on July 10, 2004
Those who loved This Is Spinal Tap generally divide into two categories: those who love heavy metal and those who hate it. If you fall into the latter, The Return of Spinal Tap is probably not for you. If, on the other hand, you watched the movie and then went out and bought the soundtrack... it's definitely worth your time. You should know, though, what to expect beforehand.
The Return of Spinal Tap is not a satire or a mockumentary like This Is Spinal Tap. It's nothing more and nothing less than Spinal Tap Live. Don't get me wrong: Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer are still funny as hell; but the brilliant commentaries carry less weight in favor of the music. And why not? The joke could never have been as funny the second time around, so instead, the three just decided to have some fun, returning to their beloved characters and living out the dream of doing a big rock concert in front of a huge crowd. Frankly, the concert segments are much funnier this time around, with the on-stage antics of the three brilliant comedians, as well as winks back to the first movie in segments like 'Rock N' Roll Creation' and 'Stonehenge'. Plus, you get to sing along to all the beloved, cheesy, brilliantly idiotic songs from the first movie, like 'Big Bottom', 'Sex Farm', 'Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight', '(Listen To The) Flower People', 'Hell Hole' and 'All The Way Home'. Also you get a bunch of great new songs like 'Bitch School', 'Break Like The Wind', 'Clam Caravan' and 'Cash On Delivery' with a rare lead vocal performance by Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer - by now, keep in mind, a Simpsons veteran).
Before you watch The Return Of Spinal Tap, you should ask yourself two questions. The first is - do I really love Spinal Tap, or did I like it just for the satire? If you really loved the first movie, you'll love seeing the beloved old characters of Smalls, St. Hubbins and Tuffnel return. The second is - would I enjoy watching a Kiss concert? If you answered both these questions with a positive reply, watch it.
on May 12, 2004
Alot of people have been reveiwing this show and saying its not worth watching. I dont agree. I do agree that you would have to be into Spinal Tap enough to watch it. But you probably wouldnt ever watch it if you hadnt seen This Is Spinal Tap would you?
This live show from '92 is more then just a live show! It's more like a reuinion of the cast of "TISP"! With most of this DVD beeing live music, there are bits and peices thrown in from familuer faces of the "TISP" rockumentry, and also the songs played and heard in there entirety...but not the way youd have heard them if you heard the soundtrack... some songs sound much better like they have fixed them up, some sound a little weird, some sound intresting, and some sound like there new...although im not 100% sure that there actualy playing the intruments in some parts of the show? Nigel's guitar solo seemed to be making sounds that didnt sound like it wouldve had he actualy used his foot, or throw horse shoes at the guitar! But maybe he's a bit better then i thought!
Some things i think you might have to be a musicion yourself to understand? Like the bit about the capo on the amplifier?! It's more a musicions joke i think? like saying "i cant detirmine wether its a A sharp or a B flat" only a musiocn would understand it really. But overall; Its nothign compared to the original, but dont compare it, its a show they did as a reuinion, and defintly looked like the had fun doing it! And thats what its about, fun! not just laughs every second... This is Spinal Tap didnt go for a laugh every second, it brought them in every now and then wich is what made it work so well....and they have presented that the same on here!
Some jokes i dont think where picked up on tho.... i noticed the drummer was looking a bit agjitated on the walk off stage from the second encore, and by the 3rd he looked like he was sick of walking back and forth with his broken leg.... and i dont know if anyone else picked up on that or not? it was kind of hard to see that with the clips that where put in between the enchores, so who ever edited this together, i dont think they understood where the gags where and how to show them properlly?!
But overall, i think apart from probably needing a few extra features, its a pretty good show.... if your into the music anyway
on January 27, 2004
While nothing, absolutely nothing, can compete with the original "This is Spinal Tap" for comedic genius, this DVD is a brilliant work in it's own right. While it is true that the majority (maybe 75 percent or so) of the film is a live show shot in the Royal Albert Hall in 1992, there are numerous interludes and links to keep the satire quotient pegged.
All in all the music is performed well, but some of the newer materiel falls a bit flat compared to the "Smell the Glove" set. Songs like "Cash on Delivery" and "Clam Caravan", while vaguely amusing are not up to the normal Tap standards (although Nigel playing the clarinet is quite a sight), and the Rap version of "Sex Farm" was just plain annoying. Having said that, there are moments of inspired brilliance here. During "Stonehenge" they have the opposite problem they had in the original...the monument is too huge to get in the theatre. During "Big Bottom" all three play basses, which is not only funny to think about, but very funny to actually hear. The guitar pyrotechnics and way over the top soloing of Nigel Tufnel continue in "Diva Fever", a forgettable song without the solo. During this particular solo (during which Derek takes a cab and gets a huge meal at a restaurant, while David has a cucumber facial and pedicure) Nigel plays his guitars by throwing horseshoes at them, juggling while playing with his feet, etc.
