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I found 'Still Crazy' to be marvelously entertaining, and not only to
those of us who lived through that raucous era of late '60s, early '70s
rock. My 15 year old daughter watches it with me every time I drag out
the DVD (don't worry, it's only been three times) and she loves it too.
It is a truly loving, poignant and hilarious nod to the era, and every actor hits his/her notes with perfection. It was my first introduction to Bill Nighy and I am glad his somewhat similar turn in 'Love Actually' brought him more attention. Bruce Robinson was incredible as Brian, bringing real life to what could have been a caricature of the drug-damaged rocker stereotype. It was interesting to see that Robinson has made quite a name for himself as a writer.
I live in Sherman Oaks, California, and after the first time I saw the movie I bumped into Billy Connolly at the local mall (he lived here at the time) and told him it was one of my five favorite films of all time. He invited me to sit down at the food court with him and we discussed the movie for some time. We even talked of the idea of an American-oriented remake before wisely dismissing that. Why mess with the original?
My only problem with 'Still Crazy' is that it wasn't hugely popular in theaters and too many people have missed out on a wonderful experience.
Hello, I was alanrickmaniac. I'm a Still Crazy-holic. It was just
another movie I watched partly on TV. Then I had to get the video tape
to finally find out how it ends. Then I wanted the DVD, because the
tape showed first signs of decay after a few weeks. After the DVD I had
to lay my hands on the soundtrack. Then on several film posters and the
film script. Right now it has become that worse that I try to push
other people into addiction with my website and Still Crazy parties.
How could that happen? What drove me into addiction?
OK, it's one of those funny but somehow sad and melancholic intelligent comedies like only the British can produce.
Alright, the movie is worlds apart from stuff like ''This Is Spinal Tap'', because of the characters, that aren't childish or ultra cool, but real. This is a story about men getting older, too. A story about men getting along with each other. Or don't. It contains some of the best actors possible. Tim Spall. Stephen Rea. Bruce Robinson. Jimmy Nail. And Bill Nighy. Bill Nighy who puts on one of the best performances I've ever seen in a film.
Good, the soundtrack is unbelievable. Foreigner's Mick Jones has written the songs for the imaginary band Strange Fruit. Jimmy Nail who plays bass-man Les Wickes and Bill Nighy portraying the egocentric but awkward singer Ray Simms are really singing. We know that about Jimmy Nail, but if you've only heard Bill Nighy's singing in "Love Actually", you have no idea how great and powerful his voice is.
Well, you'll fever for every scene to come for the x-th time, especially those concert scenes. You'd die to be able to really stand in the dancing crowd when Strange Fruit is doing "All Over The World", singing on the top of your lungs. You long to cry and celebrate with thousands of people the rebirth of the real Strange Fruit at Wisbech's festival stage.
It's hard but... I'm addicted to this film. I'm addicted to Strange Fruit. If there's a world where this band really exists I'd like to move there.
Got Still Crazy... anyone?
This is perhaps the best rockumentary ever- a British, better This Is
Spinal Tap. The characters are believable, the plot is great, and you
can genuinely empathise with some of the events- such as Ray's problem
with fitting in the band.
The soundtrack is excellent. Real period stuff, even if it is in the same key, you'll be humming some of the songs for days. What I liked was the nearly all-British cast, with some of the favourite household names. Ray's wife is priceless...
The film never drags, it just goes at the right pace, and has some genuinely funny sections in it. A generator of some really good catchphrases!
It's a hidden diamond.
Brian Gibson's Still Crazy was not a film on my list. However, one
afternoon I was channel surfing on a satellite dish and came across this
AMAZING film about a 1970's rock & roll band who comes back together twenty
years after their disasterous final concert.
For keyboard player Tony (Stephen Rea), guitar player/backup singer Les
(Jimmy Nail), lead singer Ray (Bill Nighy), drummer Beano (Timothy Spall),
"road dog" Hughie (Billy Connolly), and manager Karen (Juliet Aubrey), a
second chance is a God send. Unfortunately, they are lacking two players,
Keith, who died of a drug overdose two years before the Strange Fruit's
final concert, and Brian, his brother, a stunning guitar player who was the
genious and the glue of the band.
