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Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2016
As with almost every Christopher Guest movie, "A Mighty Wind" is brilliant and hilarious. My family, thinking it would cheer me up, took me to see this when it first came out in the theater just 10 days after I had open-heart surgery. Laughing out loud was not impossible, but difficult and it was a good thing I brought a pillow with me to clutch to my chest! Thirteen years later and I'm still laughing out loud. This ensemble is so wonderful, and works so well as a group... the sheer genius of their improvisational skills is really quite something. "Best in Show," "Waiting for Guffman," "This is Spinal Tap"..... just insanely funny. Christopher Guest, et al are brilliant. Watch it - watch them all. You won't regret it.
This is the most poignant of all of Guest's movies, and replete with excellent (if sometimes silly) music. "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" was written by Michael McKean (Lenny on "Laverne and Shirley") and his wife Annette O'Toole, and was nominated for an Oscar. It should have won. It is simply beautiful. Some of the other songs, had they been performed in the 1960s or 1970s, would be folk classics today - especially "Old Man Joe's", though it would have needed one minor change in one line. I really liked Ed Begley Jr's performance as the Jewish Swede. And there was a moment while Mitch and Mickey were performing "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" when he did a reaction shot that is one of the best I've ever seen in any film. Every single performance was first rate. You can watch this time and again, and never tire of it.
A Mighty Wind makes me laugh every time I watch it and it must be watched. Part of what makes me laugh is the perfectly normal sounding part of the "documentary" juxtaposed with something wince-worthy. This was actually my introduction to the mockumentary genre and I fell in love with it.
I think part of the movie's attraction is its attention to detail. The album covers featured look like they were created during the appropriate time period. Even the songs and musical styles sound right. (Yes, I bought the CD and the songs blend easily into my other folk music songs.)
I also loved the extras. The deleted scenes are funny, but the jewels are the TV episodes and the PBN recording. They are spot on. Do take the time to watch them.
If you like folk music and have a sense of humor about it or if you enjoy good comedy, I think you'll like the movie.
I JUST LOVE THIS COMEDY TROUP. They are insane, and work so well together. I have watched all of their movies, back to back, and I am not even into Canadian humor that much, but these fools make me laugh like crazy. Yes, watch it. Bob Balaban is at his most neurotic ever in this one. I loved the Spinal Tap guys in this one. Michael McKean and Harry Shearer are incredible in their roles and of course so is Christopher Guest. Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara, are at their best, as always, too.
Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2013
A Mighty Wind Bowling for Movies Score: 300 of 300 - WOW, that's a perfect score. To date, precious few movies have been able to take the top score. They would include: The Big Lebowski, Popeye (The Robert Altman extravaganza!), A Clockwork Orange, and The Goonies... that's a short list considering the hundreds of movies I have at my fingertips :]
But wait a minute Movie Dude, I'm new to this whole Bowling for Movies thing - how's it work? Glad you asked, friend, glad you asked. Bowling for Movies is the brain flower of me, The Movie Dude, and made up of equal parts old technology and new peanut butter sandwiches. Utilizing a mix of quasi/pseudo-science the scientists here at The Thomason Home for Movie Goodness developed a completely un-patentable system for ranking and scoring movies which is 100% dependable and literally has nothing to do with bowling.
A Mighty Wind - We own the DVD version of this perfect scoring flick
What The Movie Is About: Ever ask yourself what if `This is Spinal Tap' was about a 60's folk group? Done in Christopher Guest's mockumentary style, the movie follows the efforts made by legendary 50-60's folk music producer, Irving Stienbloom's children to organize a memorial concert after his untimely death. Slated to perform are three of the most popular (and utterly forgotten) bands, The Folksmen: Mark Shubb (Harry Shearer), Alan Barrows (Christopher Guest), and Jerry Palter (Michael McKean); The New Main Street Singers: George Menschell (Paul Dooley), Terry Bohner (John Michael Higgins), Laurie Bohner (Jane Lynch), Sissy Knox (Parker Posey), Mike Maryama (Mark Nonisa), and managed by Mike "I don't think so" LaFontaine (Fred Willard); and the romantic styling of Mitch and Mickey - Mitch Cohen (Eugene Levy) and Mickey Crabbe (Catherine O'Hara).