Interspersed with the concert footage are numerous links, most of which are utterly brilliant. We learn that Nigel has invented a folding wine glass (he still needs the rubber hinges), and has founded 'Travel for Animals', an organization that allows animals (in this case his ferret, Trevor) to travel with their own passport. We learn that Derek goes on his father's telephone sanitizing service ('Sani Phone') business calls with him to help make ends meet, and has invested in not one, but two unbuilt London apartments, the net result of which is that he has to stay in a hotel while in London. David and his wife now work part time at a summer soccer camp in California and she runs 'Potato Republic', a store specializing in itchy Irish clothing. Additionally, David and Nigel visit their boyhood home of Squatney, and reminisce. All of these bits are inspired as are the guest spots featuring things like Mel Torme singing "Big Bottom" and a member of Primus with a picture of Derek tattooed on his bicep.
My only irritant with this DVD is that some of the songs are incorrectly named in the liner notes for some reason; for instance, "Big Bottom" is called "Bum Cakes" in the credits. All in all, I think this is a wonderful DVD, and is well worth the money. If you are a true Tap fan, you must own this!
on January 15, 2004
Spinal Tap had a revival of sorts back in the early 90s while grunge was rearing it's greasy head--which was a good thing, for as rock was getting "heavy" and serious and dark and depressing, the Tap showed up again with the glint in the eye to bring some irony back into rock. This DVD is 90% concert footage, held at the Royal Alber Hall in September, 1992, after their US tour, with occasional skits and pieces between the songs. If you are looking for a follow-up to the original masterpiece of a satirical film you are looking in the wrong place. But here you can see that the Tap are not only gifted comedians but decent musicians too, and they rock live...Kind of like the Monkees, though better. All the songs are presented well, my favorites being the majestic America and StonehengeÂ's mandolin break. Harry Shearer's double dollar sign bass is a hoot as is Nigel's Marshall stack guitar turned up to 11.
It's a good show, in Stereo on the DVD (not mono as stated in an earlier review) and well-shot. The mixed ages crowd really gets into the show, and it's fun to see the different hair styles. Remember, this was September 92. Grunge had been popular about a year. So you see long straight hair along with the remaining big permed hair with the bangs and the mullet dos. Fun stuff, kind of like the time Homo Sapiens and Neanderthal man were still sharing the same apartment. All in all a welcome addition to your Tap collection, and fun to see the band actually sticking it to your ear hole.
on November 1, 2003
If you are looking for more of "This is Spinal Tap", this DVD is not for you; however, if you are looking to see a classic Spinal Tap concert, this DVD is for you!
As others have said, this is a very long concert with very brief "Where are they now?" comedic skits (not enough to satisfy the average fan of "This is Spinal Tap") in between each block of songs.
In fact, there are times you will even forget you are watching Spinal Tap (and not a boring VH-1 concert with a mediocre 80's hard rock band) because much of the concert footage is just that, concert footage (with some stage gags occasionally thrown in during their trademark songs to remind you that you are watching a Spinal Tap concert).
Make no mistake, Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest and Michael McKean are good musicians for being actors; however, their songs are designed to sound musically cheesy with humorous lyrics, and so the listening replay value kind of goes out the window if you aren't paying attention to the funny lyrics (unless you enjoy mediocre sounding hard rock/metal).
Also, being an import, this DVD is on the pricey side; although, this may be the last chance to own an entire Spinal Tap concert on DVD. Having said that, I love Spinal Tap; they are comedic geniuses! Just keep in mind with this DVD, you are getting a concert, and you won't make the wrong purchasing decision.
on August 26, 2003
While not a sequel to the movie, this provides a lot of concert footage and little bits with the band members here and there. I had originally bought this on laserdisc many years ago, and on watching this, it seems as if there is some footage missing. I seem to remember a part with Robin Williams, but didn't see it here. While the concert footage is great, a lot of songs from their album 'Break Like the Wind' along with some older stuff, I would have liked to seen more of a balance between the concert footage and the segments featuring the band members and others. The segements that are included provide a 'where are they now' view and are pretty funny. I see this as supplemental, but not necessary, viewing. The original movie worked so well because of it's blend of music and footage of the inner workings of a fictional heavy metal band, while this one is very heavy on the music end, and light on the rest. After awhile, I, like another reviewer, started to fast forward through the concert stuff to find the hidden nuggets. I think I would have appreciated this more had they created actual music videos for some of the songs, as the concert footage grew a little stale.
on August 19, 2003
Granted it's not as good as the original "This Is Spinal Tap" movie.. I still would have given this film 4 stars but there is a serious audio issue.
Either I have a defective copy, which I seriously doubt, or apparently I'm the only person that has noticed that half the sound track is missing on this entire dvd.
