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Featuring numerous 60s-era clichés, but little of the musical magic that highlighted the famous festival, Taking Woodstock is a breezy but underwhelming portrayal.
All Critics (182)
| Top Critics (53)
| Fresh (88)
| Rotten (94)
| DVD (7)
Some will call his Woodstock naive, but that's what he intends: the movie is a sweet, anecdotal, comic embrace, a gentle reminder that it was once possible to overcome the cynicism of the times and believe that "the flow" leads in a benign direction.
This may be a minor movie, but it displays the hallmarks of a major talent.
Too much of Taking Woodstock seems barely sketched out.
It's harmless enough as a snapshot of a young man's awakening to the grand possibilities of adult life, but not particularly effective at capturing the spirit, the thrill or even the mud of this culturally monumental event.
This is very light material, and, unusually for a Lee picture, not everybody in the ensemble appears to be acting in the same universe, let alone the same story. On the other hand: It's fun.
Taking Woodstock has the appeal of an inside story told from an especially good angle. But beyond that, the movie is a celebration of the way this event has gone into memory and of the meaning it has acquired.
Taking Woodstock simply doesn't capture the spirit of a very spirited time.
At no point did I feel like I was at Woodstock and surely that was the whole point.
Some colorful character turns cannot make up for the charisma void at the center that is Martin.
Does a great job of recreating the time, place and people that came together to make something magical in the middle of the summer of 1969.
A valentine to America.
A ham-handed attempt to indicate the oncoming tragedy of Altamont ends the film with a touch of contrivance, but it's the only sour note in an otherwise flawless film.
Lee's film manages to capture the groovy vibe of the famous festival, although it doesn't quite develop the protagonist very well and isn't that revealing about the magic of Woodstock itself. The result is enjoyable yet definitely underwhelming.
Taking Woodstock start interesting, but went the film begings to show the festival, Woodstock stay disagreeably sweet and presents a not so good screenplay, featuring some cliches. Don't focus really on the festival, showing just the making off. Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock is disappointing. Rotten.
Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock is based on the true story of Elliot Teichberg, one of the organizers of the Woodstock festival. Considering the legendary festival in music history, you'd expect something great right. The result is a good film that could have been done better. The film is entertaining with a good cast of varied talent and it's actually quite awesome to see such an iconic moment in music history come to life. This is a stunning look at what went behind the scenes about how Teichberg organized this incredible festival. I really loved the film, and though it's far from perfect, it's a must see movie for those who enjoy a fine comedy drama film that is based on real events. The story is good and the film has spirit and manages to overcome its imperfections by its good cast, its story and effective directing from Ang Lee. Lee manages to convey a good experience with this outing, and it is an entertaining drama that relies on a true story to captivate the viewer. At times though, the film does become a bit too preachy and tiresome. Luckily it does pick up in a few areas and there are plenty of good comedy bits with the drama and the film gives us a taste of what it was like during that time. Taking Woodstock is a film that could have been done better, but it nonetheless is a memorable comedic drama that relies on a good story and effective cast to overcome its shortcomings. Ang Lee, who I'm not too much of a fan, give the film soul and it ends up being a fun experience.
I'm starting to lose count on the amount of times director Ang Lee has tackled a new genre. He's done martial arts; comic-book; thriller; romance; family drama; westerns and literary adaptation. Now? Well now, he's tackles the story of how the legendary music festival "Woodstock" came to be.
Elliot Teichberg (Demetri Martin) discovers that a music festival near his family's motel has lost its licence. Trying to save his parents' business, he calls Woodstock Ventures and offers to help them stage the gig at a farm in White Lake. What happens after that, has now went down in history as a legendary free-spirited musical weekend.
Anyone trying to craft a film worthy of the magic of Woodstock would have their work cut out for them, so wisely Ang Lee focuses on the outskirts of the infamous hippie festival of the 60's. Instead of focusing on the bands or what was happening on stage, we experience the effect this time had on the people off stage, through several characters - mainly Elliot and his right of passage. It's a light-hearted little film that is very slow to get going and definitely overlong. The talky first half is all about the organisation and chance encounter with promotors. This threatens to kill this whole film but when the festival gets underway, the second half is a lot stronger as the characters begin to loosen up. It sheds a bit of light on the effect this time and place had, but really there isn't a lot else happening. Maybe it would have been better had the focus been on stage. What I found most interesting was the depiction of Elliot when high on acid. Speaking from personal experience, it's the most realistic depiction of hallucinating I've seen on screen. It's not overdone but shows more the vibrancy of colours as they move and bleed into one another and the almost ocean like movement of a large crowd of people when dancing together. Wow, It took me back man.
You would think with this depicting a defining moment in the whole 60's 'movement', it would have something more than a very lesuirely pace. However, when the drugs and music start to flow, the film flows with them. Disappointing but it has it's moments.
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