158 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have to join the five-star chorus here.
Saw "Beyond" last night at a one-night special showing in a Minneapolis theater, and it is without a doubt one of the most interesting and entertaining films I've seen this year, and beyond. And yes, yes, I'm a Rush fan...but I'm not a RABID Rush fan. I'm missing a few of their albums and while I have a ticket to see them in concert this fall, that will be the first...
Published on June 11, 2010 by Greg
5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd have just rented it...
I've been a big Rush fan ever since Farewell to Kings, and I still am. Their music is nothing short of awesome. I bought this DVD hoping it would have more rare concert footage that I'd watch over again. Unfortunately it's mostly home-made video of them driving around their hometown visitng old haunts. I did learn a lot about the band and their roots, I should have...
Published on September 25, 2010 by Eric Z
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158 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have to join the five-star chorus here.,
This review is from: Rush - Beyond the Lighted Stage [2 DVD] (DVD)Saw "Beyond" last night at a one-night special showing in a Minneapolis theater, and it is without a doubt one of the most interesting and entertaining films I've seen this year, and beyond. And yes, yes, I'm a Rush fan...but I'm not a RABID Rush fan. I'm missing a few of their albums and while I have a ticket to see them in concert this fall, that will be the first time. I say this only by way of stating for the NON-Rush fan: Don't let that deter you from seeing this great documentary. There is so little actual music in it, that anyone, even those just interested in human interest stories and biopics, will find plenty to love here. There is close friendship, tragedy, very comical moments, inspiration...the whole package. And how great is it to see "rock stars" who are intelligent and generally lacking an over-inflated sense of ego? I think my favorite moment in the film might have come when the trio was aboard a plane, heading, if I remember right, to their next concert, and they all three pulled out books and began to read. I didn't see what everyone was reading, but Alex was half through Christopher Hitchens' God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. I have a hard time picturing just about any other rock stars doing something like that--with the possible exception of Bad Religion's Greg Graffin.
One funny thing from the film showing of "Beyond." I arrived fairly early, and then three other guys sat down to my left, and then a few minutes later another guy was about to sit in the single seat remaining to my right, and I asked him, "Couldn't get your girlfriend to come either, huh?" And he said, "No, my wife wouldn't come." And the guys to my left said, "Yeah, ours either." So there we were, a row of middle-aged, none-too-thin white dudes, enjoying the hell out of this movie. It had a good tribal sort of feeling to it, bonding with like-minded strangers like this. So when you pop this into your DVD player, maybe have some buds around to enjoy it with you.
67 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saw it at Tribeca Film Festival,
This review is from: Rush - Beyond the Lighted Stage [2 DVD] (DVD)Wow! What a treat! Saw this in the theatre at Tribeca Film Festival with a packed crowd. It was extremely well done -- funny, informative, and all the topics were addressed (from the tragedies to the outrageous clothing styles). I understand that the DVD may include an extra hour long bonus feature that were not in the theatre release.
Wall Street Journal gave it a great review and the movie won the festival's 2010 Heineken Audience Award.
Lots of great interviews with parents, rock stars, and the band. Quite an enjoyable experience. A MUST buy for any Rush fan, and a fantastic treat for those of you who just appreciate a great rock documentary. Will the ROck and Roll Hall of Fame be next? Enjoy....
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars for one of the best Rock Documentaries,
This review is from: Rush - Beyond the Lighted Stage [2 DVD] (DVD)I've seen an advance DVD of Disc 1, the main film, and it is very, very good. Rush's humor, which often escaped (and still does, remarkably) critics shines through on this set. The way the filmmakers and Alex, Geddy and Neil themselves explain things is fascinating. Now we know why Neil really never does meet-and-greets, even with equally famous people. The early footage of John Rutsey (RIP) on drums was rewarding too, from a historical pespective. What is more shocking, though, is how clean the "Exit Stage Left" concert footage looks on this release, compared to the DVD version released by Rush a few years back. The live 1981 clips on here look like they were shot yesterday, except for the slightly hazy, gauzy camera lens effect so often employed to movies and TV back in the early 1980s, and, of course, the fashion styles. Maybe we'll get a cleaned-up version of the "Exit Stage Left" movie with extra footage someday.
Back to "Beyond the Lighted Stage" - even hard-core Rush fans who think they know everything about Canada's most famous trio will be captivated by this documentary. I certainly learned a lot from watching, and I've been a fan since 1983. It's almost amazing to see film footage of Rush as teenagers - the clip of a young Lifeson defying his parents' wishes to pursue school is a time capsule deluxe. :)
Picture and sound are clear and look great on the first disc. (Still waiting for the second (bonus features) DVD advance.) Rush fans will only be disappointed in the fact that we all wish this was a 3-hour documentary film, but 1 hour and 48 minutes is a lot better than nothing. Enjoy, and play it loud. Long live Rush ....
