Customer Reviews

101
4.5 out of 5 stars
Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me
Format: Amazon Instant VideoChange
Price:$3.99
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
"Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me" (2013 release; 80 min.) is a candid and intimate look at the legendary Broadway star, now age 86. As the movie opens, we spend time with Elaine as she goes about her business at her apartment in the Hotel Carlyle. Elaine is gearing up for another show, "Elaine Sings Sondheim" and we watch her at the rehearsals. The documentary contains tons of testimonials, including James Gandolfini (RIP), who quips "if we both had been 35 when we met, I'm sure it would've resulted in a torrid love affair that ends badly. I love that woman", ha! Someone else refers to Stritch as "a Molotov cocktail of savvy, madness and genius", and that about sums it up for me.

Yet the documentary is not just one long ode to Stritch. Indeed it doesn't shy away the darker side, showing Elaine battling diabetes and alcoholism. When asked point blank what she fears the most, she answers "drinking". The other challenge she battles is to remember the lyrics of the songs she is to perform, be it during the rehearsals or during the show itself. It all leads up to Elaine's performance at the Town Hall in NY.

The documentary also contains a bunch of archival clips, including Elaine performing on a TV variety show in 1955, yes almost 60 years ago, but also her unforgettable speech at the Emmys some 10 years ago. Kudos to director Chiemi Karasawa, a veteran in the film industry but her debut as a feature director. She is able to bring us an honest portrayal of an aging ("I'm older but don't call me old!") Elaine Stritch. I can only hope I have the same energy and enthusiasm for life, assuming that I even make it to 86.

This documentary opened last month at one of the art-house theaters here in SW Ohio, and the late matinée I saw this at was PACKED, believe it or not. "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me" is an enjoyable documentary and worth checking out, be it in the theater or on DVD/Blu-ray.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Getting ready for another of her one-woman shows, "Elaine Sings Sondheim", Elaine Stritch oozes moxie and personality, and this is just in her rehearsing. If you know even a little about Broadway then you will know about Ms. Stritch. Here, director Chiemi Karasawa shows us the woman during all stages of her life and performing career in a more intimate collaboration. We are privy to her very private side, one that I wasn't expecting, but thoroughly enjoyed viewing. Not everything is 'coming up roses' for Stritch although with her strength of character, when they do come up, she will grab them - thorns and all.

So much of the narrative by Stritch is a reflection on her life concerning feelings about the way things are for her now, and the struggles she has left behind her. She speaks openly about the love she had for her husband which could not be replaced after his passing. The "one person" she felt she could always trust. This appears to be an intensely important issue with her; trusting the people closest to her is imperative for her to work with any one of them. She drives this point home a few times in this study. While her candor is a large part of her, so is her vulnerability along with some insecurity about "getting older" ("never old"). Grappling with diabetes causes health problems that tax her memory which, in turn, can make it difficult to remember the lyrics of Sondheim. We see this mainly during the rehearsals; on the stage is an entirely different story. She commands her audience, her comedic timing is impeccable, and then rightly so, receives grand reviews for her ease in performing to the packed houses - over and over.

Stritch talks about her television role on 30 Rock, and I am probably the only one who has never seen the program. I will now. Her fellow performers weigh in, but her two cents are more than regarded as she goofs a bit with them. James Gandolfini also adds another thought onto adoration that you need to hear straight from him. Along with her comes such respect and admiration for the woman and performer that she is. She speaks about her trouble with alcohol and apparently, when asked, this is the one thing that scares her the most; "a drink". We see her celebrate another birthday while watching the documentary and hear of her long-term plans, that is if she does decide to make any of them. This is one lovely lady who is still on the move, yes, "still". She may not be too fond of the word itself, although for me, it only shows how amazing and resilient she has been for the long-haul ...

