn’t bother me. Besides, if truth be told, The Rolling Stones look like rolling stones; they are pitted and rough; not that pretty to look at but the sound that comes forth is still some of the best.
I know CROSSFIRE HURRICANE premiered earlier this month. But, if you haven’t seen it yet and want to it airs over the Thanksgiving weekend. If you are overstuffed and tired of football and want a good rocking time check it out. It airs across the HBO channels from Thursday – Saturday. One favor, after you watch it come back and leave a comment.