Anvil! The Story of Anvil Reviews

  • Sep 25, 2018

    Surprisingly poignant and intimate look at what it's like to be underappreciated pioneers that almost made it and are still trying to.

    Surprisingly poignant and intimate look at what it's like to be underappreciated pioneers that almost made it and are still trying to.

  • Sep 25, 2018

    A couple of times, toward the beginning, I had to check to see whether this was a mockumentary (a la Spinal Tap) or an actual documentary. It was the latter and although at first I thought the "joke" about dumb heavy metal dudes was too old or dated - it turns out that the deeper truths available in the story of Anvil became palpable and were more important than the failed tour or unmarketable album that this old metal band experienced. The deeper truth probably resonated more with this 50-year-old because it is about keeping the dream alive after many years, about living with your past success (they played with Bon Jovi and others in Japan in the 1980s) even as your present success pales in comparison. It is about rejuvenating yourself in your 50s and giving it a go, even if the world has changed and maybe passed you by. It is about coming to terms with yourself and your context. Of course, these lessons can be applied to all of us but for those of us who thought about music (if not metal) across these years, there are other insights to be had here from Lips and the Anvil gang. I think about my friend who gave up his psychology career, post-50, to get his old band back together and put out CDs and tour Europe multiple times. Surely, he's enjoying himself a hell of a lot more than being stuck in the bureaucracy of academia. So, is it worth it to take a risk to follow your dream, even if it is obvious that it won't pay off in dollars and cents - I'd say yes.

    A couple of times, toward the beginning, I had to check to see whether this was a mockumentary (a la Spinal Tap) or an actual documentary. It was the latter and although at first I thought the "joke" about dumb heavy metal dudes was too old or dated - it turns out that the deeper truths available in the story of Anvil became palpable and were more important than the failed tour or unmarketable album that this old metal band experienced. The deeper truth probably resonated more with this 50-year-old because it is about keeping the dream alive after many years, about living with your past success (they played with Bon Jovi and others in Japan in the 1980s) even as your present success pales in comparison. It is about rejuvenating yourself in your 50s and giving it a go, even if the world has changed and maybe passed you by. It is about coming to terms with yourself and your context. Of course, these lessons can be applied to all of us but for those of us who thought about music (if not metal) across these years, there are other insights to be had here from Lips and the Anvil gang. I think about my friend who gave up his psychology career, post-50, to get his old band back together and put out CDs and tour Europe multiple times. Surely, he's enjoying himself a hell of a lot more than being stuck in the bureaucracy of academia. So, is it worth it to take a risk to follow your dream, even if it is obvious that it won't pay off in dollars and cents - I'd say yes.

  • Sep 21, 2017

    Great documentary on a band that never quite made it.

    Great documentary on a band that never quite made it.

  • Jul 22, 2017

    They ignite huge respect. It's the story of art and culture for the masses that contribute but don't "make it". But they confuse the issue of success as they are such worthy fellows (and obviously adored and loved by who are close to them).

    They ignite huge respect. It's the story of art and culture for the masses that contribute but don't "make it". But they confuse the issue of success as they are such worthy fellows (and obviously adored and loved by who are close to them).

  • Dec 09, 2016

    achingly entertaining and i don't even like metal!

    achingly entertaining and i don't even like metal!

  • Aug 30, 2016

    Given the amount of praise it has received, I did expect something more. Yet, although it doesn't really offer anything extraordinary, the insight into touring, recording and trying to release material in a not-so-welcoming market is of interest. Lips and Robb are both very likable and their strong friendship along with their shared passion for their music result in some very touching, even deep moments. As a metalhead and Anvil fan, the parade of bigger names paying their respects is precious.

    Given the amount of praise it has received, I did expect something more. Yet, although it doesn't really offer anything extraordinary, the insight into touring, recording and trying to release material in a not-so-welcoming market is of interest. Lips and Robb are both very likable and their strong friendship along with their shared passion for their music result in some very touching, even deep moments. As a metalhead and Anvil fan, the parade of bigger names paying their respects is precious.

  • Apr 17, 2016

    Decent documentary about the heavy metal band "Anvil" who achieved some early success and then fizzled out fairly quickly...yet the band continued together for the next 25-30 odd years, with constant setbacks, often playing small gigs and not getting paid. It is an entertaining doc about the band attempting and struggling to make a bit of a comeback. The film is a bit inspiring, even when it just seems like they are hitting failure after failure and setback after setback...but they persist in their dream, maybe even knowing full well that their glory days are long behind them. I'm not the biggest fan of heavy metal (particularly the 80s when they peaked), but it was a good doc about a couple of Canadian guys who had a dream, achieved it briefly, and seem to have spent the rest of their lives working at getting that back...even when working regular jobs to support their families.

