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14 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

An intimate & revealing portrait of a rock legend...

Author: b_simmons50 from United States
19 December 2007

I saw this film recently and found it a very compelling, true portrait of an artist who is struggling to stay relevant in today's "flash-in-the-pan", youth-oriented music world. Though I was familiar with Meat Loaf's music going into the film (who isn't!?), I had no idea what a fascinating behind-the-scenes character he is! This film is a showcase for his passion, his demons, his triumphs, his struggles, and his relationships with his fellow band-mates. It feels very intimate and we are given access to Meat Loaf in all sorts of situations: during rehearsals and vocal practices, backstage and even on the road.

I think it's a film that is well worth watching, for Meat Loaf fans and those who are simply interested in getting a glimpse at the psyche of a major rock legend.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Heartbreaking, heartwarming, and lots of fun to watch

Author: Kathy Borror from United States
21 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Meat Loaf: In Search of Paradise" chronicles the launch of Meat Loaf's 2007 world tour and follows the artist and his band for an exciting, hectic and often grueling three weeks, while providing insight into his creative process, his working relationships, and his very personality.

As the film begins, we hear "Welcome To The Show," from Bullfighter Ballet by Wings of Fire Orchestra, and we see concert footage of Meat, singing, sweating, and giving everything he's got, just as he has been doing for nearly 40 years. The sequence is evocative of a bull charging into a ring, and we learn as the film unfolds just how apt a comparison this is. Concertgoers know how much heart and soul Meat puts into his show; they know his passion and his legendary ability to make an emotional connection with an audience; but they might not know just how driven he is to make each performance top the last one, nor the physical and emotional toll this takes. With his trademark red scarf and his need to relentlessly push himself up to and beyond his own limits, Meat Loaf is both the bull and his own matador.

It's a very candid film, and in turn depicts the honesty and hands-on approach with which Meat Loaf faces problems, such as the one of reviewers fixated on the age difference between Meat and Aspen. Both in real life and in making the documentary, he tackles the situation head-on. Evading nothing, he resolutely quotes the negative lines from reviews, and in so doing reveals their trivial (and even ridiculous) nature. He not only deals with the "problem", but does so in a very creative way. Taking the song "Paradise" out of the present and sending it back to the 70's was an inspired idea, and it worked! - the reviewers came around.

In interviews, Meat Loaf himself has described this film as "real," possibly referring to the open willingness with which he shows us a little of his own personality. We see him reacting to people and situations with unrestrained spirit: sometimes with annoyance or dejection, more often with determination and humor, but always with feeling. The very personality trait that informs Meat Loaf's singing and acting, his uncanny emotional intelligence, makes for a volatile disposition. Meat is not a person who internalizes his feelings beneath a cool exterior. But the film emphasizes the devoted and tight-knit nature of the friendships and working relationships between Meat Loaf and his band, vocal coach, and others, and this comes across as not only "real," but very heartwarming.

Fans know that Meat Loaf is a private man, and will be thrilled to get such an up-close and personal glimpse of him, but others will enjoy the film also, either for the informative account of a rock band putting together a tour and dealing with problems along the way, or simply for the very humorous and candid portrait of an iconic artist with a captivatingly artistic temperament.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Guess what? Meat Loaf is actually sort of cool ...

Author: slyburner from United States
11 March 2008

For a dude that's almost lost relevance, this film was certainly a great reminder of the true musical force this man was, and oddly enough, continues to be -- even for all of us whom find him to be more kitch than legend. The film is pretty great, despite getting the distinct impression Meat's in control the whole time - my only fault with the film is that it just barely gives us a glimpse into the "real" Meat Loaf, because as usual, the guy hams it up constantly and you're never sure what's genuine or not. But the movie's definitely entertaining -- it's funny and packed with Meat Loaf songs (both old and new) that, as someone who's not particularly a fan, I found to be a lot of fun (even though the guy is quickly losing his voice, which is a bit disturbing). Plus it's sort of cool to see what it's like to be in a back-up band -- a lot of the story revolves around the other people in the stage show, which at times was actually more interesting than Meat himself.

YES, it's weird that Jim Steinman has no presence in this documentary -- but then again, what a can of worms that opens. In a way I'm glad they didn't touch it, because then the film would have been all about him, no? This film is just Meat on the road. Hamming it up and singing (a little badly). But for some reason it's fun to come along and see all this -- by the end i was sort of endeared to this old guy, who ultimately is, well, kinda cool. YEah, i said it.

Recommended for sure, just don't get caught up in the "is this the REAL meat loaf?" cuz you won't get it.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great, If You're A Fan. If You're Not....

