July 7, 2013
Janis is a documentary/concert footage movie that I enjoyed because I love Janis Joplin and the whole hippy generation of music and lifestyle that she was apart of. As far as the movie goes, I expected a little too much out of it. I figured it would dive into some of her life, but really it was just dumb little surface issue interviews and a bunch of concert footage. Obviously it's watchable because Janis was a born performer and her eccentric, hippy atmosphere she exudes during her performances is trance inducing to watch. I just wish the movie would have strived to give us more information about Janis Joplin, but obviously the makers of it felt that they would just let her music to the talking for her. I can't really blame it for that I guess. The concert footage is really well done and it feels like you're at the concert watching Janis. The last concert shot of the film was the best, where Janis belts out, "Take another little piece of my heart now, baby" and invites the audience up on stage. She just keeps singing as all her tripping fans just dance around her.
Janis is worth a watch, but I would say you have to be a true fan of hers to really like it. There's not much in the way of substance, so if you like to watch documentaries on icons like Janis for their stories and facts on them, this isn't the movie for you. I would have liked the movie to go that route a little bit more than it did, but as it is, Janis and her performances are enough to hold this documentary up. So fans of the genre and of Janis should give this one a watch. If anything watching her live in concerts will just make you more of a fan then you already were.