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16 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

An Interesting Peek Through an NYC Gloryhole

7/10
Author: ddunn-2 from Fairfax Station, VA
26 February 2012

This was an entertaining and informative look at the history of the Manhattan club scene, which contradicts the popular notion that this period of culture primarily consisted of Studio 54 and the also-ran clubs. It is also an insightful glimpse at the rise and fall of MDMA's impact on nightclub life; something that many people do not and cannot fully appreciate.

As to one reviewer's complaint that the film is mainly composed of old TV footage and interior shots (what exactly is wrong with that?) of the clubs central to the story: what was the director Mr. Corben supposed to do, get into his time machine and set-up new shots? The documentary made good use of existing film records, without a lot of shot duplication, something that plagues many films which rely on available stock footage.

This documentary is worth your time, especially if you have ever ingested real MDMA and then gone out dancing.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Peter Gatien as NYC's and Federal Govt's Sacrificial Lamb

8/10
Author: stacyb139 from United States
10 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This documentary is a very well-researched and unbiased summary of the rise and fall of New York nightclub genius, Mr. Peter Gatien. Kudos to Billy Corben and Jen Gatien for creating this fascinating glimpse into the pre- and post-Guiliani worlds of NYC nightlife.

That being said, I feel I must interject my own biased opinion into the mix. It is patently clear that Mr. Gatien was served up as a sacrificial lamb to those in state and federal politics at the time. Everyone hung their career aspirations on Gatien's head as if he were a trophy. He was made into the poster child for all of the evils in Manhattan at the time. Then, when the trumped-up drug charges didn't stick, when the jury found Gatien 100% not guilty, NYS went after him for tax evation like a petulant child who didn't get a pony.

A decade after being deported back to Canada, Mr. Gatien petitioned for a pardon and was DENIED by the likes of then-Governor David Paterson, a self-admitted adulterer and cocaine user. Whatta disgrace.

You might ask me, why all the vitriol? Simply this- Peter Gatien was singled out among many, many other people involved in various aspects of the entertainment industry because of his visibility and success. As was expressed in the documentary, has anyone from the Meadowlands, MSG or any other public venue been so persecuted because an event-goer took or bought drugs there? BS! Yet it was oh-so-satisfying for US govt to take a man like Peter G. and break him and his family. I'm disgusted.

Just one person's personal opinion, but for me, I'm waiting for Peter to rise from the ashes like the Phoenix he is.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Solid

5/10
Author: Cosmoeticadotcom (cosmoetica@gmail.com) from United States
1 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As someone whose early adulthood was spent in Manhattan at night, I was familiar with the rave scenes, and knew to avoid it for the very reasons the film promulgates. There are the usual over the top clichés, wherein the talking heads of the film proclaim the rave scene as making a youth culture for the world, but, in reality, techno and electronica music died on the vine, and hip hop (the watered down version of hardcore rap) is not exactly known as a progenitor of culture. And if Moby is the best the film can do, in regards to talking heads, you know you're in trouble.

But, the film shines as a police procedural, even if, at 102 minutes at length it often feels like a bloated A&E special on the 1980s. Gatien, deported after being cleared of criminal charges, and nailed on tax charges (ironically just like 1920s Chicago kingpin Al Capone), is not hagiographized, but the film could have done a much better job of fleshing out his personal issues. Likely, given his daughter's role as co-producer, this was a taboo subject for the cameras.

Corben's film is slick and polished, but its lead subject is just not that interesting. Yes, it is fascinating to hear about how routinely the justice system is abused, and why- so that middle class malcontents can feel smugly superior in the little moralities, but, after such gas deflations, what is really left? There are the usual bevy of talking heads (including former New York Mayor Ed Koch), but little of relevance is put forth, outside of the recounting of Gatien's case. Archival video and film footage fill in the rest, but the lesson to be culled is that the pre-9/11 New York was, for all its glory on cleaning up crime under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, still a cesspool of corruption, only this time of the institutionalized variety. One hopes that Corben returns to this subject in a later film.

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9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A twenty minute segment from History Channel special on the 80's stretched to 90 minutes

4/10
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
8 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

a film about Peter Gatien, the owner of legendary New York nightclubs like Limelight, The Tunnel and the Palladium. The film documents his rise and fall from the 1980's through the 1990's.

I was hoping to see a film that was a detailed the clubs and their owner. Instead I got a film that seemed to be a mix of footage from inside the clubs, period local news stories and some new interviews. Little of it was much more detailed than the brief news stories that punctuate and make up most of the film. Its the sort of thing that you'd see on say the History Channel in a segment on the 1980's but stretched to 90 minutes. Threads are left hanging, people are mentioned and then fall by the wayside (the evil girlfriend for example).

I was disappointed, there wasn't much here, though I suspect that if you were a club kid or followed the club scene you might get something more out of it in nostalgia value.

I should say that the film isn't bad it just isn't all that detailed. I would have been happier if I had seen this at home on the couch instead of a movie theater.

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5 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

BADDDDD Web of lies

1/10
Author: e-mccabe from NYC
26 August 2012

I used to party at these clubs and Peter G did not get what he deserved. This man hosted the venue for people to sell drugs and have a good time. My first time at one of his clubs I was 16 and was offered E within the first 10 in of being there. THIS MOVIE IS ALL LIES!!! This documentary is clearly bias as it was made by his daughter and makes every attempt to make Gatien look like a victim. If you've partied at his clubs in the past I would suggest I would suggest watching all of 15 min of this movie to get a good laugh. If not its total BS and totally not worth watching. Great times at the clubs but baddd interpretation of the truth.

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