The show goes off without a hitch... well, slight hitches... well, actually, wacky-zany comedy ensues as these three bands try to overcome the many long years out of the lime light to prepare for the concert. Down to earth "interviews" provide insight into the varied personalities (with hilarious results). This is seriously one of the funniest casts assembled anywhere with many of the scenes ad-libbed to perfection. Along the way, sub plots begin to unfold including an incredibly tender love story between Mitch and Mickey (I have to admit, the delicate story of their rise and fall caught me off guard - I had NO IDEA Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy could pull off such depth of acting). The New Main Street Singers is full of internal drama, from their off-color jokes, manager's often outrageous ideas, to the band's rules including the newest member not being able to wear his `civies' (street clothes) during practice until everyone agrees he's the embodiment of his part. The Folkmen, what can I say about The Folkmen - they are the self-appointed spirit of folk music, purist to the core - as opposed to The Main Street Singers "toothpaste commercials".
What I Loved About The Movie: ~ Expertly written, wonderfully directed, and AWESOMELY scored - A Mighty Wind is a spoofing of epic proportions
~ The music, oh my god, the music is SO GOOD - while they were making light of the short lived mainstream folk scene, they copied the style to perfection... these aren't fake folk songs - THEY NAILED IT, these are as real as it gets - a big debate at this house was who sang "Never Did No Wanderin'" better - The Folksmen or The Main Street Singers (photo finish on that one) and the tenderness of "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" by Mitch and Mickey... absolute movie magic, and well deserving of an Academy Award nod for best song
~ A thinking person's movie - the subtlety of humor runs throughout the film; no big bang jokes, no HUGE physical humor, no "look at me, LOOK AT ME" outrageous front men... just the natural humor which falls neatly around each character
~ Mandatory multiple watch movie... I have to come clean here and use what we call "honesty hour" rules (that's where everyone in the house has to be completely honest for an hour, usually reserved for tense house disputes such as "who used all the toilet paper and didn't replace it" or my personal favorite, "who ate the last cookie") and tell you, I didn't care for Christopher Guest movies... nope, I didn't get it - I watched
This Is Spinal Tap
, I saw
Waiting for Guffman
, heck, I even watched
Best in Show
... I just didn't get it and then I watched A Mighty Wind and I chucked; days went by and I found myself thinking of the movie, and I watched it again and the chuckling turned into laughs, by the 5th viewing, laughing turned to full on belly laughs. Once I "got it" I re-watched the other movies and found to my utter pleasure that they too were hilarious... Christopher Guest movies simply need to be watched several times to sink in, heck, I watched A Mighty Wind twice in the same day to write this review!
Ok, I don't usually put product links in but if you liked the movie you simply HAVE to pick up the soundtrack... it has extra songs not used in the movie and they are EVERY BIT as good as the ones IN the movie...
A Mighty Wind: The Album
. I strongly recommend it. Who knew Eugene Levy could sing like an angle? I'd buy tickets to A Mighty Wind Reunion tour in a second... but atlas, my review is turning into a small book :] 300 movies deserve the extra attention and love I lavish on them.
Hey, if you have a question about this review, feel free to leave a comment and I will try to answer promptly. I will be leaving more movie reviews with bowling scores so check out my other reviews. Bowling for Movies is in no way affiliated with Amazon nor do I have a website or other business interest - I'm just a dude who watches movies (and dabbles in quasi/pseudo-science) :] Want me to review a movie and score it in an Amazon review - I'd be happy to - if I have it, you'll get it.
