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At 14, best friends Robb Reiner and Lips made a pact to rock together forever. Their band, Anvil, hailed as the "demi-gods of Canadian metal, " influenced a musical generation that includes Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, despite never hitting the big time. Following a calamitous European tour, Lips and Robb, now in their fifties, set off to record their 13th album in one last attempt to fulfill their boyhood dreams.Written by
"At 14, Toronto school friends Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner made a pact to rock together forever. Their band, Anvil, went on to become the "demigods of Canadian metal," releasing one of the heaviest albums in metal history, 1982's Metal on Metal. The album influenced a musical generation, including Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, that went on to sell millions of records. But Anvil's career took a different path - straight to obscurity.
Director Sacha Gervasi has concocted a wonderful and often hilarious account of Anvil's last-ditch quest for elusive fame and fortune. His ingenious film-making may first lead you to think this a mockumentary, but it isn't. Gervasi joined the legendary heavy-metal band as a roadie for a tour of Canadian hockey arenas, so he has intimate insight into the members' eccentricities. It's fascinating to see the reality of their day-to-day lives as they struggle to make ends meet, take a misguided European tour, and engage in antics on the road - which is not always lined with fans. Gervasi even finds a softer center to this raucous film, introducing us to band members' ever-supportive, but long-suffering, families. At its core, Anvil! The Story of Anvil is a timeless tale of survival and the unadulterated passion it takes to follow your dream, year after year. Anvil rocks - it has no other choice."
I saw this film at a special screening the first day of Sundance 2008 and I was blown away. This film is very watchable, even if you have no interest in metal music. It's fun, funny and emotional in a way that when it starts you are thinking "this can't be for real" then by the end it has drawn you in and made you a part of the band's struggle.
Already, I can tell it is going to be one of this year's best.
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