Ronnie Hawkins – Still Alive & Kickin’ (Music Documentary)
Picture: C Sound: C+ Extras: C Documentary: B-
Rock, Soul, Blues and even Country legend Ronnie Hawkins was as big as Elvis in
his time, with a backing band that became The Band (as featured in Martin
Scorsese’s The Last Waltz, reviewed elsewhere on this site) and even has acting
credits including in Michael Cimino’s classic Western Heaven’s Gate in
1980. Now, having survived cancer, he
continues to move forward as an elder legend in Anne Pick’s 2004 documentary Still Alive & Kickin’.
by Dan Aykroyd, the program attempts to tell the parallel stories of Hawkins
career and influence with his battle with cancer. The stock footage is often the most
interesting as the interviews lack pace and clear integration. Especially with his history, you know there
is much more to this than they could possibly fit into the program. However, it is historical enough and is
better than the lack of attention he is receiving. Maybe it will inspire a more comprehensive
anthology of some kind.
see him do the dance move that is referred to (accurately or not) as The Moonwalk,
but we’ll stop at bashing you know who.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 x 1 image is soft and one of the oddest we have
ever seen. Whether it is old film or
video footage, or the newly shot interview and performance footage, it is soft
and has strange visual warping that is a major flaw in the editing and
transfer. Oddest of all, there are shots
that warp the picture like a funhouse mirror (think the credits of
Frankenheimer’s Seconds or Alien Resurrection) that makes no sense
and is very, very problematic. The Dolby
Digital 2.0 Stereo is sometimes compressed and never great, especially a
problem with music. His work deserves
better. 20 minutes of extra interview
footage is the only extra with the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Robbie
Robertson and President Bill Clinton.
- Nicholas Sheffo