The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector Reviews

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½ April 17, 2013
A very unique format for a documentary
April 3, 2013
Phil Spector movie. Interesting approach for a documentary. Some will find hard to watch, but overall I liked it. He did write and produce some of the finest pop records ever. But "a thin line between genius and insanity."
November 27, 2011
Interesting mix of stories about the man & his trial. Needed a little more analytical approach rather than the emotional connection it went for.
½ January 29, 2011
Although an incredibly interesting portrayal of a very interesting man, the filmmaking style (especially the textual elements) were incredibly distracting and amateurish. Good interviews though.
September 24, 2010
I went into this documentary having literally no clue what it was about, so I had no expectations for it either way. It ends up the film serves dual purposes: it's a celebration of Spector's incredible musical career (he's produced many of the most famous, important records of all time) and an examination of his murder trial. The problem is, the film fails to delve meaningfully into either area.

Like It Came From Kuchar, another documentary from earlier this year, TAatEoPS (what an abbreviation) feels more like a catalogue than a probing piece of documentary film-making. Each song featured is presented in full, often with accompanying performance footage. Other times, the music plays over footage of Spector's trial, meaning the courtroom drama is muted and the audience is left wondering who's who and what's being said. At the same time, text from reviews or featuring trivia about the songs pops up at the bottom of the screen, meaning the audience's attention is being pulled in three directions at once. The result is a mess that causes the audience to detach from what's happening and wonder when the interview footage with Spector (which is generally quite interesting and entertaining, considering what an arrogant prick he is) will kick back in.
August 24, 2010
Spector was unequivocally the most important non-performer in the history of recorded sound. His genius was astonishing and this film showcases not only how influential he was but also how the geniuses at the top looked up to Spector. His knowledge of music and how to create sound to this day is unmatched. While his rise and fall is dramatic, this film's greatest accomplishment is capturing Spector himself and revealing the vulnerability as well as the insanity of a man many consider the greatest musical genius of the last 100 years. A great film, another amazing documentary in a year filled with top-notch non-fiction fare.
keith222
Super Reviewer
August 11, 2010
He literally said he got the idea for his hair from Ben Wallace's afro, what more do I really have to say. Great documentary about one of the weirdest guy's in pop culture history.
July 26, 2010
This movie is going to be the best
½ July 18, 2010
By mixing a fantastic modern interview with full performances of songs, and subtitled with blurbs of the importance of those songs and then further layered with the courtroom drama that eventually lead to imprisonment, this is an absolutely fascinating insight on film. It isn't really a documentary and it's fairly devoid of the "crazy" Spector most media depicts him as. At its most introspective, he comes off in the film with a big ego and some grand ideas about his persecution. One of the best music to subject studies since "Imagine" or "Straight No Chaser."
July 13, 2010
I realize I'm probably alone in this.
July 5, 2010
Simultaneously fascinating and disturbing. Fascinating simply because of who he is. But disturbing b/c the interview - the focus of the documentary - intimates a creepy disconnect between the demeanor of this brilliant - yet paranoid and delusional - megalomanic ... and the very nature of the trial and crime for which he is now serving 19-life. That Spector considers himself on a par with Da Vinci, Galileo and Bach - tinged with wallowing self-pity - makes for some wild moments.
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