Michael McKean (played by David St.Hubbins) might as well be strumming a broomstick throuout the film...his rhythm guitar is mostly non exsistent through out the proceedings. All I am hearing is a little "bleed through" from the missing audio channel. Since the audio of the dvd is 100% mono, this leads me to believe that someone got careless during the transfer process and didn't bother to make sure the left and right stereo audio were present during the final stages of preparation. If this really IS the way the film is SUPPOSED to sound, the person who was responsible for mixing it needs should look for another occupation.
This may not be an issue for a lot of you but from a musician's standpoint it's really annoying to not be able to hear the songs like they were designed to sound.
It's like listening to The Beatles Sgt.Pepper CD with just the left audio channel on. It doesn't quite work.
I paid [good money] for this thing...Wish I could get a refund and wait for a corrected copy...
on August 12, 2002
Let me start off by saying that This is - Spinal Tap would rate among my favourite comedies, if not my favourite movies of all time. Having made it through my teenage years on a staple diet of mullet metal like Kiss, Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden Spinal Tap was always the perfect parody of metal, particularly 70s and 80s metal at is most err eccentric.
Having said that people should not go out and hire this movie expecting a direct sequel to the original. From the looks of things, given the Bob Geldof cameo, this was a charity performance at Royal Albert Hall for BandAid or Comic Relief or something put on by Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest and Michael McKean in their Spinal Tap gimmics.
This is predominatly a live concert video of songs from the original movie as well as the "followup album" Break Like the Wind. The musicianship is excellent, particularly the lead work from Nigel / Guest and they still haven't lost their satirical edge when it comes to sending up the metal genre. Of particular note is Nigel's big solo spot where he juggles whilst playing guitar with his foot.
Interspersed with this are skits where Nigel and David return to their child hood neighbourhood and we catch up with Marti Di Bergi and where his film making career has taken him. The most priceless segments of Return of Spinal Tape are the movies revelations of what David, Derek and Nigel have been doing in between the two movies, which time wise are set 10 years apart. David receives a stipend for his work coaching a women's soccer team, Derek inherits his father's business as a telephone sanitiser and Nigel delivers more timeless lines detailing his work as an inventer and animal rights activist.
Being much more music orientated than the original people who are not fans of this genre of music will not get as much enjoyment as they did from the original and may even want to fast forward to next vignette / skit of the guys off stage. This would be a perfect companion to This is Spinal Tap if it was also made available on DVD, possibly in a boxset with the original. While not essential viewing like This Is Spinal Tap, anyone who is a fan of the first movie should not pass up the chance to watch this film.
on January 25, 2002
After reading other reviews, I guess I'm thinking on a different plane. I loved the video. True - it should have been called "Spinal Tap Live" or something like that. However, I bought it on-line with the expectation of getting a live concert. And I wasn't disappointed. Those guys can rock with the best of them - especially when you take into account the fact that they are actors playing musicians. These guys didn't pretend to be jamming (ala the Monkees) they were the genuine article. I actually fast fowarded through the commentaries to get on with the music. I do suggest though that before you watch it, that you get the sound track to "This is Spinal Tap" and "Break Like the Wind" and be familiar with the basic repertoire of Spinal Tap songs. Trust me - when you know all of the verses to the songs, which you don't hear in the movie, the concert means alot more, i.e. "Stonehenge", "Listen to the Flower People", "All the Way Home", etc. I loved the way during "Rock and Roll Creation" that a chicken came out of the egg and then Derek Smalls came from side-stage, reminiscent of his getting stuck in the podd in the movie. Also the oversized Stonehenge monument that couldn't fit through the door. It was these subtle reminders of movie concert footage that made the live show great. Some songs were ommitted that I would liked to have heard - like "Gimme Some Money" & "Heavy Duty Rock and Roll," but all in all I was truly impressed. The final moment when the dead doves fell on the stage was perfect.
on January 25, 2002
After reading other reviews, I guess I'm thinking on a different plane. I loved the video. True - it should have been called "Spinal Tap Live" or something like that. However, I bought it on-line with the expectation of getting a live concert. And I wasn't dissappointed. Those guys can rock with the best of them - especially when you take into account the fact that they are actors playing musicians. These guys didn't pretend to be jamming (ala the Monkees) they were the genuine article. I actually fast fowarded through the commentaries to get on with the music. I do suggest though that before you watch it, that you get the sound track to "This is Spinal Tap" and "Break Like the Wind" and be familiar with the basic reproitore of Spinal Tap songs. Trust me - when you know all of the verses to the songs, which you don't hear in the movie, the concert means alot more, i.e. "Stonehenge", "Flower People", "All the Way Home", etc. I loved the way during "Rock and Roll Creation" that a chicken came out of the egg and then Derek Smalls came from side-stage, reminiscent of his getting stuck in the podd in the movie. Also the oversized Stonehenge monument that couldn't fit through the door. It was these subtle reminders of movie concert footage that made the live show great. Some songs were ommitted that I would liked to have heard - like "Gimme Some Money" & "Heavy Duty Rock and Roll," but all in all I was truly impressed. The final moment when the dead doves fell on the stage was perfect.