Author: crossbow0106 from United States
13 April 2008

There have been many videos and DVD's like this, usually about a legendary performer doing shows or interviews. This film is about Meatloaf as he prepares to embark on an 18 month tour with his band. You get the meet him, and you have to admire his drive and dedication. His band, which includes former Utopia bassist Kasim Sultan, is very professional and give little insights into him. The man itself is 59 when this film was done, and he looks pretty good, but the shows understandably exhaust him (they even did in the 70's, he is that kind of performer). Obstensibly, though, this is for fans. I would have liked to see more music, thats what people go to see. This is not really a retrospective, because if it was they'd probably try to get Todd Rundgren (producer of "Bat Out Of Hell") and the Loaf's former partner, Jim Steinman. I am not a big fan, but I respect the man, and he really cares about his music. He deserves the success he has had, and this is a pretty good documentary of him. I saw it in High Definition, which is recommended.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Always room for Meat Loaf

Author: adrianeverett74 from United States
29 November 2009

Since the 1960's up to today in the 2000's Meat Loaf is still the consummate performer. When on tour He goes out night after night despite Doctor's warnings that if he does not take it easy he will kill himself. Meat Loaf is still larger than life even in his late 50s. He does not let his fans down and will go out there and deliver that powerful voice that sounds like a bomb blast.

This documentary is about the 2007 Bat III Tour and what it took to get it flying. You get moments at home, backstage, on the tour bus, and of course full blast Meat Loaf Rock N Roll Onstage Live in Concert. Watch this movie then go see the man himself Meat Loaf live and get blown away by this long lasting raging bull.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

"It's not about that, it's about here and now".

Author: classicsoncall from Florida, New York
8 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well I hung in there for the whole show, expecting a rousing finale but it never happened. What you have here is a fairly competent, but very limited perspective documentary on Meat Loaf's 'Bat Out Of Hell III' Tour and the progression of events and rehearsals that led up to it. I'm not a fan per se, but get a kick out of 'Paradise', so I tuned in when I saw this on the cable lineup last night. So now I know that Marvin Lee Aday draws his perfectionism from a youth filled with self doubt and insecurity. His father called him 'Meat' and his high school coach called him 'The Loaf' due to his being overweight. Well I guess he showed everybody that Meat Loaf with the right seasoning could be a main course.

When you do the math, I guess anyone who has the enthusiasm for doing the same song in concert nearly nine thousand times over the course of a forty year career has to show some grit. I did feel for the guy after every show as he nearly collapses from the exertion. But would a consummate performer have it any other way?

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7 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Great if you're not a die hard fan

Author: jakeandelwood
20 November 2007

When I heard about the documentary I was really excited. As a big Meat Loaf fan I really wanted to see this in depth look of him. Before I watched this I was already aware of the dedication Meat puts in his shows. And although they aren't all good he always seems to give his very best. So I wondered what I would get to see what I didn't already know about Meat. The answer: nothing.

Does that mean that this documentary sucks? No and yes really. No because the things we get to see are almost heartbreaking. We get to see many faces of Meat loaf. We get to see his 'larger than life' persona, almost broken, lying on the floor after a show. We see him being annoyed about the media about his act with Aspen Miller (Meat being 60 and Aspen looking like a 14 yr old did cause a lot of controversy in the press and by fans), we hear his band talk about him and we get to see how they go along together.

So a lot of backstage excitement you'd think. But not really because it doesn't really add anything to Meat Loaf from a fan's point of view. In fact at the beginning the crew of the documentary claim they are allowed to film anything for a certain amount of time but during the movie you realize that this was never the case. The direction always has been completely in the hands of Meat himself and we are only allowed to see what Mr. Loaf wants us to see. Nothing more nothing less. An that makes this documentary almost a waste of time. Whenever things start to get really interesting we get cut off so you almost wonder why it was made.

In the end it's hard for me to believe that the makers are happy with their product. Because it hardly is their product. It's Meat Loaf's propaganda movie showing how dedicated he is. At the beginning of the film it's obvious this wasn't the intention of the film crew but when it's all set and done the audience knows the director already lost charge after 10 minutes of filming.

So in conclusion you can say it's a good documentary for people who are not that familiar with Meat Loaf. You get to see a dedicated older rock star trying his best. As a Die Hard fan you learn nothing. From the reactions he leaves on the fan forum we know he is kind of a spoiled brat when it comes to criticism and thus the documentary was nothing more than an open door to us.

In Search For Paradise is included as the bonus disc on the recent Live DVD from the 3 Bats tour.

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