|A Mighty Wind
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Documentary-style Comedy. Christopher Guest follows up his acclaimed ensemble comedies Best in Show and Waiting for Guffman with a docu-comedy about three folk groups from the '60s who reunite for a memorial concert in New York City following the death of a legendary folk manager.Running Time: 92 min.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: COMEDY UPC: 085392771820
There's A Mighty Wind a-blowin', along with the gales of laughter you'll get from Christopher Guest's third exercise in brilliant "mockumentary." After tackling small-town theatricals in Waiting for Guffman and obsessive dog-show contestants in Best in Show, Guest and his reliable stable of repertory players (including Fred Willard, Parker Posey, and Bob Balaban) apply their improvisational genius to a latter-day reunion of fictional '60s-era folk singers, a comedic goldmine that Guest first explored 30 years earlier on The National Lampoon Radio Hour. Collaborating with costar and cowriter Eugene Levy (who gives the film's funniest performance), Guest is so delicate in his satirical approach that the laughs aren't always obvious, and the subtlety can be as wistful (as in Catherine O'Hara's performance as Levy's auto-harpist partner) as it is hilarious. Some may wish for more blatant comedy, but that would compromise the genuine affection that Guest & Co. have for the music they're spoofing. --Jeff Shannon
- A Comedic Masterpiece.
I just saw this for a second time and have to say that I think it's even stronger than "Best in Show." That says quite a bit in itself as the sardonic humor in "Best in Show" is tough to surpass. The premise for this movie is excellent as there is so much about the folk music scene that one can find humor in. Guest and Levy's script is subtle in its brilliance and I found more to enjoy during the second viewing than the first. The cameo appearances are also magnificent. Ed Begley Jr. as Lars Olfen, the yiddish speaking Swede, is wonderful as is Fred Willard who just about steals the movie as a degenerate, cheeseball producer. Some of Willard's lines are so goofy it's just about impossible not to laugh. This is an upbeat, enjoyable film that provides one with a nice escape from real life. ...more info
- Mighty Disappointed
While I've greatly enjoyed the work of Guest, Levy, O'Hara, etc. in the past, I found this work sub-par. It looks like they put a lot of work into this mockumentary, effectively simulating realistic folk songs and singers, but the whole thing seemed like a very long set-up for a punch line that never came. I think they probably had a good concept, definitely good comic actors and good production techniques, but they forgot to bring the funny. Good for a couple of chuckles at best....more info
- Parody folk music, but still pretty good folk music!!
This is basically the same exact movie as Christopher Guests' other movie "Best in Show," except it's about folk revival music instead of dog shows. "Best in Show" was surprisingly good, actually, and I've caught myself rewatching it several times. "A Mighty Wind" has, I swear to God, every major cast member and most of the minor cast members from "Best in Show" so it's hard to forget you're watching the same formula done over.
Both are fake documentaries that are basically remakes of "Spinal Tap" (which, of course, starred Christopher Guest as well). This isn't such a bad thing, however. While not quite as good as either "Spinal Tap" or "Best in Show," "A Mighty Wind" is amusing. And the original folk music composed for the film is surprisingly good in places. "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" is a hauntingly beautiful song. Most of the other tunes are intentionally hokey or bombastic, as parodies of real folk revival music. However, as a fan of folk revival music, I still kind of enjoyed nearly all of them! The performances were strong and you can watch the movie for musical content alone and enjoy it on that level....more info
- Guest skewers, but without malice
My two cents' worth about 'A Mighty Wind' -- oh, gosh, don't get me started about the Guest Ensemble's multiplicity of talents -- is that, beyond the satire, there is always something tender and human in Guest's films. I think that he's embarrassed of it; it sneaks its way into his films almost in spite of his efforts to repel it. For example, watch (and listen to the commentary on) the alternate take of "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" in the DVD extras. Christopher Guest's intelligent and witty, pointed humor -- and if you haven't seen 'A Mighty Wind' I hope that none of these reviews spoils the gags for you -- possesses no cruelty. Smart humor. Corny music. Who wudda thought? No one else could have done it....more info
- Liked it, didn't love it.
