January 16, 2023

ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL: What a Difference a Movie Makes

ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL Ultimate Edition (Blu-ray Review)
2008 / 81 min
Review by Fluffy the Fearless😸

You’d be hard pressed to name another artist or band who benefited more from audience goodwill than Anvil. They were the subjects of Anvil! The Story of Anvil, which was easily 2008’s best documentary. Revealing, funny and ultimately touching, it’s a shame this one was snubbed at Oscar time. Then again, most things associated with heavy metal tend to be ignored & marginalized, don't they?

But not only was the film massively entertaining - often touted as a real-life This is Spinal Tap - it gave Anvil sudden attention and success after wallowing in obscurity for 40 years. No more false starts, disastrous tours or menial day jobs. Whether or not they’re actually a good band is obviously subjective and ultimately irrelevant, since Anvil! The Story of Anvil made audiences fall in love with tirelessly optimistic guitarist Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow and laid-back drummer Robb Reiner. After all they endured over the years, it was hard not to root for these guys.

Robb & Lips...masters of feng shui.
Since then, Anvil have taken advantage of their new lease on life, releasing several albums and embarking on numerous high profile tours. And that’s what makes this new 2-disc Blu-ray worth picking up, whether one is a fan of the movie, the band, or both. In addition to the newly remastered film - always worth revisiting - and archival bonus material, there’s an entire second disc loaded with new interviews and video commentaries, primarily featuring Kudlow, Reiner and director/superfan Sacha Gervasi. In a nutshell, Anvil’s feel-good story continues as the band reflects on how the film has impacted their lives and careers.

It’s not easy for a documentary to instill humor, drama, suspense and heartwarming moments, yet Anvil! The Story of Anvil manages to accomplish all of that with a story as compelling and inspirational as any fictional film. Best of all, one doesn’t necessarily need to be a metal fan to enjoy it. And since this film gave Anvil the biggest shot-in-the-arm of their entire career, it’s gratifying to learn their belated, hard-earned success wasn’t short-lived.


INTERVIEW WITH STEVE ‘LIPS’ KUDLOW, ROBB REINER & DIRECTOR SACHA GERVASI - By far, the best of the bonus features, this new feature length interview features the band and director discussing, among other things, the film’s impact on both.


PICTURE-IN-PICTURE VIDEO COMMENTARY - By Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow, Robb Reiner and director Sacha Gervasi.

2 VIDEO COMMENTARIES - 1) A full length Zoom commentary by Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow, Robb Reiner and director Sacha Gervasi as they watch the film on Vimeo; 2) Another oom commentary with director Sacha Gervasi and producer Rebecca Yeldham.

3 AUDIO COMMENTARIES - 1) By Gervasi, Yeldham & editor Andrew Dickler; 2) By Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow, Robb Reiner and director Sacha Gervasi; 3) By Director Sacha Gervasi.

2 Q&As - 1) With Anvil, moderated by Steve-O; 2) With Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow, Robb Reiner, Sacha Gervasi and Peter Dinklage.

ARCHIVAL INTERVIEWS - Interview with Lars Ulrich; Where Are They Now? (interviews with 2 former band members); This Feels Good (2008 interview with the band).

“1981” INTERVIEWS - Though listed on the menus as 1981 interviews, they are obviously culled from a time after the film was released. The best one features Lips discussing his friendship with Motorhead’s Lemmy.

SACHA GERVASI ROCKS WITH ANVIL - From 2008, the director joins the band on stage for a song.





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