P.S. The celebrity interviews included throughout the movie are like the ones included in The Who's equally great "Amazing Journey" documentary film - the talking head clips are short, to the point and never detract from Rush's greatness. Even Les Claypool, definitely a stellar bassist but a man who was cold and uncharacteristically boring during our interview last year, seems to come alive with some passion when discussing Rush. :)
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gift To All Rush Fans.....The Movie.....Rush:Beyond The Lighted Stage,
The reason that the movie is a gift from Rush is because they did not have to allow the filmmakers into their private lives to make a documentary about the rock band's history and their unconventional rise to fame and glory. But they did it for their fans. It's for all those middle-age men with greying hair who are located around the world. But they did allow it to be made. That's the most important thing. Rush fans have been peg by critics as white, middle-aged men in their 40's and 50's with greying hair who hold down steady jobs probably with families. I would even dare to say that some of these fans are grandfathers. And believe it or not there are women Rush fans out there too.
I can attest to this because my son and I made our way down to Nashville, Tenn., for the first showing of the movie at The Belcourt Theater near Vanderbilt University on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. June 15th. Naturally, we got lost in Nashville and turned around but finally we found our way to the theater. When we arrived there was a long line that outside the building and it curve around the corner onto another street. I thought, "Oh crap, we'll never get a seat." However, when we got inside, there was plenty of seating. There were some other men with their sons and maybe even their grandsons too. We found the perfects seats while my son went to the concessions stand to grab us a couple of cold drinks. While we were waiting in line outside, I observed the typical Rush fan and what he looked like. Like I said, most of us were white and looked about my age 48 years-old with greying hair and wearing glasses. Some of us had big bellies or smaller bellies (If you're lucky). I saw very few Rush fans with long hair these days. Most of us were dressed in casual clothes. I would say most of us had jobs or careers and probably had some sort of higher education. (I just assuming now from my journalistic observations). Also, a Rush fan walked toward the back of the line where we were standing and offered a free ticket to another Rush fan. I would say most Rush fans are kind and polite towards one of another and have a generous free spirit of giving like Rush musicians themselves, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart. After the movie, I observe the Rush fan who received the free ticket thank the other Rush fan who gave him the ticket in the men's restroom. Now, isn't that in the giving spirit of Rush shining through here.
Too me, I was just totally enthralled and entertained throughout the movie. It starts from the beginning days of Rush in Toronto, Canada, where the trio....Geddy Lee, Bass, Alex Lifeson, Lead Guitar and Neil Peart, Drums, all grew up. Geddy and Alex were raised in the suburbs of Toronto and Neil grew up on a farm outside of Toronto. The film shows footage of Alex and Geddy while they were in high school and Alex quit high school to play music. I'm not sure about Geddy quiting school. I didn't catch that if he did. The movie also shows interviews with all three band member's parents which I thought was very touching. Geddy parents were Jewish prisoner death camp survivors from World War II and Alex parents where Yugoslavian immigrants. Neal parents owned a parts store where he worked as a teenager. The original drummer John Rutsey had to be replaced because of health reasons and that's when they brought Neil into the picture.
Probably, the one thing that intrigued me the most about the film was how Rush decided to be just themselves and independent of everyone else on the rock scene at the time during the early and later years of the 1970's. They produced these abstract, conceptual albums like "Caress Of Steel," "2112" and "Hemispheres" against all the odds of their record label but they were able to survive and remain themselves. They didn't change. I think that's the one thing that appealed to me when I first heard the band in the Fall of 1976 when my friend Donald Dillingham brought the "2112" album over to my dad's lake house in North Mississippi, was the band's really cool and freaky sound. When he put it on and we were just blow away by it. I had never heard anything like it before in my young life. Rush's music appealled to the psychics of our little minds. At the time, we were feeling like outcasts living in our own little worlds by our own choosing. Rush took us took us to a different world like the other rock groups did, but in a different way than Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath. It was a mental escapism with the combination of their music and some of mind altering substance which I quit using years ago. I won't say which one. I'm sure a lot of middle-age men had the same experiences with Rush as I have had when they were first introduced to the band.
And movie goes on to show concert footage when they toured with bands like Kiss and Thin Lizzy just to name a few. The movie shows how Rush evolved to eventually to become the main headliner band on the scene at the time. And then they hit the big time with the album, "Movie Pictures" in 1981 where had such mega hits as "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight" which was being played on rock stations all over the world, over and over again. This was the heyday of Rush when they filling concert halls and arena all over the world. But they still do filled these halls and arenas to this day! As a side note, I saw Rush in concert four times. It was the one band that I saw more times in concert than anyone else.