    Decent documentary about the heavy metal band "Anvil" who achieved some early success and then fizzled out fairly quickly...yet the band continued together for the next 25-30 odd years, with constant setbacks, often playing small gigs and not getting paid. It is an entertaining doc about the band attempting and struggling to make a bit of a comeback. The film is a bit inspiring, even when it just seems like they are hitting failure after failure and setback after setback...but they persist in their dream, maybe even knowing full well that their glory days are long behind them. I'm not the biggest fan of heavy metal (particularly the 80s when they peaked), but it was a good doc about a couple of Canadian guys who had a dream, achieved it briefly, and seem to have spent the rest of their lives working at getting that back...even when working regular jobs to support their families.

  • Mar 19, 2016

    Great movie, but also heartbreaking.

    Great movie, but also heartbreaking.

  • Feb 07, 2016

    Anvil were the band in the early 80's that toured with Bon Jovi, Whitesnake etc and while those bands went onto become very famous and make a lot of money for some reason Anvil didn't. The movie shows us two geezers who live ordinary lives and still play live shows around Canada to only a handful of people. It's a huge fall from grace from what you see at the start of the film. Everything that these two men do is a struggle, but they keep going and they do it for the love of music and playing together. There are a lot of high's and lows and it is a movie which shows us that being in a band ain't as glamorous as some people think.

    Anvil were the band in the early 80's that toured with Bon Jovi, Whitesnake etc and while those bands went onto become very famous and make a lot of money for some reason Anvil didn't. The movie shows us two geezers who live ordinary lives and still play live shows around Canada to only a handful of people. It's a huge fall from grace from what you see at the start of the film. Everything that these two men do is a struggle, but they keep going and they do it for the love of music and playing together. There are a lot of high's and lows and it is a movie which shows us that being in a band ain't as glamorous as some people think.

  • Dec 07, 2015

    Disclaimer: You do not have to be a fan of heavy metal to enjoy this movie. The story of the band Anvil is more than a music documentary about a band. It shows that when you have a dream and you have passion for something that you love no matter what the odds are against you, in your heart you never want that dream to die, you never want to give up. Heavy Metal started becoming hugely popular throughout the 1980's. So many bands formed, some made it huge and continue to be wildly popular today and some fell into obscurity. Bands like Metallica and Slayer are still selling out venues in 2015. I have to be totally honest, I am a huge metal fan and I had never heard of Anvil until this movie. It is just a really strange story surrounding this band. How they went from being really popular and selling a lot of albums and playing huge festivals around the world, to practically dropping off the face of the earth. The band didn't break up, there wasn't an issue with one of the members so it is really hard to explain what happened. But what this documentary delivers is a group of guys who want to give it one more shot and think they still have it. But in the end they really end up looking silly and rather ridiculous. If a band like Pantera where to somehow do a reunion tour they would be selling out arenas across the world without a doubt, but some bands just do not have that draw or staying power at all. In this documentary they are back on a reunion tour playing tiny bars and in these tiny bars there are maybe 8 people watching. Some venues the owners are not even going to pay them. It is actually really sad to watch a bunch of guys who cant let go of their dream. The entire film you are thinking, yeah man go for it, good for you ... but at the same time you are thinking, wow you guys really need to step back and realize its just over, and way over.

    Disclaimer: You do not have to be a fan of heavy metal to enjoy this movie. The story of the band Anvil is more than a music documentary about a band. It shows that when you have a dream and you have passion for something that you love no matter what the odds are against you, in your heart you never want that dream to die, you never want to give up. Heavy Metal started becoming hugely popular throughout the 1980's. So many bands formed, some made it huge and continue to be wildly popular today and some fell into obscurity. Bands like Metallica and Slayer are still selling out venues in 2015. I have to be totally honest, I am a huge metal fan and I had never heard of Anvil until this movie. It is just a really strange story surrounding this band. How they went from being really popular and selling a lot of albums and playing huge festivals around the world, to practically dropping off the face of the earth. The band didn't break up, there wasn't an issue with one of the members so it is really hard to explain what happened. But what this documentary delivers is a group of guys who want to give it one more shot and think they still have it. But in the end they really end up looking silly and rather ridiculous. If a band like Pantera where to somehow do a reunion tour they would be selling out arenas across the world without a doubt, but some bands just do not have that draw or staying power at all. In this documentary they are back on a reunion tour playing tiny bars and in these tiny bars there are maybe 8 people watching. Some venues the owners are not even going to pay them. It is actually really sad to watch a bunch of guys who cant let go of their dream. The entire film you are thinking, yeah man go for it, good for you ... but at the same time you are thinking, wow you guys really need to step back and realize its just over, and way over.