As avid fans of Christopher Guest and his previous movies, my husband and I were eager to see A Mighty Wind. While it is entertaining, we found it nowhere near as inventive, scathingly accurate, or hyterically funny as Spinal Tap or Best in Show. The ending seemed pretty lame....more info
- A Mighty Bore
OK, how many times can this cast milk it? I love every one in this movie, but I couln't get past the fact that this cast has made three really similar movies in a row. I think someone that had never seen Waiting for Guffman or Dog Show would be disapointed. The material wasn't that strong, I couldn't watch the whole thing, maybe 40 minutes....more info
- A Gentle Wind
The first time I saw A Mighty Wind, it was as a reluctant viewer. I couldn't see the point of spoofing the folkies of the Sixties. It seemed like an easy target, after all. Although I had enjoyed This is Spinal Tap (several times) and Best of Show, I was pretty sure I would not like A Mighty Wind.
I did not laugh or even smile until the moment the stage manager slapped the fussy character played by Bob Balaban upside the head. It was so unexpected, almost as if it had been ad-libbed. After that, I couldn't stop laughing. The stupid publicist who keeps saying "Wha' hoppen?", the dead producer's son who sits in the front row looking bored, the bizarro cult couple who are so clean-cut they play Branson, the Peter, Paul, and Mary moment at the end. And I loved the Mitch and Mickey story.
The second time I watched A Mighty Wind, I realized (finally) that this isn't a spoof of the rich and ridiculous, like This is Spinal Tap or Best in Show, but more like kidding someone you like. Folkies and Public Broadcasting are easy targets, but this isn't malicious, it's fun....more info
- 3 stars out of 4
The Bottom Line:
A lesser film than Waiting for Guffman or Best in Show, A Mighty Wind is worth watching for people who liked the other ones, but gets by more on charm and occasional humor than solid comedy....more info
- fantastic film
If you watch this movie for the music alone you will have a good time. Kept me entertained from start to finish. I recommend you pick this one up for your collection....more info
- Lightly mocking mockumentary
Perhaps the ultimate "Mockumentary", "Wind" tells the story of the battered tragicomic lives of several (fictitious) 1960's-era Folk-music acts. Mitch and Mickey ("Second City" alums Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara) never consummated the love they found together with their music, and tore each other to pieces over it; "The Folksmen" (Shearer, Guest and McKean - playing characters a world apart from those of "Spinal Tap") are simply oblivious to how time has passed them by, and communicate in a stream of near Zen koans while they debate minutiae endlessly; "The New Main Street Players" assault you inane cheerfulness, which may clue you into the fact that they're a cult. All three acts are brought together to play a PBS tribute to famed (also fictitious) Folk promoter Irving Steinbloom - a one-night, live affair arranged by his three now-grown folk-hating children. The flick cuts between the back-room arrangements and the group itself. Much of the movie plays like "Spinal Tap" - having the various acts perfect their craft while saying and acting like total idiots. Mirroring the difference between heavy-metal and folk, the flick doesn't cut into its subjects like those in "Tap", though some bits are outrageous - and most of those deal with an obnoxious former child-star turned comedian who now manages the "Main Street Players" and is of course the latest in a long line of loudmouth louts played by Fred Willard.
"Mighty" excels because of its light touch, managing to extract both humor and emotion from its unsympathetic subjects. The emotional center is Levy's Mitch Cohen - a musical and poetic genius burnt out by his unrequited love for O'Hara's Mickey Crabbe. Mickey's happily married, but has been a musical widow of sorts for years. By the end of the story, they will have to come to terms with the fact that their musical romance will remain as unrealized as their real one. The magic of "Mighty" is how it manages to be both funny and touching at the same time, culminating in the aftermath of the Steinbloom tribute, which is both funny and sad....more info
- A folksinger parody with everything but Bob Dylan.
This movie brings a powerful cast of modern-day comedians together to parody the pre-Vietnam war generation of folksingers. The music, surprisingly, is very good, if you like folk music, and a delight, especially for those of us who enjoy Woody Guthrie, Peter Paul and Mary, Tom Paxton, et al. The deadpan humor of the actors is dead-on, but is probably lost on a younger generation brought up on Britney and Christina, or hip-hop, or even Nsync. In today's CGI-infected shoot-em-up Arnold/Sylvestor action figure movies, this movie is a very refreshing intermission. Favorite line: "This is public television. I don't think the viewers have remotes."
- A Mighty Fine Film
I had never seen a mockumentary until this film. My sister said she saw "This is Spinal Tap" for one of her music classes and she said she nearly died laughing. I like satirical, underlying humour so I thought this movie would be perfect for my taste. I must admit I absolutely loved it. It's definately not a "smack in the face funny" but moreso "I sprained my ankle and I don't feel anything yet" funny. It's so satirical and so brilliant that it as though I was watching a real documentary on PBS. All of it is subtle and underlying especially the Bohner's interview where we find out Mrs. Bohner was a porn star.