Probably, the saddest part of the movie, is when it explains the tragedy that about Neil's daughter getting killed in a car accident and then shortly loosing his wife due to an illness. Neil is a painfully private person and you could tell it was hard for him to be interviewed for the movie. I thought he was pretty uncomfortable with the interview. That's just my opinion. I may be wrong. But regardless, he did manage to do the interview because he did it for us Rush fans. Thank you Neil! The movie goes on to show some stuff on how the group regrouped after being away from it for four years because of Neil's tragedies and how he managed to cope with it by riding a BMW motorcycle 55,000 miles all over North America. He even wrote a song and book about his experiences of that road trip called, "Ghost Rider," which is on the "Vapor Trails" album.
Regardless, if your a big Rush fan or not, this documentary movie will have you cheering, laughing, crying and cheering again. It is a must see for all Rush fans! Like I said, it's the gift that keeps on giving....from one Rush fan to another.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Sam Dunn & Scot McFadyen,Flight 666 . "Beyond the Lighted Stage" is one of the better career-spanning documentaries I've seen. I like Rush, but kind of lost touch with them after 1987's "Hold Your Fire." This film makes me want to go back and hear what I've missed.
For all the hipsters who have dismissed Rush over the years, it's awesome to see Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Kirk Hammet (Metallica), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) and Tim Commeford (Rage Against The Machine) singing the band's praises.
"R:BTLS" gives even a casual viewer a dynamite glimpse into the life of this band that's been together since '68 and putting out albums since '74. In many ways, this film would make a great double feature with Anvil: The Story of Anvil. Both bands that have been doing it their way for decades. Rush made it, Anvil didn't.
"R:BTLS" doesn't shy away from subjects like the tragic auto accident that took Neal Peart's daughter, or the subsequent death of his wife. As other reviewers have noted, that section of the movie is the emotional core of the whole film. Dunn and McFadyen are fans, but they're not afraid to ask why has Rush been marginalized and critically attacked over the years. They also spend time exploring Peart's aversion to meeting devoted fans.
I was really drawn into this film. No mean feat, considering this is not a story brimming with acrimony, drugs, groupies and all the other usual "watching a train wreck" staples of, say, "Behind The Music." A band, the people around them, folks they've influenced, and their fans. And that's all that's needed for a compelling story.
Just a film fan? 4 solid stars. Excellent documentary.
Music fan who likes Rush even a little? 5 stars.
Rush fan? Not enough stars in the galaxy.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a story,
This review is from: Rush - Beyond the Lighted Stage [2 DVD] (DVD)Not the biggest RUSH fan, never really was, but went to see this in a local theater tonight and man, what a great piece of work! A unique Rockumentary that has many different dimensions of the band in full view. From the early years through the present, it takes you through their career from album to album in a loose, chronological way. Shows some of the highs and lows and a peak into the creative energy that the band still seems to have. Neil Peart explains his writing style and ideology a bit. There are several concert footage scenes, but if you are going expecting to see a lot of music, you may be disappointed.... for a minute.
More than anything, this is a film about real guys who had a desire and need to do what they are doing. Its a movie that touches you. The friendship and brotherly compassion that these guys have for one another is well defined. And though Neil Peart had horrific losses and tragedies in his life some years back, it seems the band has truly come full circle now and are closer than ever. I found the scenes of Peart traveling and speaking of how he and the band handled that period in his life to be a very candid and inspiring. Something positive can come from negatives.
Their is a real sense of respect you get to see a few men in their 60's, after doing the same thing for 45 years, still want to tweak their craft and reach to new levels musically. Most bands of their genre live on recycling the past, but that clearly is not the case. It is also good to see such a strong fan base grow with them. That is magical. And they have that. Not just by looking at concert ticket sales for the last 30 years, but by seeing how many people were at the theater tonight only solidified my opinion.
So that is what makes this whole film work. Not really just the music element, but the human element. Even if you aren't the biggest fan, you will enjoy the flow, the bands story and Alex Lifeson's witty sense of humor! Its a very well done documentary that has no boring moments. There are many cut away's to other musicians and entertainers speaking about the band that are funny and honest. Aside from Jack Black being in several scenes, Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins)is featured many times as is Gene Simmons, speaking of taking the band on their first major tour. Sebastian Bach is there as well. But it does not diminish the quality of the film. Only makes you appreciate the range of people they have influenced.
Overall I will say A+! Great film.See it in a theater if you can, because it just looks great on the big screen and sounds EXCELLENT! Now I too have finally come to appreciate this excellent and classy band. Well done.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enormous amount of detail for a standard-length documentary,
This review is from: Rush - Beyond the Lighted Stage [2 DVD] (DVD)After a career of 35 years, the rock band Rush collaborated with filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen on this very thorough documentary. Members Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart all sat down for very long interviews, the vaults were opened for a torrent of archival footage, and past producers and even the band's parents give their impression of the musicians.
