5.0 out of 5 stars awesome!
This DVD might be missnig some great stuff, and I can't find the extras on my disc, but it is still wonderful. I especially love all the stuff about the Torrance Community Dance Group. You should buy it!
Published on Mar 8 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Where the boognish is ween?
We all know Spike Jonze is a great "video" director, and this is supposed to be a dvd showcasing his videos so where the boognish is the video for Weens freedom 76? I would glady trade the rareities on the disc for the ween video, with a little commentary from Dean and Gene.
Published on Nov 13 2003
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4.0 out of 5 stars Side A = Awesome. Side B = Mediocre,
This review is from: Work Of Spike Jones (DVD)Side A: A nice collection of music videos that made Spike Jonze a household name well before Being John Malkovich. Such "hits" as Praise You, Sabotage and Buddy Holly are all there, but it's his lesser known work that really makes this DVD worthwhile. Did you know that Notorious B.I.G.'s Sky's the Limit was directed by him? Did you know that the guy in that Wax video was really on fire? And look! It's Sofia Coppola in the Chemical Brothers' Elektrobank! The commentaries were pretty weak though. There is nothing by Jonze himself, and the band members and actors don't offer much insight (other than that Rivers Cuomo is a pretentious poser, but we already knew that).
Side B: A bunch of shorts and documentaries (including a mockumentary about the Torrance Community Dance Group of the Praise You fame, starring Jonze as "Richard Koufey"), but nothing remarkable, really. The most amusing offering here was his "audition tape" for Rockafella Skank, which was a precursor to Praise You.
4.0 out of 5 stars Take a walk on the wild side,
This review is from: Work Of Spike Jones (DVD)Spike Jonze is best known for directing the surreal "Being John Malkovich." But his talents are by no means confined to that -- "The Work of Director Spike Jonze" displays his music videos, documentaries, and other short work. It lacks a lot of good material, but it's overall a solid collection.
Among the memorable music videos are Wax's "California" in which a man runs down the street, with his back and legs covered in flames, Bjork's acrobatic "It's Oh So Quiet," Christopher Walken's antigravity romp in Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice," Weezer's "Buddy Holly" with the Happy Days singing thing, and the Chemical Bros. "Elektrobank" starring hit director Sophia Coppola as a gymnast. And the high point, music-video-wise, is the Beastie Boys' outstandingly funny spoof of 70s cop shows (complete with funny hair).
Alongside this are the documentaries: the former Pharcyde rapper is the focus of "What's Up Fatlip?", which blossoms into more than just a documentary. "Torrance Rises" is the strangely heartwarming tale of a dance company getting ready for MTV, there's a behind-the-scenes look at a Pharcyde music video, and "Amarillo By Morning" related some bully stories. And almost all the musicians provide commentary and interviews -- accompanied by a booklet with a bit more info.
The world of Spike Jonze is one filled with strange and wonderful things. Don't expect anything, because you will only be wrong -- from the sparkling Bjork video, to humor and wit ("Sabotage"'s spoof), to outright surreality (the backwards-filmed "Drop").
Jonze himself has a flair for being funny and charming in his documentaries, such as "Amarillo" or "What's Up..." Even if you don't have an interest in cowboys, dancers, the Pharcyde or Derrick "Fatlip" Stewart, you might be interested in the documentaries. And the "Drop" making-of video is worth checking out if you have any interest in moviemaking.
The main area in which "Work" stumbles is that it excludes some worthy material -- Pavement, Sonic Youth, R.E.M. and Ween among them. However, the material on this is among his best, and it shows his range -- he can do whimsical, humorous, strange and slam-bang brilliance. There's a dreamlike quality to most of the music videos, but his documentaries keep their feet firmly on the ground.
"The Work of Director Spike Jonze" lets fans into the music videos and documentaries helmed by this brilliant young director. Definitely worth checking out as a part of this excellent series.
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Work Of Spike Jones (DVD)This DVD might be missnig some great stuff, and I can't find the extras on my disc, but it is still wonderful. I especially love all the stuff about the Torrance Community Dance Group. You should buy it!
4.0 out of 5 stars A talented director's proudest works,
This review is from: Work Of Spike Jones (DVD)The Work of Director Spike Jonze is the first volume in The Directors Label DVD Series. Compiled and directed by Jonze, this DVD contains a broad selection of his best (short) works. Among other rarities and strange things, it includes 16 music videos, several short films, documentaries, making-ofs, interviews with musicians he's worked with, and lots of commentary tracks. It comes with a 52-page colour booklet with sketches and drawings by Jonze, and extra interviews not included on the actual DVD.
If you like music videos or short films or the whole MTV aesthetic, or if you're interested in the work of young talented directors, then you'll dig this DVD, and the others in the series, by Chris Cunningham and Michel Gondry.
