Clemens: Who Do You Think I Am?
(2019/Film Movement DVD)/Maiden
Of Grayskull: The Definitive History Of He-Man and The Masters of the
C+/C+/C+/B-/C+ Sound: A-/C+/C+/B-/C+ Extras: D/C-/C/C/D
for more documentaries worth hearing, knowing about and even
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's break up in 2003 what
happened to Clarence Clemons? To answer that perhaps the first
question should be who was Clarence Clemons? Clarence packed his sax
and took to the road, traveling and playing where ever his journey
took him, but regardless where he went the people could not deny his
love of music and life. This documentary is not just from historians
and writers, but the stories of those who personally knew him and how
he changed their lives in Clarence
Clemens: Who Do You Think I Am?
Clemons was a man who was larger than life, he was an artist, a black
musician who impacted the world with his saxophone alone. All those
who played with him call him the heart and soul of the band. Born in
the time of U.S. segregation, Clarence broke down racial barriers
with his music. His sax and music was welcomed where ever he played.
But even after breaking up with Springsteen, that Clarence Clemons
was not effected by the fame, wealth or power. Unlike so many famous
musicians, Clarence loved playing music with everyone and everyone
loved him for playing with them, his music and his larger than life
attitude brought the band together instead tearing them apart,
including former President Bill Clinton.
documentary was unlike all the music documentary, this documentary
was from the first person interviews who actually knew Clarence
Clemons. Unlike historians who talk about achievements, facts and
records, the various interviewees talk about how they knew the man
and not the more the music. You can record a person's music, but you
can only know the soul of a man by those who actually knew him.
are no extras.
a fine sequel of sorts to her underrated look at a rich family in
Queen of Versailles,
which we reviewed a few years ago at this link...
time, she is interested in seeing the idea of being rich become a
sick, ugly, distorted spoof of itself, a joke, a disease, late
capitalism gone mad and how it is ruing the lives of more people than
it seems on all levels of socio-economic class, how it allows for the
worst things to happen and the soulless, grotesque results that too
often throw the obvious differences between right and wrong out the
window in a production more prophetic than she likely realized she
worse, the people who think they are successful and happy, especially
when they have so much, seem angrier, more shallow, more miserable
and more disconnected form the real politic of actual reality than
they would have been say, prior to the 1980s. Even the American
Dream has become a spoof of itself and those shown in the clouds of
delusion truly are not aware of where they are and what is really
going on in the world around them. This will shock some, but not
surprise others, though since its release, some of the delusion has
started to crumble a bit, but mostly not.
result is a warning of worse things to come for the U.S. and beyond,
some of which is happening as you read this, so much of this is
unsustainable, how willing the people here are willing to talk about
their lives without realizing what they are confessing and shows a
side of things that for all intents and purposes, media of all kinds
have been ignoring and even hiding. This is a must-see work that
should have been longer and will soon need a sequel.
photo gallery by Greenfield is the only extra, but it is interesting.
a portrait of the highly successful and groundbreaking British skater
John Curry, an Olympic champ in 1976 who was never impressed with his
Soviet competition and thought they were overrated, continued to be a
success and when he won, his homosexuality was revealed by accident,
or the like. He continued to impress and we hear about his private
life, discovering his art, himself, sexuality and some of his
relationships for better and worst.
is brutally honest at times and so is he, even when he gets HIV and
eventually, AIDS. It is a key untold story of the time and a pretty
good biography, but I also thought more people should have been
talked to and it could have been longer. Cheers to the makers for
getting all the video and film footage they were able to get and
capturing how hard at the time it was for Curry to deal with some of
the darker things he had to juggle. I knew a little bit about him,
but this is a long overdue portrait of the man and definitely worth a
Q&A with the director and featurette on the music are the
the real life story on how a group of women took on a grueling around
the world boat race with an all-female team and eventually broke the
all-boys club by actually winning the event after so much pandering,
sexism and much, much more. Tracy Edwards lands up spearheading the
attempt at age 26 and after so many starts and stops, finally gets
things going to the shock of many and still, many thought they would
group of new interviews are mixed with a huge helping of analog
videotape (mostly PAL and/or NTSC, to the luck of this documentary)
and the result is a well-rounded 97 minutes that are as much a
portrait of the people as of the era, the time and sports then and
now. I had heard a little about this, but not anywhere to this
extent, so this was a film also worth making.