Still Crazy is a fabulous mixture of British comedy, damn fine music,
and superb performances, especially by Bill Nighy as the pathetically
egotistical Ray Simms. Helena Bergstrom is also hilarious as Ray's
over-protective wife, Astrid. Watch especially for a couple of poignant
scenes between Juliet Aubrey and Bruce Robinson, who appears in a touching
Out of 10 stars, I give this hilarious and sweet rock & roll
resurrection film a good, solid 10!
I'm 60 years old, a guitarist, (lead/rhythm), and over the last forty years, I've been in four bands, it's all there, the fights, the foul-ups, the rotten food, the worse accommodation, always travelling, little or no money, and every one was drunk or high. But, the clubs, the fans, and the music, made it all worth it! Just like Strange Fruit! I'm too damn old for it now, and the arthritis in the hands and hips mean no more rocking, but for the length of that video, it all came back, and it was all there! The birds, the brawls, and the booze! And I was young again! It's just like Billy Connolly's voice over, God likes that 70's stuff! Rock On Forever!
What a good movie! At last a picture revealing a unknown side of rock:
illusions of fame. Well-known Rockers are getting old and forgotten, not
music. And with a good sense of humour. Have you ever danced on Bill
Rock Around the Clock?
Anyway, Still Crazy is probably the best movie about rock n'roll I have ever seen. Far much better than Spinal Tap for instance. Why? Because in Still Crazy, people are mature. They have a different point of view about rock, about love and about life. They want to catch up with their crazy youth they miss so much. Beyond the story itself, we see characters with their own personality, weaknesses and dreams. Like anyone of us.
Spend a good time watching this (listen to the awesome soundtrack! )and finally thinking of your own future.
Alright. The cast is superb. these guys are all probably real big in UK but to me they were total strangers that I fell in love with. the story is real and makes one realize what the life of a rock band really is like. the funny moments and drama are very effective and realistic. And the song of the film will bing tears to the eyes of those who watch it. I have this film ad have watched it many times with different friends. and everytime the ending kicks in we all sit back and smile and say AAAAAH how nice. PS: the soundtrack is fantastic, even though a song I heard called ROCK N ROLL PROPHECY by LINES OF D could have had the same effect in the end but for a more ROCKIN audience. The soundtrack is superb. One thing I kept asking people was whether or not STRANGE FRUIT were a real band cause they seemed so real.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this when it first came out, and could barely remember it except for
the fact I enjoyed it and that Bruce Robinson's performance really stood
out, enough for me to remember his character five years later when I could
barely remember anyone else (doesn't help that we watched the film first
time round as part of a midnight marathon of films so I was spaced out
lack of sleep).
Then I got my hands on the DVD and watched it... and found myself wondering how I could have forgotten it.
Without spoilers, the plot is simple: A rock band formed in the late 60s, peaks in the early 70s. With tremendous potential and a huge following, the band is torn apart by the tragedic death of their lead singer, Keith, by drugs. Two years on, they've got themselves a new lead singer, Ray, whose glamorous, larger-than-life rock-star lifestyle and ambitions clash with the quieter, broodier, more ballard-loving song-writing base guitarist, Les. With Keith's brother, lead guitarist Brian, the acknowledged heart, soul and genius of the band, set to follow Keith to the great rehab in the sky, the band exits the limelight in an ignoble lightning explosion that mirrors the flames that engulf the band from within.
Simmering with anger and bitterness, the band, complete with its two faithful roadies, Hughie and Brian's girlfriend, Karen, seperate and go their seperate ways, never to contact each other again... ... Until 20 years later, the son of the promoter of their last ever gig, approaches Tony, the keyboard player whose life has deteriorated into refilling condom machines in resort bathrooms, and asks Strange Fruit to reunite for an anniversary gig of their last infamous festival. Tracking down Karen, now a frustrated hotel clerk, with a divorce behind her and sulky teenage daughter looking over her shoulder, he convinces her to climb on board. Together, they begin the long, hard process of tracking down the rest of the band members in the hopes of reforming Strange Fruit for one last gig to prove to the world they really did have what it took to be great.