Jonze put onto this DVD what he thought was his best work. For someone of Jonze's calibre, that is an impressive list indeed: it includes the Beastie Boys' Sabotage (1994), which he made to look like the opening credits of an imaginary 70's cop show, and which won him a swag of awards; Weezer's Buddy Holly (1994), starring the band playing on the set of Al's Drive-In, the diner from Happy Days, and skillfully cut into scenes from the original TV series; Björk's It's Oh So Quiet (1995), a musical song-and-dance inspired by Busby Berkeley; Wax's California (1995), a memorable 12-second slo-mo shot of a burning man running down the street, with cameo apearances from Axl Rose and Sofia Coppola's niece, Gia; Daft Punk's Da Funk (1996), in the form of a slightly surreal short film starring a dog (a common theme in Jonze's work) called Charles walking around New York City with a boombox; Fatboy Slim's Praise You (1998), starring the Torrance Community Dance Group, which was voted the best video of all time by MTV watchers; and Weapon of Choice (2000), also by Fatboy Slim, and starring the utterly terrifying Christopher Walken daintily tap-dancing around a Los Angeles hotel.
Also a noted documentary filmmaker, Jonze has included 3 of his documentaries. The first, What's Up Fatlip?, is a candid look at Derrick "Fatlip" Stewart, a former member of The Pharcyde, the LA hip-hop outfit best known for their 1996 single Drop (the video is, of course, directed by Jonze and included on this DVD), and is, frankly, not interesting for most viewers, although it's quite funny. The second documentary, Amarillo By Morning, a day-in-the-life style look at a group of young suburban cowboys, is a fascinating and funny look at the fresh generation of a gently fading American tradition.
The last documentary, though, is by far the cream of the crop. The 34-minute long Torrance Rises follows the Torrance Community Dance Group as they prepare for, rehearse for, travel to, and finally, receive a standing ovation at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1999. Nobody can watch this film without falling completely in love with Richard Koufey and the rest of these innocent, unself-conscious amateur dancers who were half pushed and half lept onto the world's TVs and VCRs. In my opinion, it is worth the price of the DVD just for this.
The DVD also includes five 'Rarities'. The first of these are two short films, Mark Paints (1995) and How They Get There (1996), both starring Jonze's friend Mark Gonzales, an artist best known for his work on skateboard decks. Mark Paints is a short, quirky look at the artistic process and the small problems that can interfere. How They Get There is an enormously funny and original piece, excecuted with Jonze's inimitable finess.
The Oasis Video That Never Happened (1997) is a reel that Jonze put together when Brit rock band Oasis asked Jonze to do the video to Stand By Me. When he showed them his favourite ideas, the band aparently "wasn't feeling it," and Jonze was fired. He went ahead and put together the best ideas and shots he'd collected in his preparations, and they became this six-minute long piece remeniscent of the video for Cake's Short Skirt, Long Jacket. This one will leave you grinning.
Also included are Richard Koufey's audition tape for Fatboy Slim, recorded to Rockafella Skank (1998), a must-see for anyone who enjoyed Praise You, and The Woods, a fairly ordinary excerpt from a skate film Jonze worked on called Mouse, presumably also featuring the ubiquitous Mark Gonzales. There are interviews with some of the musicians featured on the disc, a very interesting making-of of the extremely technical video for The Pharcyde's Drop, and the Beastie Boys's (very funny) running commentary on a selection of the featured music videos. There are also four easter eggs hidden around the menus - I won't spoil the surprise, but they're definately worth looking for.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Work of Director Spike Jonze,
This review is from: Work Of Spike Jones (DVD)As good as it is, I think this compilation could have been much better. Since the Director's Series kind of wraps up the pre-feature film work of 3 directors, it heralds the end of their music video days. And really, the only great thing on this DVD is the music videos. It includes several of Spike's videos, including his begininngs, to his later ones. Of course his most famous ones, like Buddy Holly, Sabotage, and Weapon of Choice, end up being the best ones. Then there's some that are equally good, and very well done in the technical sense, such as Drop, Elektrobank, and California. I think after watching each one a couple times, they will grow on you.
However, I think this is the weakest set out of the Chris Cunningham, Michel Gondry, and Spike Jones 3-pack. It really has some great ones, but is missing some great ones, as well. That, and it's another A-side, B-side disc, however, it has a very nice thick booklet accompanying the DVD with rare Spize Jonze interviews. The B-Side has some documentaries and other stuff, but nothing nearly as interesting as the music videos. A highlight of this set would be the commentaries by the bands, which is on nearly every music video.
So, if you like music videos, and especially Spike Jonze's, then this is a definite buy for you. However, if you already have the key ones, or don't like Jonzey-boy very much, this set won't introduce much great material to win you over.
