Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pearl Jam 20 (C+)

I regret writing this review because I feel like it is unfair for me to review this film. Until viewing Cameron Crowe's slightly new rock-doc Pearl Jam 20, not once had I ever consciously listened to a Pearl Jam song. Clearly, this is not my movie. This is a movie for those who listen to Pearl Jam, grew up to Pearl Jam, and in all way shape or form love Pearl Jam. Cameron Crowe is clearly one of these people. It takes a man of true dedication to search through thousands of hours of stock footage in order to create one sole documentary. Any other director could of easily just recorded a concert and slapped on a few interviews to go with it to create this documentary, but Crowe does not. I appreciate this, because this extreme level of fanboy effort gives heart to a film which could've been a soulless advertisement for the band.

However, there is a downside for this level of enthusiasm. Crowe creates a film that can only truly be appreciated by the true fans of Pearl Jam. Giving near no exposition for those who know little of the bands exploits, Crowe assumes that the only people who would watch this film are fans of the band. Those who are "ignorant" are thrown in a roller coaster of confusion as more and more characters are piled on, and you are expected to recognize them immediately. Because more characters are piled on one another, and supposedly important events are thrown into the conversation without any background information, rather than the film being the thrilling rock-doc it was meant to be, the film becomes a pointlessly dull hour-and-a- half daydreaming session.

I wish I had watched the film with someone who was a deep fan of Pearl Jam. With their explanations and insight to what we were watching, the film would've become much more enjoyable. Unfortunately, I didn't, and as a result of which I'm writing a negative review to an incredibly well crafted film. Cameron Crowe is a brilliant director, and for what I think to be one of the first times in my life I'm blaming the failures of the film on myself. As said in the opening paragraph, this is not my movie.

Grade: C+

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