- Actors: Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, June Chadwick, Bob Geldof
- Directors: Jim Di Bergi
- Writers: Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer
- Producers: Christopher Guest, Anthony Eaton, Danny Harris, Harriet Sternberg
- Format: NTSC, Import
- Number of tapes: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Mpi Home Video
- VHS Release Date: Feb. 23 1994
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- ASIN: 6302690463
Return of Spinal Tap [Import]
The Return of Spinal Tap is based around Tap's performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 1992. In between the footage of Messrs. St. Hubbins, Tufnel, and Smalls performing in front of a huge crowd enthusiastically determined to go along with the joke, there are clips purporting to investigate the band's humble origins in the East London suburb of Squatney, and updates from "rockumentary" director Marty DiBergi and hapless record plugger Artie Fufkin from the original movie. It is the latter component that is the real strength of Return. Though the concert footage faithfully rehashes many of the film's most treasured jokes (the malfunctioning props, the dancing midgets), the real satirical strength of This Is Spinal Tap was never its treatment of heavy metal music (which, after all, is hardly a difficult target). What the first movie did best was illuminate the egomania, paranoia, delusion, and stupidity that are the cornerstones of rock & roll as it is lived. The Return of Spinal Tap is a worthy companion piece. --Andrew Mueller, Amazon.co.uk
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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.
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!
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...
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