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A Must-See Movie … Seriously

October 13, 2009

anvilposterMichael Moore says it’s the best documentary he’s seen in years. The London Times describes it as “possibly the greatest film yet made about rock and roll.”

The movie in question is  “Anvil: The Story of Anvil,” the tale of a heavy metal rock band that had a brief fling with fame in the 80s and then pretty much fell off the radar.  The documentary focuses on the two founders — Lips and Robb — who have been friends since high school when they formed the band. Thirty some years — and twelve albums — later, the rest of the world may have forgotten Anvil, but Lips and Robb refuse to give up on their dream of becoming rock stars.

So we’ve got heavy metal music, plus aging, desperate rockers  and a corny message about hanging onto your dream — a combination I would normally not watch unless someone held a gun to my head.

But forget all that – this movie totally rocks! Anvil is inspiring, hilarious, touching and brilliant.  Don’t take my word for it; it’s is one of the top rated movies at rottentomatoes.com.

At first, Anvil might look like another mockumentary along the lines of “This is Spinal Tap,” with Lips and Robb just a couple of pathetic losers.

But as the story unfolds, it’s clear that they have at least as much talent as other, similar bands who hit the big time. In fact, they’re even credited with inspiring a lot of hugely successful groups, including Metallica and Anthrax.  They’ve also worked incredibly hard at keeping their dream alive.  So what went wrong? Why are they working menial jobs and playing for single digit audiences?

The movie does a wonderful job of answering those questions and summing up Robb and Lips’ 30+ year quest to be validated as artists.  And in doing so, it reminds us that you’re never too old to become what you’ve always wanted to be.

And that’s why I loved this film. One key to aging well is staying involved with things that are important to you.  It’s so easy to give up, to use age as an excuse for doing nothing.  But Lips and Robb prove that dreams never die — unless you let them.  “Anvil” is now on DVD, so put it on your Netflix queue or rent it locally.

PS:   A few words of caution — the movie’s language and a few visuals are not suitable for children or the easily offended, so consider yourself warned.

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