Sunset Strip (2012)
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Rodney Binginheimer who should be able to tell great stories about the glam era on the Strip has surprisingly little to add. Mickey Rourke whom I admire as an actor and some tattoo artist guy have a lot of screen time but add little to the proceedings other than the viewer wanting to figure out if Rourke is still using after all these years or not. On the plus side you have some great comedians telling stories, STeve Jones from the Sex Pistols and Johnny Depp and some other nice story tellers, but there are just as many folks involved that probably should not have been. I am sorry, but Kelly Osbourne is just too young to be nostalgic about anything. It is a really disjointed film, but always interesting in spite of itself.
I really enjoyed hearing about the change in musical genres, and how it affeceted the people who frequented the strip from decade to decade, especially the change from the 1950'2 to 1960's. It was also quite interesting to hear first hand about the drug use, and death of certain stars. A must see for sure.
But lets get on with it.. this Fragmented hell and Chronological nightmare is a big mess. You don't know what the date is anyone is referring to, switching in seconds from the 1960's to the 1980's and then its Today! And the testimonials don't help you get there either. The biggest problem is the management of the time periods discussed. There is plenty of content biased as it is. And most of that content I found to be very interesting. But the order everything is makes this film a one time event for me.
The Sunset Strip is much more than the History this Doc tells. I suppose one must think of George Hickenlooper's "Mayor of The Sunset Strip" to see one of the most thought provoking Docs on this subject. But this "Sunset Strip" does not even deserve to be named such a film. A handful of mostly has-been actors and burned out rock stars tell you their stories with lovely graphic details such as Blowjobs under the tables of the bars they preformed in. What I really hated is that this film glorified drugs, sex and rock & roll to the point of a comical display. "Only in America can woman be tortured by members of the Band Led Zepellin and dig it! Seeing Peter Fonda being thrown into a paddy wagon basically sums up that era.. and then there is Pryor and the cocaine jokes throughout the film which made me physically sick as if I was on a week long binge myself. I actually did not think I was watching real people any more but a facsimile or empty shell of people that once were actually artistic in their lives. When they were funny, I cried, and when they were serious.. I laughed out-loud. Is this really what the Filmmaker wanted?
"Sunset Strip" strips you of your own identity and throws in your face just how cool it was to be so stoned you could not even remember going to the gig let alone playing it! I was not surprised that every stoner and x-stoner you can think of came out for this show. It was a who's who of; "Wow, can't believe that guy is not dead! The stars of Sunset Strip are the buildings, the clubs and that horrible ugly Tower Records where deals were made in the parking lot. That, I won't take away from this Filmmaker.. which he Documents well. But the never-ending jump cuts and complete schizophrenic time-lapses was like a bad LSD Trip in the Editing Room.
I suppose this was one stoned out wrap party, but my first screening went straight to hell! JEV / CSPS-MEDIA
I would recommend this film if you like music, celebrity stuff, Hollywood life and history buffs. Very interesting.