Monday, October 13, 2003

Movie time: I missed A Mighty Wind in the theater, so I was excited to rent the DVD this weekend. It got all the rave reviews expected, including a thumbs up from Lileks, so my expectations were pretty high. I wish I could now say, "but not too high for Christopher Guest and his merry troop actors and musicians." But I can't quite do it.

Don't get me wrong, though, the movie is really quite enjoyable. Great story, that's ripe for Guest's satire, and great music, all played live by the actors themselves. I laughed out loud several times during the movie, so I couldn't have been too disappointed. So what was wrong?

Well, thanks to the DVD and it's ability to hold tons of data, we're now blessed (cursed) with all the outtakes. That can be lots of fun (who wouldn't want to see the outtakes from Spinal Tap), but sometimes it just lets you see what could have been. That was the case with Wind. I never quite felt like I knew or really cared about many of the characters in the show. There's plenty of backstory available, but not enough interaction between the characters to really understand them. The duo of "Mitch and Mickey," well played by Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara, gets very little screentime together. Their final performance together is great, but I wanted to see them work together a little more. The extra footage available would have done that.

Guest made another very funny movie, worth watching, for certain. But it wasn't as rioutously funny as Spinal Tap, and not as endearing as Best in Show, or even the campy Waiting for Guffman. Fortunately, Guest's worst effort is still more fun than most people's best.

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