Fans will probably find the documentary most informative in its coverage of the band's early days. The account of Alex and Geddy upsetting their families by dropping out of school and touring is enriched by actual film footage of a teenage Alex arguing with his parents. It has long been said that drummer John Rutsey left the band because his health didn't permit touring, but here it is revealed that he was essentially forced out of the band against his wishes. Neil Peart's pre-Rush struggles are not discussed, but the account of his recruitment into the band is pretty entertaining. The band's sudden decline in the mid-1970s, when it seemed like it was all over until the 2112 album saved them, is frankly covered. Finally, the band's change from ambitious progressive rock to a shorter format is surprisingly linked to the struggles in the band's family lives. As we near the present day, details become more and more sparse. Geddy could have admitted that he screwed up the recording of VAPOR TRAILS and talked about the band's search for a new, competent producer for SNAKES AND ARROWS, but he doesn't. In fact, that most recent album as I write this is not mentioned at all, represented only by Neil Peart wearing a shirt with the album's logo in footage from The Colbert Report.
The documentary also covers the band's interaction with fans. Alex and Geddy show that they don't mind signing autographs or holding meet-and-greets. Neil Peart is infamously adverse to meeting fans, and the way he spastically flails about just at the mention of this reputation suggests that it's a lot more than simple shyness. On the other hand, the documentary seems to go out of its way to portray fans as freaks you'd want to stay well away from. The band's following is mainly represented by participants of RushCon, a subculture that isn't representative of 99% of Rush fans. We get an interview with a nerdy fellow, then a rather, uh, flamboyant guy. (The Rushcon extras on the second DVD are just salt in the wound.) Some musical celebrities are brought on to show Rush has had a major influence on rock. Some, like Les Claypool and Jack Black are nice to watch, but Skid Row's Sebastian Bach and the bassist from Rage Against the Machine are repulsive slobs and just undermine Rush's reputation.
The extras in the second DVD are mainly divided into two groups. First up are episodes cut from the documentary, such as a discussion of the band's hobbies and some explanation of the rap episode on the ROLL THE BONES album. The second group consists of archival footage of full-length performances of songs, ranging from 1974 to 2002. The sound quality of these concert performances is not great, but it's fun to see the band's appearance and playing change from era to era.
In spite of its few flaws, the amount of detail here surpasses most musical documentaries I've seen and is sure to entertain those who have followed Rush's career.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting vindication--and an equally fitting slap in the face,
This review is from: Rush - Beyond the Lighted Stage [2 DVD] (DVD)This film is a fitting tribute to a consistently underrated band. I particularly liked the fact that the filmmakers explicitly confront and defy the band's critics. Frankly, I have yet to understand what it is that these critics know or can do: they can't think, they can't write, and they certainly don't seem to know (or care) very much about music. To expect them to make music is apparently to set the bar too high, but that hasn't prevented them from having a "highbrow" self-conception that permits them to use the word "middlebrow" about Rush as an insult.
It's sad when so-called music critics are disappointed in a rock documentary because it lacks the elements of a "Behind the Scenes" soap opera--a consistent theme in recent reviews of this film. Sorry to disappoint, but "Beyond the Lighted Stage" is not about drug/alcohol addiction (or recovery), orgies or groupies, serial marriages/divorces, trashed hotel rooms, criminal hijinks, backward Satanic messages, or dysfunctional relationships presided over by overpaid and incompetent therapists. (Believe it or not, prurience is not the royal road to insight.) It's a film about musicians and the music they've made, precisely the subjects our mainstream commentariat is least qualified to discuss. But as South Park's Matt Stone says in the film, the anti-Rush blather that might have seemed cool and sophisticated 20 years ago--when the bulk of Rush's fan base was in its teens--now comes across as petulant, pathetic, and pretty obviously an act. There are many purely positive elements to this film, but I was glad to see that the film retains its polemical edge, and that it goes out of its way to slap the critics' faces. Those faces have needed slapping for 30+ years, and it's about time someone did the job. Much appreciated.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completes the story...,
This review is from: Rush - Beyond the Lighted Stage [2 DVD] (DVD)For RUSH fans this film will complete the circle for you. It was very interesting to hear the struggle between the band's vision and what the record company wanted them to produce. We've all heard the music, but never understood the balls the band had for producing the music they wanted to share. I could keep writing, but all you need to know is that if you are a RUSH fan, you will need to see this.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, funny, and at times touching. It's a Rush love-fest!,
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The DVD and Blu-ray releases will feature additional material not found in the theatrical release, so buying it is a no-brainer.
I've seen plenty of band documentaries before, but this one is special because you learn a lot about the personal dynamics between the band members and you really come to care about them. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have been mates since high school and their long-standing friendship bond is at the heart of this film.
I can't wait to see this again.
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Rush - Beyond the Lighted Stage [2 DVD] by Scot McFadyen (DVD - 2010)