Anvil! The Story of Anvil!

Anvil! The Story of Anvil!

"At 14, Toronto school friends Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner made a pact to rock together forever. Their band, Anvil, went on to become the "demigods of Canadian metal," releasing one of the heaviest albums in metal history, 1982's Metal on Metal. The album influenced a musical generation, including Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, that went on to sell millions of records. But Anvil's career took a different path - straight to obscurity... It's fascinating to see the reality of their day-to-day lives as they struggle to make ends meet, take a misguided European tour, and engage in antics on the road - which is not always lined with fans. Gervasi even finds a softer center to this raucous film, introducing us to band members' ever-supportive, but long-suffering, families." --©Sundance Film Festival 4.4 out of 5 based on 18 reviews
Anvil! The Story of Anvil!

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Documentary
Director Sasha Gervasi
Cast Glen Gyorffy, Steve "Lips" Kudlow, Rob Reiner, Chris Tsangarides Kevin Goocher
Studio
Release Date February 2009
Running Time 90 minutes
 

"At 14, Toronto school friends Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner made a pact to rock together forever. Their band, Anvil, went on to become the "demigods of Canadian metal," releasing one of the heaviest albums in metal history, 1982's Metal on Metal. The album influenced a musical generation, including Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, that went on to sell millions of records. But Anvil's career took a different path - straight to obscurity... It's fascinating to see the reality of their day-to-day lives as they struggle to make ends meet, take a misguided European tour, and engage in antics on the road - which is not always lined with fans. Gervasi even finds a softer center to this raucous film, introducing us to band members' ever-supportive, but long-suffering, families." --©Sundance Film Festival

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Reviews

Channel 4 Film

Jon Fortang

Funny, tragic, brilliantly put together and eventually sweetly uplifting. This is the closest thing we're going to get to a sequel to This Is Spinal Tap.

23/04/2009

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Empire Magazine

Sam Troy

It certainly helps that Gervasi is himself a hardcore fan (he roadied for the band in the mid-’80s). His devotion allows us access to Anvil’s most private and often painful moments, but it also ensures that his film rises above mere cinematic rubbernecking to tell an amazing story about optimism, limits and the underside of the rock ’n’ roll dream

23/04/2009

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Bitterly funny, uproariously sad, irresistibly human...

19/02/2009

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

Not only is it more touching than This Is Spinal Tap, it might even be funnier, too.

22/02/2009

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The Observer

Philip French

There's something heroic about the persistence and self-belief of Kudlow and Reiner, forever squabbling and making up and director Sacha Gervasi and his team never laugh at or patronise them.

22/02/2009

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Scotland on Sunday

Siobhan Synnot

Through that mixture of luck and diligence that makes the best documentaries, Gervasi offers a resonant, often painfully funny, drama about two good friends who never quite lose their bond of defiance.

15/02/2009

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The Times

Wendy Ide

The thoughtfully constructed documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil has to be one of the most engaging, big-hearted music movies yet made. It’s an emotional journey for the audience, one that is as likely to have them weeping with laughter as it is to have them welling up over the bitter disappointments of the men it follows.

19/02/2009

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Uncut Magazine

Andrew Mueller

What results is not just one of the best films ever made about rock’n’roll, but an astute exploration of the thin border between ambition and dementia, a moving hymn to friendship, and a heartbreaking acknowledgement of the utter unfairness of life in general.

23/04/2009

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Variety

Dennis Harvey

A real-life Spinal Tap facing some harsh realities, Canadian metal band Anvil -- whose principals have been playing together for more than 35 years -- proves surprisingly inspirational and endearing in Sacha Gervasi's docu as the members struggle to keep rockin' into their 50s, with commercial success forever just out of reach. Very entertaining docu is amusing without being condescending, touching without straining for pathos.

27/01/2008

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Time Out

Trevor Johnston

Frankly, the guy’s a hero in any musical language, and he deserves this heartfelt, emotive, supremely entertaining tribute. Anvil! We salute you!

19/02/2009

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The Daily Express

Allan Hunter

The show still goes on and Sacha Gervasi's endearing film has a real affection for the band's indomitable spirit which saves this from being another Spinal Tap and lends it some real heart.

20/02/2009

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

Gervasi's film may be too slight to launch an assault on the genre's Citizen Kane, the amazing Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, but it's still immensely entertaining, and its nostalgia for an era of big crowds and bigger hair has a pleasing tenderness, even when the redoubtable Kudlow, trussed up in bondage gear, starts playing his guitar with a dildo.

20/02/2009

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Total Film

Kevin Harley

A touching, gripping tale of friendship and forever-young fantasy in failure’s frontline.

13/02/2009

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

Regardless of how you feel about the band's music, or the easy-to-mock allusions to This is Spinal Tap, one-time teenage fan (and roadie) Sacha Gervasi's film gets to the heart of what it means to pursue a personal passion in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

20/02/2009

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The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

British screenwriter-turned-director Sacha Gervasi has made a charming, touching and very funny film about a once promising Canadian heavy metal band from the 1980s called Anvil and their gutsy, never-say-die attempts to hit the big time.

20/02/2009

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

What's horribly poignant, of course, is that Lips and Robb are now in their fifties, still slogging away, still searching for that big break... The film accepts the bleak comedy of this, yet its refusal to patronise Anvil's endurance eventually becomes quite moving. It's a study in the blind hopefulness that just drives some people on, through every setback, and the effect that has on their loved ones.

20/02/2009

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The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

Anvil are a Canadian heavy-metal outfit who try to keep rockin’ into their fifties, and generally don’t succeed. Wives and even their children abjure them to stop but they just keep going, between lousy, ill-paid jobs and gigs in small towns no one else would want. Are they fools or heroes? Sacha Gervasi, the director of this documentary, makes them out to be the latter. But he doesn’t baulk at describing them as heroic fools as well.

19/02/2009

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The Mirror

Mark Adams

An engagingly noisy documentary

15/02/2009

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