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flick pick | This is Spinal Tap 1984
Directed by: Rob Reiner
Written by: Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Rob Reiner, Harry Shearer
Starring: Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Michael McLean, Harry Shearer
Language: English
Look for it at the video store under:
Watch it when you’re in the mood for
something: true?!?
The verdict: */ 5 the rating system explained
*(4˝ if you watch the DVD, which is packed with goodies, including a gut-splittingly funny audio commentary track featuring Guest, McKean and Smalls talking in character -- it may even be better than the movie)

Plot synopsis It’s 1982 and "Britain’s Loudest Band," Spinal Tap, has just embarked on a tour of America in support of its latest album, Smell the Glove. The band is clearly well past its heyday, though its members – singer David St. Hubbins, guitarist Nigel Tufnel, bass player Derek Smalls, and an ever-changing roster of mishap-prone drummers – are blissfully oblivious and thus slow to realize that they’re aging, and not well. Spinal Tap rocks on, bringing its overblown, performance extravaganza (think plastic pods, dancing dwarves, and copious amounts of shiny spandex) to the fans. But soon the frustrations of coping with small crowds, cancelled bookings, poor promotion, and dismal album sales start to wear on the band, and the tension that’s been growing between childhood best friends and founding members David and Nigel threatens to break up the group. Through it all, first-time filmmaker Marti DiBergi follows the band from city to city and chronicles the trials and tribulations of these rock-star has-beens.

Review I’d basically assumed that everyone, by now, has experienced this cult classic at least once, but on a recent lazy Friday night with friends, I was proven wrong. Of our group of five mid 20- to early 30-somethings, two claimed never to have seen it, and a third had only hazy recollections of "some movie about a band that I rented with my mom." Clearly, it was well past time to introduce these poor, deprived souls to one of the funniest movies ever made. Like all the best documentaries and mockumentaries – the majority of which seem to spring from the mind of Christopher Guest – Spinal Tap toes the line between poking fun at its subject, exposing its many faults and excesses, and having a genuine affection for it. The music – written by actors Guest, McKean and Shearer– is awful, but so  cleverly, consciously bad that you can’t help but adore it (as I write now, the chorus "Big bottom/ Going out of my mind/ how can I leave this behi-i-i-i-ind" plays on repeat in my head, and I'm smiling like an idiot). Though Spinal Tap would be every bit as amusing if it were about a real band, the knowledge that it’s actually an elaborate sham, and the acting completely improvised, certainly adds to the impressive factor. There are some who will claim that this rockumentary’s appeal is dated, its dead-on satire of 70s/80s heavy metal bands too stuck in that unfortunate era. This, of course, is complete nonsense – the inherent humor in dumb rock stars with delusions of grandeur is timeless. Spinal Tap is a movie you have to see repeatedly if only because it's so jam-packed with hilarious lines that first-time around, you're sure to miss many of the funniest lines when they're drowned out by the din of your own laughter.  
— reviewed by Yee-Fan Sun 

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