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Taking Woodstock (2009)

Demetri Martin , Emile Hirsch , Ang Lee  |  R |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Demetri Martin, Emile Hirsch, Imelda Staunton, Liev Schreiber, Pippa Pearthree
  • Directors: Ang Lee
  • Format: 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: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002SQ364Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,050 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Taking Woodstock" on IMDb

Special Features


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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
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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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars re-Taking Woodstock 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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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Treat for Woodstock Fans! July 16, 2010
I happened to recently find this movie on my On Demand cable service. I had not ever heard of it.

I'm a HUGE fan of 1969 WOODSTOCK, (have Collector's Edition of DVD). I have always felt I was born in the wrong era--I should have been there! (To me, there is really only ONE REAL Woodstock.)

I knew some of the facts in the movie Taking Woodstock, but it was AWESOME to see it put together and done so WELL!

I love the portrayal of Elliot, whom I perceived as the main character. I saw this as also a "coming of age" film, from his point of view. He was amazingly brilliant at such a young age and to make such excellent "business/promotion" decisions that had to be made under pressure.

It is *totally* a "feel good" movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to own the DVD!


In my opinion, the best review here on Amazon about the movie is by James Lossing (it should be the top review) so be sure to read it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Woodstock
What a great time in history. Wish the world was the same way now. Funny parts in movie. Wish more music but this is not a documentary but a comedy
Published 8 days ago by Mark
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
My BF is from Liberty NY and we have visited the site and museum, this movie was great and according to what he told me the movie is spot on for the most part only one or two... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Hilary Plourde
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes the whole event more real-some
I've always regretted missing Woodstock. I was just back from Vietnam and was stationed in marijuana ridden Ft Ord; after the war I sympathized with the hippies, dropped acid,... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Robert Birdsong
3.0 out of 5 stars More of a coming of age movie
The movie was entertaining and fun. It did tend to drag on a little bit in parts. Also it would have been nice to have some more character development with the more colorful... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Darryl
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
We enjoyed the different perspective provided by the movie. It offered a few tidbits about the event that we had not known.
Published 3 months ago by Carol Anne Hendrix
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring!
I thought this would be a pretty cool movie. It was so boring I didn't even finish it. It was just so terrible. Well, not much more to say.
Published 3 months ago by Renee Mahlman
2.0 out of 5 stars taking woodstock
personally i did not like the two guys kissing.great representation of the times. stilll overall it was pretty well done.
Published 4 months ago by WIXARD64
5.0 out of 5 stars a very cool look at the woodstock festival from a different point of...
as a retired hippie who attended the original woodstock music festival in 1969, i am always interested in anything woodstock-related. Read more
Published 6 months ago by stockwrock
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky take on Woodstock '69
Authentic narrative provides insightful and charming perspectives on how Woodstock '69 came to be and its impact on the Catskills in particular and in human nature generally.
Published 8 months ago by LitProfDean
4.0 out of 5 stars FUN Fun, fun
'nuf said... buy it, enjoy it. Watch it, and then watch Woodstock. It'll put a whole other spin on the latter.
Published 8 months ago by Marc R. Krigel
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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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