Since the plot has already been given, I thought I would say what stole the movie for me. All of the actors were terrific and the stories were wonderful, but the best parts were with Mitch and Mickey (Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara). They are a divorced duo who were very famous in the sixties (loved the album covers) who then broke up and Mickey married a 'salesman' who is obsessed with trains and 'catheters' while Mitch was committed. Both are so funny with the subtle things they do (i.e. Catherine O'Hara's great accent), but the part that was the best (and made me cry) was when they sang "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" and Mitch does not know whether or not to kiss Mickey. The way they look at each other and then the kiss made me cry because they truly love each other. With this story it's so sweet, yet real and the two actors deserved Oscar nods for such brilliant performances.
I won't spoil it anymore, but if you like completely crazy humour and PBS you'll love this movie!...more info
- Used CD Review
Got this used CD real cheap, but it was in excellent condition. Paid more for the shipping than the CD, but it was worth it. Real funny, just like the other movies by this group of clowns (Spinal Tap, Best in Show)....more info
- A Breath of Authenticity!
One thing not mentioned by the other reviewers is how far this film goes in preserving the true spirit of "folkies". I was a youngster, but I was "there" in the sixties, and thanks to my parents, had quite a bit to do with behind-the-scenes stuff in folk concerts. With even the more outrageous turns of events, you find yourself thinking, "Yeah, that's bizarre... but I can really see it happening." Some have said that the "Mitch" character is a little over the top; but compared to Ozzie Osborne in his reality show, he's almost normal!
The three "groups" featured in "Wind" are even modeled after acutal sixties groups; I would mention their names, but that would take away part of the fun!...more info
- This is NOT Spinal Tap,
Christopher Guest, director of Best in Show and Waiting For Guffman, has outdone himself with his most recent addition, A Mighty Wind. Guest uses the same mockumentary style that he, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer, practically invented in their infamous cult classic, "This is Spinal Tap". A Mighty Wind marks the first time that the trio is back together performing music. A mighty Wind is constructed in essentially the same fashion as Guests previous work. There isnt any concrete screenplay, just a basic storyline to follow, giving the actors license to say practically anything they want to. All of the actors have worked together in Guest's other mockumentaries, and their chemistry together has gotten stronger with each film. Jane Lynch and John Michael Higgins, both relatively new additions to the Christopher Guest troop of actors, perform brilliantly as a bizarre color worshiping couple. Fred Willard perfects his usual role as the ignorant and obnoxious loudmouth, this time being even more irreverent and politically incorrect. With a relative scarcity of intelligent and original comedies nowadays, A Mighty Wind is a pleasant surprise.
- Monty Python meets America's Heartland
Christopher Guest's mockumentaries are no end of enjoyment. This has to be his best, though it's hard to discern the type of humor that Guest had such a handle on; "Best in Show" was great because the whole idea of those stuck-up kennel shows was exposed. "Waiting for Guffman" was special because I was involved in Community theatre in the past, and people REALLY are like that! I grew up with Peter, Paul & Mary, the Christy Minstrels, and everyone else that is parodied. It's a trip to the past, with tons of humor and appreciation. Mr. Guest's usual band of artists (Parker Posey, Eugene Levy, Catherie O'Hara, Fred Willard, Paul Benedict, Bob Balaban, etc.) are all wonderful, given their appropriately assigned characters. I can't wait until Mr. Guest's next parody. He hits all the right nerves, especially for those of us who have been there and know how silly the whole thing can be. ...more info
- Makes the Rolling Stones sound like La Boheme; Jackson Browne like Puccini
I hated this musical memory. My recollections are that it was rap music for white kids now in their 60's. When I think of Peter, Paul and Mary standing in front of an audience of college kids, three years before all hell was going to break loose, singing about Puff or Blowin' in the Wind (drop the "g" please) I feel I should go to a 12 step meeting. It was worse than disco. But . . .
Like I begin my dialogue about the Wiggles, I'm hanging out with my almost three year old grandson Bryant who by the way is the coolest kid I ever met (see the photo in 'about me') and he asks me if I want to see 'Mighty Wind?' What do Grandparents say to any requests by grandkids? Of course, yes. Then he puts in the DVD, grabs his beat up guitar which has become like a security blanket, and begins singing along with the music.