5.0 out of 5 stars Super DVD with hidden extras (spoiler).,
This review is from: Work Of Spike Jones (DVD)This DVD is amazing, the videos are so inventive and the documentaries are charming and funny... There are some videos missing but it's still a bargain and crammed full of stuff... There really isn't a bad video to be found... The booklet that comes with the DVD is also neat, with a long interview and lots of great photographs...
I also found some hidden extras, if you want to find them yourself don't read the rest of this, but do buy the DVD... If you put disk one in, go to the 'commentaries and info' section... go to Sabotage/Beastie Boys... and then click on Sabotage/Beastie Boys in gray at the top (the no. 2 appears) you get a funny video of Spike loosing an MTV award, and Nathaniel Hornblower storming the stage...
Again go to the 'commentaries and info' section... click on Weapon of Choice/Fatboy Slim... then click on 'Music video info'... and click on Weapon of Choice in gray at the top of the page (the no. 3 appears) you get an award speech... Now flip over to the B-Side... Click on Rarities... and up the top where Rarities is in gray click it (the no.4 appears) you get Spike and his puppet...
Thats all I found 2, 3 and 4, so there must be a no. 1 or maybe even a no. 5, if anybody knows where it is let us know... I can't wait to get the other titles in the series...
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Dvd,
This review is from: Work Of Spike Jones (DVD)This was a small showcase of the director Spike Jonze it was good but not a full showcase for the mainstream culture. I found the Dvd to be very good.This a showcase of his more cutting edge videos and technics not really what he did for every group out there. This is what I liked about this perticular showcase in the (so Far) three volume series. It really gave me a chance to study and enjoy his work (I'm a broadcasting student) I found the work that was featured on here well picked such as Wax ,Fatboy Slim , Chemical Brothers and filled me in on some groups that I have never heard of and quite enjoyed such as The Pharcyde and Fatlip. This was a good collection and very fitting calling it a Directors Label series just for the videos/Documentries showcased on this DVD.
1.0 out of 5 stars Where the boognish is ween?,
By A Customer
This review is from: Work Of Spike Jones (DVD)We all know Spike Jonze is a great "video" director, and this is supposed to be a dvd showcasing his videos so where the boognish is the video for Weens freedom 76? I would glady trade the rareities on the disc for the ween video, with a little commentary from Dean and Gene.
4.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, but leaves you wanting for (so much) more,
This review is from: Work Of Spike Jones (DVD)It's strange because this compilation is simultaneously my dream dvd and a disappointment. spike jonze is my music video hero, and for years i've been dreaming of getting the chance to watch and re-watch all of his work on dvd especially since the music video channels in my part of the world are pretty lame. i bought the disc the day it came out, and was saddened to find out that not even half of the videos spike made are in the dvd.
which would be ok if it were someone like francis lawrence who makes only the occassional video worth watching, but we're talking spike jonze here! all of his videos are masterpieces! brilliant works like elastica's car song, sean lennon's home, pavement's shady lane, rem's crush with eyeliner and tenacious d's wonderboy (!) are missing, as are spike's earlier works with sonic youth and mike watt. aside from that, videos like the beastie boys' sure shot and the mc 900ft jesus track are just ok and could have easily been replaced by the better works previously mentioned.
alas, this is still spike jonze, and he's still made a lot more music video masterworks compared to most directors, so this dvd is more than worth it to 90's alternative music and music video fans. most of the classics are there, especially bjork's it's oh so quiet, beastie boys' sabotage, wax's california and the two award-winning fatboy slim videos. the extras are just great, and the 52 page booklet is lovely in the sense that it allows you to see what went on in the mind of contemporary cinema's most reclusive genius.
5.0 out of 5 stars Spike Jonze + Pharcyde = Masterpiece,
This review is from: Work Of Spike Jones (DVD)Pharcyde's drop video is a masterpiece. I was remember seeing a documentary on the making of it around 10 years ago, and I was amazed. The video was filmed backwards, and played in reverse so they were going forwards. Spike brought in a LINGUIST and made Fat Lip, Slim Kid, Bootie Brown, and Imani learn the lyrics to DROP phonetically backwards, so it would look normal forwards! I had a chance to talk to Spike in SF during a premiere of Adaptation, and he was so incredibly nice. The Pharcyde is my favorite band of all time, and although (sadly) they've fallen apart, this dvd will let them live on. If you like the fat lip interview and drop video, i recommend buying the Pharcyde dvd (called Cydeways). Spike really loves the Pharcyde, and I'm glad an academy award nominated director such as Spike was able to make videos for the Pharcyde.
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Work Of Spike Jones by Spike Jonze (DVD - 2003)
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