Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
This Is Spinal Tap
Does for rock & roll what 'The Sound of Music' did for hills.
Legendary British rock band, Spinal Tap, is followed by a documentary film-maker during their attempt at an American comeback tour. The resulting film, interspersed with powerful performances showcasing Tap's pivotal music and profound lyrics, candidly follows the group as the difficult industry threatens to fade them into obscurity.
Oh, the airport-cucumber scene, how you make me laugh so much...
Oh, the Stonehenge scene, how you make me cry with surprise...
Oh, the Rock'n'Roll Creation performance, how you make me shake my head...
Oh, the 'Dese go to eleven' scene, how you make me want an amp like that...
Oh, the Sex Farm scene, how you make me wince...
Oh, the little bread scene, how you make me crave some little bread in a little garden with some little ham...
Oh, the ending, how you make me want to punch the air...
...these go to eleven.
It all started with a skit on an ill fated sketch comedy pilot simply titled The T.V. Show. Even though it had a ridiculously talented cast the show wasn't picked up, with very few people seeing the pilot. Despite this fact, the fictitious band Spinal Tap that was featured in one of the skits would live on for over 40 years later with them performing their latest "One Night World Tour" in 2009 with yet another single released the same year.
Their popularity has less to do with the original 1979 skit written by Rob Reiner and EVERYTHING to do with this rockumentary/mockumentary that he wrote and directed 5 years later. This is the…
I thought I had watched This Is Spinal Tap before. Turns out, I've just watched clips and bits of it on YouTube, hell, I even bought their "Back from the Dead"-album. So I watched it in its entirety now, and it's incredibly funny, and the mockumentary style works to absolute perfection.
It's the music that drives this film for me. The songs are very entertaining, and there's no question about the band's musical ability. The acting is also superb, and at no point do you question that these guys are real, albeit quite washed-up, rock 'n' rollers. Their comedic timing is brilliant, and their on-stage antics are very accurate.
It's not always laugh-out-loud funny, but more a witty and subtle…
I have no idea where to start here.
How about this movie is so good it hurts? Or that it is quite possibly one of the most quoted movies in history? Or that all involved are at the top of their games and make this a piece of entertainment that is virtually untouchable?
Massive praise to be sure, but Tap deserves every bit of it and a whole lot more.
A rock "mockumentary"- upon release it had 80's metal bands running for cover and hiding away as the piss take hit several nerves, lampooning the rock star mentality to a tee. Take the pretension of standing over Elvis Presley's grave and tuning up to Heartbreak Hotel- the band more focused…
I have watched this an unhealthy amount of times, but it is always hard not to resist a watch when it's on TV.
And proof there is a fine line between stupid and clever.
Guitarist Nigel Tufnel is explaining his amplifier to documentary filmmaker Marty DiBergi:
It's very special, because, as you can see--the numbers all go to 11. Right across the board. Eleven, 11. . . .
And most amps go up to 10?
Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?
Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not 10. You see, most blokes are going to be playing at 10--you're on 10 on your guitar, where can you go from there? Where?
I don't know.
Nowhere! Exactly! What we do, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do? You put it up to 11.
Exactly. One louder. Why don't you just make…
The first time I tried watching this movie, I don't know what I was thinking because I didn't enjoy it. After giving it a second chance and, I guess, after having my humorous horizons expanded, I found nothing but pleasure in watching Rob Reiner's tale of a has-been metal band. Co-written by and co-starring Christopher Guest, the movie immediately feels like it's right in his wheelhouse: mockumentary style, dry humor, etc. The film's humor succeeds from its willingness to exclude no types of jokes. There are dry jokes, low brow jokes, sight gags and many more. There is something for everyone to enjoy here, especially if you understand the rock-and-roll conventions that they are spoofing as well as having a fondness for silliness.
Hilarious and yet starkly realistic. Spinal Tap is a rare mockumentary that works in every fashion. Most films go up to a 10. This one goes to an 11.
It seems that everytime I watch this film, even though I know exactly what happens, all the visual jokes, brilliantly written and performed dialogue and observations, I still find myself bursting into fits of laughter.
This film will ALWAYS be relevant, relateable and believable. The commentary on the entertainment industry, the music and everything else make this a rockumentary which entertains to the same level on every re-watch, and it only seems right to say that that level is 11/10.
As long as musicians with large egos exist, this movie will always be relevant.
This is Spinal Tap is a good film for all of the reasons everyone has already said in the past, but the familiarity of rock music and the film itself has dated it considerably for me. Still a fun watch but not as laugh out loud funny as I wanted it to be.
After not seeing this for a long, long time, I wondered if my memory of it was slightly rose tinted. Sure, everyone on earth seems to sing it's praises and I distinctly remember laughing continuously throughout my last viewing. Almost 15 years ago!
Happily I can say the magic is indeed real and still there.
What can I say? So many classic lines and moments, not to mention the songs! Oh the songs...
The granddaddy of 'reality' comedy, with spot on performances demonstrating absolute love of the subject being parodied and being given tribute, the running time just flew by.
"No-one knows who they where, or...what they were doin'."
Classic. Classic. Classic.
A smashing comedy. In this mockumentary, we follow the and Spinal Tap as they go on their North American tour and deal with the internal issues within the band. Directed by Rob Reiner, Spinal Tap stars Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer as the three original members of the band. Spinal Tap is also "written" by these four men, but it is more improv than written, which makes lots of the dialogue better. The songs are hilarious and quite catchy, the acting is outstanding, and the movie altogether is phenomenal.
Rod Reiner's rockumentary This is Spinal Tap where he plays documentary filmmaker Marty DiBergi is full of hilarious moments. The story featuring faux heavy metal band Spinal Tap is a comedic behind the scenes look at a band trying to hold on to past glory while on a tour where seemingly everything goes wrong. I had a lot of fune watching this film and many good laughs. Everything from their song lyrics to the mysterious deaths of several drummers is funny. Reiner and his cast do a fantastic job of making it look and feel like a real documentary.
If you're looking for a fun film full of great laughs turn This is Spinal Tap up to 11 and prepare to ROCK!
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