I can't believe it. And then, at the end of the song he raises the guitar (it's real small) over his head and yells, "Goodnight Cleveland." I'm hooked.
Levy and Ohara are great; ditto Shearer and McKeon and of course Guest. It's a wonderful parody of an odd time that somehow made more sense after I saw the movie. Well. The music part. I'd still like to forget some of the rest. 5 stars. And a child shall lead them. Larry Scantlebury ...more info
- A Mighty Hoot(nanny)!
Having come of age when the real folkies were all in vogue, I found this gentle but hilarious satire absolutely side-splitting, worthy of Guest and his unique mock-documentary style.
I don't think I could ever hear a a vintage serious folk song again without starting to roar with laughter, so funny was this look at aging folkies come back to reunite for one last hootnanny in honor of their recently departed impresario. From start to finish, their initial shy meetings as middle-aged men and women to the deadpan stories of what they're been doing since the Sixties, to their earnest and ridiculous rehearsals to the final show, this is truly inspired humor.
Extras are icing on the cake--you get to see the concert! So grab your button-down shirts and your non-acoustic guitars and jump right in, sit right down. You'll be glad you did!...more info
- Guest's best--a mildly amusing, warm-hearted diversion
If you've seen Christopher Guest's WAITING FOR GUFFMAN and BEST IN SHOW, then you know what to expect: a mock documentary poking gentle fun at the object of it's satire, in this case the "folk music" popular in the '60s, and those who would exploit it for commercial profit. The cast is anchored, as usual, by former Second City luminaries Catherine O'Hara & Eugene Levy, together with Fred Willard, Bob Balaban, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, and Guest himself. All are excellent, but Levy shines as the tragicomic sad-sack former folk-idol, Mitch. Jane Lynch also stands out as the irrepressible former-porn-slave-turned-bizarre-religious-cult-leader of The New Main Street Singers (a New Christy Minstrels send-up), and so does John Michael Higgins as her husband. Ed Begley, Jr. turns in another smoothly understated performance as the yiddish-spouting Swedish goy public television producer, Lars. And Michael Hitchcock is spot-on as the full-of-himself concert hall director whose mounting exasperation with Bob Balaban's neurotic impressario provides the only true belly laugh in the movie.
A MIGHTY WIND might not quite reach the highs of Guest's former efforts, but it avoids their lows, too, with better pacing and a more sustained story. For once, his commitment to his material and characters seems to equal his commitment to the improvisational working method that no one does better than this talented troupe. On its own terms, then, A MIGHTY WIND is a rather successful little movie full of good clean fun. Had it aimed a little higher, it might deserve another star, but it certainly merits no fewer than three....more info
- Laughed and laughed and laughed...
If you're my age (60) or thereabouts and ever heard even a single folksong while growing up, you will love this. It is witty and subtle and just great. Like Guest's other flicks too, but this one is the best....more info
- silly and funny
I thought this movie was fun mainly because I love all Christopher Guest movies,they are always full of subtle satire and the actors all act so natural as though they are just adlibbing most of it. The mighty wind was just another typical Guest satire on the folk music industry with all of its nerdiest and silly type casts the Guest loves to exploit and have fun with. Alot of fun and worth watching over in case you missed something the first time....more info
- I liked it! Very underrated film!
When I saw Micheal Mckean and the other two he did Spinal tap with on a show here in Australia. They talked about how they had this new movie coming about about a folk band. And how when they where playing a Spinal Tap gig they used this new band and charctors of theres "the kingsmen?" i think they called them selves as the support band for Spinal Taps show! and it was funny to hear that in one place the crowed knew that it was them and thought it was funny, and another shows crowed completly boohed them off stage, not knowing that it actuly was the same actors who make Spinal Tap!
So now that this movie is finally out. It is a great movie! Dont expect hard rock like in Spinal Tap, but expect it more to be that silly humor of Spinal tap in the folk music scene!
This movie is about a folk legend who dies, and they decide to put on a rememberence show for him! and the promoters get three folk bands to take part in it! Along the way you see them form this show, all the events leading up to the show, and then the show, and bits after it. All along the way there are the gags and classic stuff like from Spinal Tap.... this really was a pretty good movie IMO and as long as your not looking for a hard rocking soundtrack or wanting to compare it to spinal tap, you might just enjoy this one!
