DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

It Might Get Loud - DVD Review


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</script></div>{/googleAds}There's a defining moment in the middle of Davis Guggenheim's It Might Get Loud, which vividly illustrates the joyful glee one can hope to experience from this raucous rock documentary. Legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page is seated next to fellow musicians Jack White and the Edge (of The White Stripes and U2, respectively) on a makeshift soundstage. Page picks up his famous ‘58 Gibson Les Paul Standard and abruptly launches into the thunderous opening chords of Led Zep's Whole Lotta' Love. Seeing the childish, ear-to-ear grins suddenly erupt on the faces of White and the Edge is worth the price of admission alone. The two are reduced to giddy school children, as are we, knowing they've just witnessed something special. It's this same sense of sweeping admiration that overpowers the film's audience and turns us all into silly, unapologetic, screaming fans.

It Might Get  LoudIt Might Get Loud is presented as a biographical summit meeting of three generations of rock guitarists. But Guggenheim avoids the usual â"rags-to-riches-to-rags again" trappings of the well-worn Behind the Music format, and instead concentrates his spotlight on the music and its relevance in the history of Rock and Roll. Each of the three artists is interviewed on visits to the places where they got their start or where seminal songs were written or first rehearsed... Page with Led Zeppelin, who shows us where the classic Stairway to Heaven was penned, the Edge in Dublin where he first saw a posted bulletin at his school searching for band mates (who would all later go on to become U2), and Jack White in Nashville where he not only writes and performs a new song on camera, but also cobbles together a rudimentary electric guitar from wood, a few nails and a piece of wire. We're fascinated by the historical nostalgia of it all, but even more entertaining is the love affair the artists have with their instruments and the entire creative process.

Interspersed throughout the proceedings are segments of the soundstage summit where conversation, tips, and lessons in chord progression culminate into an impromptu jam session with the trio pounding out a mesmerizing rendition of The Band's The Weight. I promise, you've never heard it done like this before.

Each guitar legend (yes, White included) is certainly deserving of his own film, but Guggenheim artistically weaves the unique experiences and personal - even contradicting - points-of-view of each artist into a singular epic adventure that jells like a well-seasoned all-star band. Sure, there are plenty of boisterous tunes, grainy clips of the guitarists as young boys, and close-ups of fingers picking out impossible chords, but Guggenheim also injects each segment with its own stylish flair. In particular, look closely and you might sense similarities of the Page segments to Led Zeppelin's rock film The Song Remains the Same.

While seeing Jimmy Page play air guitar to Link Wray's greasy rendition of Rumble is reason enough to watch this fun but rambunctious rock-doc, it's just one great moment among many as Page, The Edge and White swap stories about their individual inspirations and early days of learning to play. Interestingly, it's as much fun watching them talk and listen to each other as it is watching them play the guitar. Particularly entertaining was seeing a teenaged Jimmy Page introduce himself on a ‘50s-era British TV show as James Page. And when asked about whether he sees a future as a musician, he informs the interviewer he'd rather go into biological research.

Guitar players are certainly already aware of their innate kinship to these three generations of instrumental innovators and will have no problem connecting with It Might Get Loud. But even if you just love rock and roll, the story of these three influential musicians is always engaging, funny and honest.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
4 stars
4 stars
DVD Experience
4 stars

DVD

DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.85:1

Subtitles: English; French; Spanish.

Language and Sound: English: DTS 5.1 HD; French: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; behind-the-scenes featurette.

Supplements:

Commentary

  • Feature-length commentary track with director David Guggenheim, producer Lesley Chilcott and producer Thomas Tull.

Featurettes

  • Toronto film festival press conference

Deleted Scenes

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging

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