**I am so sorry to have to include this update; Elaine Stritch passed away on July 17th, 2014 in her home in Birmingham, MI at the age of 89. After viewing this documentary and getting to know more of her admirable life, my heart broke upon learning this very sad news.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2014
Format: DVD
What a fun watch. If you loved her on 30 Rock like I did, this is a fun watch. It's clear the show incorporated a lot of her personality into her role. Great stories by and about her by herself and fellow actors. It's also really raw and honest. 80 minutes well spent. Felt like not a minute of it was wasted.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
Rob Bowman, Elaine Stritch's Musical Director for 14 years, says at their first meeting, Elaine told him, " you have to be brutally honest with me, that is the only way I know I can trust you!" And, that seems to be the real Elaine Stritch. Over and over Elaine and her friends, colleagues relate the truth and honesty she shared.

I first heard of Elaine Stritch when I saw her in a Broadway show, 'A Little Night Music'. I had heard of her and seen some of her work before, but never really heard her. Marvelous, electric performance. And, here, in this documentary, Elaine shares her real life, warts and all. Elaine is 89 now, 88 when this documentary was made. She was rehearsing for her latest show, singing the songs of Sondheim. With her age and her fragile diabetes, she was fighting many battles. She would forget her lines, low blood glucose. Rob Bowman would need to run off and find her orange juice and prunes or pure glucose. At one point in the Hamptons, she became very ill, she was visibly afraid and agitated and was hospitalized. We follow her as she rehearses for the show, we see pictures and hear stories of her past life as she prepares the pictures to be shown in an honorary room at Stella Adler's theatre. Her friends, colleagues comment off and on, and we learn of the love that Elaine has for these people and theirs for her. Stories are humorous, but mostly the real life shows through. Her husband, John Bay, the love of her life. Her other loves throughout the years. In the end, Elaine decides the time is right to move home to Michigan where her family lives. She is there now, recovering from a surgery for cancer. She is not eating according to Liz 's daily gossip column. I hope Elaine fares well. A true talent.

This is a fabulous documentary. Everything is shown, indeed it is riveting. Elaine leads the film as she does in real life.
She's still here!

Highly Recommended. prisrob 06-29-14
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I have never seen a more candid and honest portrayal on screen. Elaine Stritch shows her strengths, and vulnerabilities in a style unique to Elaine. A must see film for everyone, and a must have DVD for fans!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
This was great but one of those rare times when you wish it were LONGER and you could spend even MORE time with this interesting woman. Stritch was Broadway, Brassy and incredibly nervy but somehow it all goes down so smooth--it's her endearing charm but also her unflinching honesty, which is so refreshing--but let's not forget her genuine talent as well. She could really deliver a character, a song, a dance, a line--her comic timing was impeccable. One of a kind.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2014
Format: DVD
I simply loved this documentary. It moves to a great beat while you learn about this amazing women who has lived a full and exciting life. She is talented, respected and revered. The director Chiemi Karasawa obviously becomes invested in the project, you can see her tender, love and care of the subject. When the end came I wanted more of Elaine and more of the film!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
Fun and interesting documentary. I admire her stamina, outspoken and boisterous personality. Lovable and inspiring. Gorgeous when a younger woman. Highly recommend if you like biographies of strong, independent, talented women.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
if you're reading this then you're already a big fan. you wont be disappointed. intimate, funny, touching and at times sad. what a life! what a woman! 90 mins very well spent :)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2014
Format: DVD
If you have the DVD of ELAINE STRICH - AT LIBERTY, you certainly don't need this sad (not "poignant" mind you, but "sad") document of her declining abilities and her desperate efforts to remain at center stage. Strich was always best in very small doses, like wasabi and tabasco sauce. Having once seen her in performance, I never had any reason to wonder why she sank the two musicals she starred in. She was ideal as a jaded, bitter loud-mouth, but Noel Coward was hopelessly delusional in thinking that audiences would accept her as a romantic leading lady. COMPANY gave her her ideal role: a few wise-cracks and one acerbic show-stopping song. Slam-dunk. As for this DVD, if you adore her, buy it. But if you simply want to see what she did uniquely well, stick with ELAINE STRICH - AT LIBERTY.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed


Follies In Concert
Follies In Concert by Mandy Patinkin, Liz Callaway, Liliane Montevecchi, Barbara Cook, Carol Burnett Adolph Green
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.