Re: The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé! : A Trip Across Latin America
Date: December 13, 2016 07:04
I just got back from the theater. Probably twenty or so people. Not terrible for a weeknight, I suppose.
I liked the movie, but didn't love it.
I enjoyed "fly on the wall" bits like traveling into the Stones' rehearsal space, going into Keith's hotel room, and Mick's look into the camera right before taking the stage in Cuba. The film captures some of the vibe and excitement that builds in the time leading up a Rolling Stones concert.
There were more than a few transcendent moments. Country Honk was amazing, and even better in the theater than on YouTube. The slow-motion shots of the Stones performing in the rain was really cool, especially the shot of Keith, Ron, and Mick at the end of that sequence. Like a fantastic picture come to life.
There is one tracking shot over a city, until it comes in and finds Keith sitting by a hotel pool playing guitar, before the camera widens out over the city again. That was really cool too.
The shots of the city streets as the live version of "Midnight Rambler" plays over it was super. Much of the film is a travelogue of South America, and it's interesting to get a little taste of each country that the Stones visit.
I thought Keith looked quite good. He had a lot of sparkle in his eyes. Watching the expressions on his face as he plays was fun. He seems more mischievous and lively here than the "aw shucks" type that seemed to come through in the recent "Under The Influence" documentary.
It was pleasantly surprising that there was a little sequence featuring Ronnie doing some painting. The film didn't delve into this very deeply, but it was refreshing to see some of Ron's visual artist side, something Stones docs don't usually touch upon.
Out Of Control was a highlight, if only as an excerpt (more on that below). It was so nice to see some video footage of the Rolling Stones in concert that was NOT hyperactively edited! I much prefer longer shots. I always enjoy glimpsing the Stones on stage in those moments when they're not expressly playing to the crowd.
The film doesn't really have much of a flow and felt a bit repetitive. There's ten minutes about the Stones, then ten minutes about various fans, then back to the Stones. The fans' stories begin to feel similar after a while. Honestly, I thought some of it felt a little forced. The Mariachi band playing Happy was adorable, but I seriously doubt that song is really part of their usual repertoire. Once the shots of weeping fans reaches double-digits, I don't think it's out of line to characterize much of the film as self-hagiography.
There's not nearly enough Charlie. There's only one small sequence focusing on him, and it's the same ol' "you can't be a drummer at home" soundbite he's been using for years. I guess there's no point trying to make Charlie out to be anything but who he's always been, but as a Stones fan, I always want more Charlie Watts. To be fair, Charlie was hilarious in the opening "exclusive to theaters" intro. Mick recounts seeing a band that was composed of just singers and drummers, and Charlie immediately says "as it should be!"
The handheld camera. It wasn't a problem with the often beautiful slow-motion shots, but at regular speed it often got tiring. One sequence travelling into a makeshift guitar repair shop in Cuba was crying out for StediCam.
The quality of the cameras used varies widely as well. Some shots are sharp, other shots (especially at night) are surprisingly grainy.
Almost all of the music is excerpts. I know this is not a concert film, but only Country Honk and Satisfaction are played in their entirety. (After the credits played, they did show two full performances: Out Of Control and Paint It Black.)
The biggest failing of the film in my opinion is the total exclusion of the other members of the touring band. From what I could tell, not a single one was named or interviewed.