The bonus features are worth a look at, at least once! And i garentee you by the time your done watching this, you will have the song "kiss at the end of the rainbow" in your head for a few days! Kind of a sweet song! and the bonues features feature some video clips and deleted scenes and stuff! A few of the deleted scenes arnt to bad either! worth checking out! Rent It if you can, but it is worth owning if you liked it! which i think you just might be suprised you would!...more info
- Light Viewing!
Yet another presentation by the old gang of Eugene Levy, Katharine O'Hara, Christopher Guest and the rest. It has a dry humor that somehow is infectious and mildly hysterical. A mock documentary that I can watch it over and over again and can still get a laugh out of it. I would certainly recommend it when you are in a funk and want a bit of a lift, something to give you a smile and a chuckle....more info
- "To do "then" now is very retro; but to do "then" then was very nowtro...if you will."
An allegedly affectionate send-up of the early Sixties folk scene. Allegedly, because this music is reeeeally corny. But then the heavy metal in This Is Spinal Tap was really goony, so maybe that doesn't prove anything. Also, I've been humming several of the songs for some days now.
There's no single instant classic line of dialog in the film, on the order of "These go to eleven", but the one quip about childhood abuse "of a musical nature" is close to being the funniest line in the film. Most of the humor is packed into the interview bits, featuring Christopher Guest's trademarked strings of earnestly strung-out deadpan absurdities. Guest's eye for period details is perfect too, from the sweater vests and checked shirts, to the album cover photography, to the variety show TV sets (although the hilariously overproduced "electric" Folksmen clip looks rather Digital Age-ish).
The musical verisimilitude is also wonderful, with plenty of little gags, such as Christopher Guest's character playing an extremely lame banjo solo in one song. The Public TV concert sequence is especially good. All that's missing are the cutaway shots to the applauding phone volunteers at the pledge drive studio. Curiously, apart from the title track, there's no send-up of the sometimes unctuous "social consciousness" element of folk music, unless an in-concert speech on the Spanish Civil War counts. A smart move, probably, to keep things light and moving along.
Eugene Levy as the woozy Mitch Cohen, profoundly disturbed and not quite sure where to point his eyes. Levy's massive face and prehensile eyebrows are marvelously expressive, especially when a bit of Cohen's old self starts to seep back, during the big show.
Fred Willard, as the glad-handing, extravagantly geeky talent manager Mike LaFontaine, brimming over with bad ideas and worse gags.
And Bob Balaban, the uptight organizer who becomes more and more wound up as curtain time draws near.
The story itself is slim, just your basic can-they-get-the-show-together-on-time theme, upon which hangs the humor. And that's fine; it makes more room for the funny stuff. Such as the DVD extras, featuring more fictitious TV appearances, some cute deleted scenes, and the usual voiceover commentary. So no, this is probably not going to be a pop culture landmark, like This Is Spinal Tap was, but it is plenty entertaining taken on its own. Hi-diddle-eye-dee-hi-diddle-eye-yay...
- Quirky, satiric - but sometimes too over-the-top
"A Mighty Wind" is one of those films that I can't quite decide whether I like or not. It has some brilliant moments, but just as many that fall flat through over-acting or over-the-top details. Told in the framework of a documentary ("mockumentary"), the film follows the production of a folk group reunion concert as a tribute to the recently deceased promoter Irving Steinbloom. Steinbloom's nebbish son Jonathan (Bob Balaban) decides to reunite the groups his father represented. We are treated to the "famous" Mitch and Mickey duo (Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara), the Folksmen (Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer), and The New Mainstreet Singers, a bunch of dimpled, wholesome, perky, downright sappy group that one character accuses of sounding like a toothpaste commercial. The concert is the highlight of the film as all the behind-the-scenes action gets subtly dramatized in the performances. (The cool-down phase of the epilogue is less successful.) The title song itself "A Mighty Wind" had me doubled over with laughter.
Levy is sometimes too over-the-top with his portrayal of the neuron-challenged Mitch, but his chemistry with O'Hara elevates this film, particularly near the end, into something that goes deeper than gentle satire. Balaban starts off as an annoyance that you'd wish go away, but later he, too, provides some good laughs as he critiques the floral arrangements and the set design. Likewise, Fred Willard alternates between perfect mockery and irritating over-acting. Catherine O'Hara and Ed Begley, Jr. (as the PBN producer) are the only actors who hit the perfect pitch throughout.
All in all, this is an entertaining, oddball film that sometimes goes too far. Not quite deserving of four stars, this film nonetheless hits that level at various points. I recommend this for viewers who are fans of Guest's work or who are tired of watching Hollywood gloss....more info