interview featurettes are the extras.
we have Randall Lobb & Robert McCallum's Power
Of Grayskull: The Definitive History Of He-Man and The Masters of the
the tale of how a toy line became a TV and film franchise, making a
ton of money and still surviving despite some big missteps that would
have killed other properties. We've reviewed many of the seasons of
several of the hit shows that toy giant Mattel (who created the
character) got into the film production business to stop missing
opportunities to sell fun and toys to young buyers.
some of the DVD sets we've covered (Blu-ray releases of the TV shows
are long overdue in the U.S., but apparently have started to show up
elsewhere) had good extras about the characters and TV shows, but
this is a nice update and for fans, continuation. The interviewees
have much to say and contribute, we see Mattel create the line, then
turn to the sadly now defunct Filmation Animation Studio to create a
series for the toys, but with one twist that most thought were
doomed: a new series with new episodes five days a week. At the
time, that was unheard of, but one of the last of many great
innovations Filmation delivered before they were forced to fold by a
later owner who did not know what they were doing.
addition to rare art, amusing TV commercials and print advertising
that shows how the whole thing took off, the 95 minutes we get here
also land up offering a look at the toy business that we do not get
to see enough. Here, it starts in 1973 when Kenner (now Hasbro)
launches their brilliant action figure line for The
Six Million Dollar Man
and it is a huge hit as well as a shift for action figures for young
men who previously only had military characters to enjoy.
add to the program for the record, Superheroes were starting to
surface in the late 1960s (via Captain Action kits) and also by 1973,
the (just recently revived after after 36 years out of business) Mego
Toy Company introduced 8-inch action figures of DC Comic Superheroes
Superman, Batman, Robin and Aquaman (an unspoken tie-in to TV megahit
so the whole industry was expanding. The Bionic TV shows were a huge
made all the toy companies of the time try to capitalize and adapt,
but when George Lucas went to several companies for a new film no one
understood initially (Star
of course), the head of Mego was out of town and head of Mattel blew
it, so Kenner got it, came up with ways to get toys sold before they
were made early on and the rest is history. All this helped lead to
He-man and that expanding world.
for the 1981 MGM Clash
Of The Titans
feature film and licensing for the upcoming Conan
film (an early Schwarzenegger hit) played into this. Mattel made
toys for the former, but not the latter since that film would be
rated R for violence and some nudity. I'll let the program explain
the rest, though it should be noted a key part the documentary
he was in hit comic books for both Marvel and DC, Conan was already
selling comics and novels with and without pictures, so Mego actually
licensed him early on in a great action figure for the superhero line
launched in 1973 as noted above. Eventually, he was discontinued,
though Tarzan (also part of that line) disappeared earlier and Mattel
did a nice-but-brief (and now very valuable line built on their Big
Jim action figures, also launched around 1973) so you can see why
Conan's owners would think of Mattel after leaving Mego. Obviously,
this film suggests a separate production.
also liked that both Dolph Lundgren and Frank Langella give great
interviews on their feature film version and how it does and does not
hold up. In the end, the documentary brings it all together with a
He-Man future up in the air, but to update it, two new TV series are
about to launch (one involving Kevin Smith) and Sony (via Columbia or
TriStar) has been developing a new feature film for a long time, so
that may finally happen too. All the more reason to catch this
are sadly no extras, but maybe a Blu-ray could add updates down the
the stock footage and older analog video (whether NTSC or PAL) shows
its age, the picture quality on these discs have their limits. The
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Clarence
should have still looked a bit better overall, but is a bit rougher
than expected, so the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image
transfer on Maiden
lands up being the visual winner by default, though you'll feel like
you've been on an analog video time warp in all cases.
includes the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Wealth
plus the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Grayskull.
Its just the nature of what was in the vaults and personal
collections that made these all possible.
the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on the two Blu-rays
are solid, with Clarence
offering great music at its best and Maiden
just edges out the DVDs, though all five have analog audio that can
sport age, location audio issues and expected wear. All three DVDs
offer passable, lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, with King
also offering simpler, weaker, lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. They
have the same audio issues on older materials, but are all worth
suffering through those limits to enjoy the stories revealed.
Nicholas Sheffo and Ricky Chiang (Clarence)