5.0 out of 5 starsThis BD is a transfer from good quality and relatively recent 2003 film stock and has responded well to the BD transfer
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 19, 2016
With this 2003 film director Christopher Guest continues his series of fake documentaries. That started with the now cult film This is Spinal Tap. That was followed by Best in Show which explored the world of dog shows with greatly amusing and essential accuracy and that was followed by an investigation into the world of amateur dramatics via Waiting for Guffman.
The current 'A Mighty Wind' brings his dissecting eye to bear upon the world of Country and Western. Once again he uses the same team featured in the previous two films to good effect both serious and humorous. The team perform their own music with considerable talent so the musical element is presented very well indeed. The music is simply the vehicle into an investigation into the main characterisations involved.
However, this review is not intended to discuss the actual film as by now it will have both its supporters and detractors. Entering into those conflicts is not the purpose of the review which is aimed squarely at the many supporters of this film.
Essentially, for all of those who are keen supporters of this film and who have bought the previous DVD version of this disc, the only issue of vital importance will be whether the Blu-ray offers an improvement technically sufficient to justify the additional expense.
For this reviewer the answer is a clear affirmative. The upgrade offers a clear advance on both image and audio quality with the imaging being a marked improvement. The colours are firmer and there is an increase to the perceived depth of the imaging. The whole film simply becomes more 'real.' The film, which is so concerned with close characterisation, benefits considerably from this enhancement of reality.
The degree of improvement experienced from this BD will also inevitably depend on the replay equipment used. The following technical information is intended to be a guide to aid in assessment.
The screen used for this review is only of moderate dimensions being a 40 inch television screen. However, the television is a high performing 4K unit which delivers a compensating positive effect. The moderate screen size lacks the impact of larger screens but is less critical of film faults.
However, the contributing player is, unusually, able to separate the audio and visual HDMI signals before they leave separately to the television and pre-amp. That feature enhances both the visual and audio elements of the output. The audio delivers an unusually wide-ranging and revealing performance, useful in this case.
Readers with alternative equipment will have to interpret this review bearing in mind their own equipment and its comparative advantages and disadvantages.
In summary this BD is a transfer from good quality and relatively recent 2003 film stock and has responded well to the BD transfer. It is well worth considering for fans of Country and Western and admirers of Christopher Guest's style of humour.
3.0 out of 5 starsA finger in the ear to folk music
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 11, 2008
Now I am a folk musician, and I thought it was marvellous. It's not as funny as Spinal Tap, but a lot better than Best In Show. It affectionately spoofs 60's American Folk, but I have to say thet the music, not counting the contributions of the superbly cheesy New Main Street Singers, is genuinely excellent. All are excellent musicians and singers, esp Eugene Levy, playing the "casualty" Mitch who gives a marvellous impression of being a rusty musician, whilst (spoiler?) pulling it out of the bag when it really counts.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 14, 2019
If you're looking for a movie with great music that also makes you feel good, then look no further. I ordered this through Amazon but it took weeks to come from America - can't fault the movie for that.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2011
This movie definitely improves with repeated viewings as at least one other reviewer has indicated. What sticks out is that while sending up the whole genre, in a wonderfully affectionate way, the musicianship and songwriting is actually of a better calibre than most mainstream musicals. Comparisons with Spinal Tap are probably unfair as the viewer will probably be biased towards one or the other depending on their personal musical tastes. What it shows is the incredible versatility of the cast. Anyway, I loved it, but watch it for yourself!
Don't expect it to be as funny as Spinal Tap. But then what is? Nice movie, great characters, and funny. And very touching sometimes, to my surprise. And despite me definitely not being a folk fan, some excellent music too.
3.0 out of 5 starsSome well crafted characters save this movie
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 7, 2010
Some of the characterisations in this movie are subtley excellent. look out for the hometown american cheesey performance from the main street singers, cringingly brilliant. I found some of the humour adolescent with the motel noises from next door cliched enough to get away with once, but twice!! the music, which is this films reason for being, is definately fun and worth the small amount you are asked to pay. Spinal tap it aint...