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Taking Woodstock

136 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A generation began in his backyard…From Academy Award®-winning director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) comes Taking Woodstock, the comedy inspired by the true story of Elliot Tiber (Demetri Martin) and his family, who inadvertently played a pivotal role in making the famed Woodstock Music and Arts Festival into the happening that it was. When Elliot hears that a neighboring town has pulled the permit on a hippie music festival, he calls the producers thinking he could drum up some much-needed business for his parents' run-down motel. Three weeks later, half a million people are on their way to his neighbor’s farm in White Lake, New York, and Elliot finds himself swept up in a generation-defining experience that would change his life–and American culture–forever.

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Peace, Love and Cinema
  • Feature Commentary with Director Ang Lee and Writer James Schamus

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Demetri Martin, Emile Hirsch, Imelda Staunton, Liev Schreiber, Pippa Pearthree
    • Directors: Ang Lee
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: French, Spanish
    • Dubbed: French, Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: R (Restricted)
    • Studio: Universal Studios / Sunset Home Visual Entertainment (SHE)
    • DVD Release Date: December 15, 2009
    • Run Time: 121 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B002SQ364Q
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,866 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Taking Woodstock" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Richard Mahone on February 7, 2010
    Format: Blu-ray
    This was a real treat. Being an extreme Woodstock-phile I know alot of small behind the scenes facts and details. The Michael Wadleigh documentary is simply the holy grail of doco's! I was under the assumption parts of this were made up for the movie and I refused to go to the theatre to see it. I was sooo wrong! Not only is it factual, they nailed so many details taken and recreated from the documentary!Like the nuns being filmed while flashing a peace sign! The Earth Light players! Hog Farmers!

    All of the people who whine that it's a movie about a concert with no music in it, GO WATCH THE MICHAEL WADLEIGH 4 HOUR DOCUMENTARY! In fact, if ya wanna make a weekend of it, watch them back to back! This tells the background of the concert and the local politics. You don't need a movie with the music in it...The documentary already exists and more people need to become hip to it. This movie just made my heart jump when the first helicopter lands at the El Monaco motel!

    Eugene Levy's portrayal as Max Yasgur is uncanny. No other actor could have pulled that off but him. He looks and talks just like the real Max. Watch the documentary right before Hendrix near the end and you won't believe the likeness! A perfect companion to the Academy Award winning documentary!
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    39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Sheri on September 23, 2009
    The 60's memoir Taking Woodstock is a story about how 20-something Elliot, son of a Jewish couple, was able to lure backers planning a music festival into the area where his parents run a `resort' motel. The story begins in a conservative rural community of farmers and small town folk in scenic New York countryside. The narrative hub revolves around the relationship between Elliot and his aging parents who own the El Monaco Resort Motel, a deteriorating business on the verge of foreclosure. His mother is a bitter character who oversees the finances and ordering of the household. His father is a withdrawn, tired man bent from years of bearing the weight of silent compliance before his wife while attending to the motel's maintenance. The townsfolk are a stagnant traditional group ekking out daily sustenance while news about the Viet Nam war, Arab-Israeli conflict and moon landing catch their attention in the background.

    Into this languid summer come two key folk - Michael Lang and Max Yasgur. Lang is an imperturbable saintly visionary from the City with the faith and means to walk the key parties through messy negotiations. Yasgur is portrayed as an enlightened agrarian businessman able to envision qualities lost on his parochial peers and acumen to make this into a venture profitable for all.

    There were initial clashes between locals and those part of early negotiating. However, once contracts were settled and the project began to unfold the momentum of the operation overwhelmed the situation. Construction crews, event planners and early arrivals for the festival descended. Masses of gentle folk grew daily until the entire region was gridlocked by thousands of `citizens' of the `Woodstock nation'.
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    23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Susan Devita on December 10, 2009
    Format: DVD
    I was lucky enough to see this movie in an actual theatre (remember those?) this past September, and it really was a delight. Watching with a small group of friends and loved ones, I felt a kinship with the central character and his simple desire to do something, anything, to change his fate while the world seemed to be changing its tune - for those three days, at least. Being both a musician and a fan of all things European, I really liked the look and the pace of Ang Lee's film. While the book on which the film is based bubbles and froths madly and delightedly like a late Seventies hot tub, Lee's film presents a place and a time that feels alive and gentle like a spring leaf but also has the sullen gravity of the fallen leaf once the autumn comes. Demetri Martin comes across like a slightly-stoned Pinocchio, hoping - through his 11th-hour involvement in helping to save Mike Lang's Woodstock festival from cancellation - to become a real boy. (It's not coincidental that the actor who plays his father, Henry Goodman, looks a bit like Gepetto in the Disney animated classic of years ago.) Those who complain that this film doesn't have music are missing the point - the film itself is music, and a soft and glorious one at that. Besides, there's a wonderful sequence towards the end of the film involving use of a song from `60s group Love being played on an 8-track cassette player in the back of a psychedelic VW van . . . that scene alone captures the real experience of being at Woodstock, at least as told to me over the years by those who were really there or who wanted so badly to have been there in person (though they were already there in their hearts). Having seen this film, I feel like I was at Woodstock too . . . and when this movie is available on DVD, I plan on going back . . .
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JournalStone on July 15, 2010
    Format: DVD
    "Taking Woodstock" is one of those films I could have easily missed. I had no desire to see it, and it was only by chance that I ended up catching it OnDemand. I can only say, as far as movies go, that I am very pleased I happened across it. The movie was a fantastic depiction of the behind the scenes story leading up to the monumental event which has become infamous. This might be the only concert in history that literally, on its own, defines a specific decade and what life was about during the much maligned period in time.

    Elliot Tiber (Demetri Martin) is a young Jewish guy trying to do the right thing and help his parents save the family motel business. He moves back home, forgoes his dreams of heading to California, and ends up being the President of the local Chamber of Commerce. Think of any small town in America with a couple thousand people and you get the idea of the farming community they called home. His crazy mother is so out of control she has actually began charging extra for towels and clean sheets to the few guests that venture their way.

    The roles of Elliot's parents were played by Imelda Staunton and Henry Goodman and I have to say I am not sure there has ever been better performances on the screen than these two did in this movie. They were phenomenal in their parts, making you both love and feel sorry for them as they rode through life pinching pennies, and fighting to keep the bank from foreclosing on everything they owned. Having grown up in a small town of 1,600 people myself, I almost felt like I was back home while watching the perfectly adapted settings Ang Lee so magically brought to life.
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    Topic From this Discussion
    Samsung BD-P1500 needs a post-Oct 09' firmware upgrade to play TAKING...
    Would love to add this blu-ray to my collection, but not at $27.99 !
    Dec 16, 2009 by S. Ciaccio |  See all 2 posts
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