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17 of 17 found the following review helpful:
Great filmJun 24, 2003
By S. Weinraub
If you're a longtime Clash fan, this video will make you salivate. It has all of the ringing tones of the Clash's lyrical content in the plot, as well as numerous live performances and casual footage. For instance, it shows the late, great, Joe Strummer curled up into an inhuman ball on the stage, moaning to the audience, yelling at and dispersing bouncers during "Janie Jones," and playing the piano while chatting with the main character, Ray. It shows Paul Simonon relaxing and enjoying some reggae music, and being collected after his arrest for shooting pigeons. It shows Topper Headon hitting and kicking a punching bag while dressed in a yellow excersize suit. And it shows Mick Jones singing into the microphone, snapping at our slightly bigoted main charcater, and showing up late to rehearsals. All this comes on top of the life and times of Clash fan/roadie/sex shop employee Ray Gange, and the plight of two young black men in the chaotic year of 1978 in Britain. I'd say that for all of this, this film is definitely worth watching, if not owning.
17 of 17 found the following review helpful:
Wish there was more concert footageMar 05, 2000
This is a rather interesting piece. It does follow a fictional alcoholic young man who quits his lame job as a clerk for a shop that sells pornography to equally sad customers, and joins the Clash as an apprentice roadie. Intermixed with the fiction is excellent concert footage of the Clash before they made it big in the States, just not enough of it. Also, it provides an accurate snapshot of pre-Thatcher Britain. The Brixton race riots contrasted with that of neo-nazi demostrations, provides a background to Ray Gange's narrative as the man with no future. His only solace in the Stalinist Tower Block Flats is playing the Clash's first album on his very cheap turntable. Even the rather stark sex scene in the women's bathroom in some club doesn't provide relief, since she runs off while he is cashing in his unemployment check at some streetside bank.
The minuses: The story and the acting is pretty lame at times.
The plusses: Excellent concert footage, what there is of it, gives a great idea of the Clash's performance at the time. Police and Thieves performed live here is, I believe, superior to the album cut. Plus, the producers of the movie included a clip of the original song, which I wished was complete, being a reggae fan. Another plus is the 100% accuracy of what England, especially London, was like during that time. It was a wasteland in the city, a concrete jungle. It is not much surprise, with hindsight, that the Clash and the Sex Pistols became so popular back then. Unfortunately, it seemed to have brought about Thatcher's election, also documented in the movie, which frankly doesn't make much sense to me, but I will leave politics out of this. Let's just say it made things worse for much of the very people the Clash appealed to.
13 of 13 found the following review helpful:
If Only I Could Have Been There...Apr 10, 2001
By Clark Paull
"(Sleepin' with the TV on)"
I've had this sort of strange fascination with "Rude Boy" ever since first seeing it on a double bill with "The Kids Are Alright" at the Punch & Judy Theater in Grosse Pointe, MI in 1981. It's not just the live footage of one of the greatest bands ever to plug into an amplifier, although said footage is probably some of the greatest filmed of any band ever, albeit brief. It's almost as if you can smell the stale beer and splif smoke in many of the scenes, which follow the exploits and misadventures of Clash-fan-turned-roadie Ray Gange. Shot in and around a constantly grey and dismal London, it must have been a heady time nonetheless to have been present at what many of us then viewed as a revolution. This is pre-American breakout era Clash and includes studio footage of them recording "Give 'Em Enough Rope" and a priceless scene involving Joe Strummer tickling the ivories and croaking "Let The Good Times Roll." One of the crown jewels in any Clash collection, "Rude Boy" captures a period of musical innocence and hope we'll never see again in this age of Britney Spears, boy bands, shiny shirts, and goatees. Come back Mick Jones, all is forgiven!
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
one of my favority movies of all timeDec 13, 1999
This movie is definitely for hard core Clash fans. The movie is a pseudo-documentary about a young punk on the road to no where fast. The story deals with him getting a job as a roadie for the only band that matters. The plot can be a bit corny at times, but the concert scenes make the movie worthwhile.
8 of 10 found the following review helpful:
The true power of the Clash obscured by pointless screenplayJan 16, 1999
A superb punk pseudo-documentary. It shows the Clash from a roadie's viewpoint; an occaisional glimpse into the creative and behavioral quirks of the band. The character Ray, an erstwhile roadie for the band, is a perfect reflection of the environment that spawned the punk movement of the late 70s in the UK. He is as feckless, dirty and spent as the horrific architecture that dominates the London skyline. This aspect of the film is particularly depressing-boredom instigating everything.The political subplot is needless and a poor cariacture of the already simplified Joe Strummer worldvision. The live scenes are brilliant, though. The second tour shots with the European invasion motif is the best footage of the era. The band members reveal themselves to be very talented, yet generally an unsophisticated, alcoholic bunch of surly louts. Don't expect your preconceptions of the group or the era to be intact after viewing.
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