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Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan (2008)

Gano Grills , Wu-Tang Clan , Gerald K. Barclay  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gano Grills, Wu-Tang Clan, Bobbito Garcia, Gerald K. Barclay, Mitchell Diggs
  • Directors: Gerald K. Barclay
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001DHXT7K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,024 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the summer of 1993, the Wu-Tang Clan emerged from the slums of Staten Island, NY and took the hip-hop world by storm. Their legacy spanned over a decade, selling more than 20 million albums. Their talents brought them success and their music made them legends. This is their story..."WU: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan" is an inspiring tale of the Clan's rise to power, fall from greatness and phoenix-like rebirth. This gem of a documentary includes a spectacular presentation of never before seen rare concert footage and interviews intimately narrated by acclaimed, Gerald "Gee-Bee" Barclay.

In his opening narration, director Gerald Barclay reveals that he grew up with members of the Wu-Tang Clan. That makes his profile a first-person feature, even if he doesn't turn the camera on himself. As a video producer, Barclay contributed to the hip-hop collective's early success, so he isn't exactly a disinterested observer, which gives him access, but can also result in a limited perspective. Fortunately, he adds enough outside voices to stave off accusations of bias. To set the scene, Barclay takes a brief tour of Staten Island ("Shaolin" in Wu speak) and the martial arts movies that inspired the crew’s ideology. Founded in 1991, Wu-Tang formed around Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa, Method Man, Raekwon the Chef, RZA, GZA, Inspectah Deck, U-God, and OI' Dirty Bastard. As actor/rapper RZA explains, Wu-Tang stands for Wise Universal Truth Allah Now God... though he's open to other interpretations. As writer Margeaux Watson observes, "It is a typical 'Behind the Music' story," and Barclay dutifully tracks their rise, fall, and rebirth by speaking with friends, business associates, disc jockeys, and journalist-turned-A&R rep Bonz Malone, who admits he didn't get them at first. Sadly, the darkest moments revolve around ODB, who went from substance abuse to assault charges to incarceration, and passed away in 2004. Special features include Barclay's "Protect Ya Neck" video and extended interviews with Raekwon and RZA, who relates Wu’s solo-career master plan. In addition, the filmmaker discusses the making of the documentary, while ODB's widow, Iceline Jones, remembers her late husband. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly Disappointed January 14, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw a story on NPR about this new documentary, Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan. Not only was I surprised to hear it reviewed on NPR (complete with audio clips), I was eager to see a movie that depicted the rise of one of my favorite rap groups.

However, I was sadly disappointed. The movie gets off to a real slow start, and it almost seems like the director is making the movie just to use up stock footage he had from his early days with the Wu-Tang Clan. He has videos of behind-the-scenes stuff in the studio, and clips from the nightlife scene, but they don't really do anything to contribute to the story or the narrative thread of the movie.

Much of the commentary by interviewees is hard to understand, and Subtitles are not an option. The difficulty in understanding the language is a combination of bad audio and unclear ennunciation on the part of the speakers.

We don't get to see a lot of performances. Most of the performance footage shown is from a concert they did in Hawaii. When I think of the Wu, I think of them in NYC, Chicago, D.C. -- on stage in a packed, dark club with a frenzied crowd. Instead, we see the Clan performing on a sunny, open air stage, dressed in Hawaiian t-shirts and sunhats(!), and performing for an all-white audience. This is not the Wu that one normally thinks of, not the gritty urban rap supergroup that we all know and love. Seeing ODB prancing around in a hat that my grandma would wear to a day at the beach just takes away something.

This movie leaves out all the stuff that happened after the group's rise but before ODB (Ol Dirty Bastard) died. It then just abruptly ends.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment Awaits January 19, 2009
First let me say I love Wu Tang.

Now the review: in a word terrible. Another couple of words, average and amateurish.

When I opened this dvd I was pretty psyched to watch it. Half an hour later I was still watching it, although a little disappointed. But I kept at it. I was sure there must be something good coming up - after all this is the story of the Wu. Newsflash - nothing exciting happens.

The only really credible sources in the dvd are divine and Poppa wu, who have interesting tid bits to add here and there.
Beyond that the others in the movie are a loud records executive and people who once lived next door to a guy who once saw gza in the street or something to that effect.

All in all this dvd was a big disappointment.

Peace out
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slight dissapointment September 14, 2009
Like most things lately from the WU, or Wu related...fairly shoddy product....I was hoping for an in depth documentary experience, and some rare footage...plenty of rare footage from the early days....but production values drop off early and even with decent interview candidates,Divinie Diggs being particularly vociferous, this was overall a very disapointing product...especialyl considering the sense that the maker is quite a fan. Maybe that was the problem.....needed to be a bit more objective, and the focus on ODB as being the sole reason for the 'downfall' of the group was a shallow analysis.....hopefully something better will come out late.r...not awful by any means, considering the dearth of similar product,, but definitely dissapointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hip Hop History January 8, 2010
This documentary is on point. Directed by GeeBee & if you don't know who that is, you should definitely watch this & peep game. It's fun to watch all the old footage of the Clan. The dedication for Ol' Dirty is dope & heartfelt. Plus, you get a few videos on the bonus features; Protect Ya Neck & Method Man (bootleg version)...if I remember correctly. A definite must-have in any Hip Hop head's collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WU! February 2, 2009
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