But their unresolved grudges threaten to tear them apart before they can even begin, and when they finally track down the last missing member, Brian, to a single impersonal fax stating he died 5 years beforehand and bequeathed his Royalties to a cancer foundation in America, the band are left with no option but to recruit young and naive guitarist, Luke as a replacement. With time running out, the heart of their group dead and old wounds festering like sores as they career from one disastrous gig to another, can the band really bury the past before the past buries them?
All the way through you can see exactly why the band fell apart and the issues that prevented them from ever jelling as the team they needed to be in order to achieve the heights they all knew they were capable of reaching. But slowly, as the film progresses, you begin to see what brought them together as a band as well. As they struggle to learn how to recapture the glory, they gradually begin to understand what it is they've really lost. You can empathise with all the characters. Bill Nighy produces the best comic performance, but Stephen Rea, Juliet Aubrey and Bruce Robinson reveal the emotional core that shows how these people were so inescapably bound together regardless of whether they loved or hated each other.
This is an excellent film. Worth watching at least once and in my opinion, worth watching multiple times.
...Heads, Hands, and Feet - a band from the past, just like
Strange Fruit. A
triple whammy there. Those who have professed not to like this film are
either heartless or under 40, and have had no experience of the real
Sad for them. This is an achingly well-observed little picture that is an
excellent way of passing an hour or two, and will probably not even fade
much on the second showing. Stephen Rae, Timothy Spall as the fat drummer
(in many ways quite the most delightful figure of all), and Bill Nighy - a
new name for me - as the neurotic vocalist and front man all turn in super
performances, and Juliet Aubrey has lovely doe eyes to go with some sharp
acting as Karen, who tries to hold the band together as they spectacularly
The Syd Barrett/Brian Wilson echoes are loud and clear, Mott the Hoople rear up before one in all their inflated ridiculousness, and the script is never mawkish for more than a minute. Don't compare this with Spinal Tap or The Rutles or The Full Monty - it's unfair on all of them. The nearest comparison is The Commitments, and that's no bad thing. And any film that can conjure up memories of Blodwyn Pig - a band I do not remember ever seeing, but the name lives on - well, it shows somebody in the team knew what they were on about.
A small delight, and thanks for the memory.
Oh... and I've got ANOTHER one - Stiff Little Fingers; a-a-and what about SteelEYE Span... Spooky TOOTH... Ten Inch NAILS anyone? (You have to see the movie or have been on the road)
What happens to washed up rock-n-roll stars in the late 1990's? They launch
a comeback / reunion tour. At least, that's what the members of Strange
Fruit, a (fictional) 70's stadium rock group do.
Tony (Stephen Rea) has the concession on condom vending machines when he runs into the son of the promoter of a famous music festival. It was at that festival in the 70's that Strange Fruit broke up. The 70's are "retro" and the time is right to wide that wave. He sets off in search of the other members of the band.
Part of what broke up the band was the death and replacement of Keith, the lead singer and brilliant song writer. The band was known for its excessive lifestyle and now they are all back amongst the working class from which they came. Beano, the drummer, played by Timothy Spall (who was brilliant in Secrets and Lies) is a layabout, the bass player is a roofer, and their lead singer is still a rocker. While he owns a huge mansion he has been forced to sell it, as his fortune has not lasted. Brian, the lead guitarist, is dead, so a young guitarist is hired to replace him.
Somewhat reluctantly the band agree to give the reunion a try. Abandoning their day jobs, they begin to rehearse, and their manager approaches their label about reissuing their albums. But he wants them to start touring again first. And so they hit the club circuit around Europe. The club scene is not kind to these overweight, dated, old rockers.
It is on tour that the film really starts to develop. All of the old conflicts rearise, with the figures of Keith and Brian hovering throughout. They all hang together because they are all in search of a second chance for the greatness that eluded them earlier. And they rediscover some of the interpersonal chemistry that made playing together so enjoyable.
Still Crazy starts as Spinal Tap II but gradually becomes a more dramatically focused film, following the relationships of the band members. While it is still a very funny movie, it is the evolving characters, struggling to deal with the deaths of Brian and Keith and with their own personal demons, that make the film work.
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