cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

click for full sized poster

This is Spinal Tap

Starring Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Rob Reiner, Tony Hendra
Screenplay improvised by Guest, McKean, Shearer and Reiner
Directed by Rob Reiner

IN SHORT: I knew I should've asked for a DVD freebie... [Rated R]

Most studios wait for a proper double digit year to release a Special Edition of a classic (meaning: old) film. Somehow, it is appropriate that, sixteen years after it crashed like the proverbial led zeppelin, MGM sees fit to reissue This Is Spinal Tap. Under the direction of "Marty DiBergi," Tap set the name and the standards for the entire Rocumentary genre and, thanks to a typographical error in a syndicated review, embarrassed the heck out of hundred of newspaper editors when the proper abbreviation TIST came out sideways. You figure it out. I run a clean column.

If you're a fan of Heavy Metal, you already know Tap for the classic that it was. For you, it returns to the big screens a mere couple of dozen hours before it hits the DVD racks, complete with an extra hour of material, four music videos, three band endorsement commercials, two original theatrical trailers but no partridge in a pear tree.

It's interesting that the band has agreed to participate in this Special Edition and DVD. They're on the record as calling DiBergi's film of their 1982 American Tour a "hatchet job." Though the band has not talked to, and DiBergi has not worked to enhance the re-make of the new edition of the film, they have agreed to remix the soundtrack in full 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound and provide commentary tracks and band history.

Strangely enough, not mentioned in the commentary are the two ultra-rare and highly prized ('cuz they're not on CD) releases, A Spinal Tap into Bacharach and Live At Missoula, both concept records. The first, released in that Flower People-Spinal Tap transition period and sold only on late night teevee, featured Tap renditions of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head," "What the World Needs Now," "Alfie," "Walk On By and "Close To You". (Sure, Nazareth got al the credits for "Love Hurts," but Tap did the Metal Ballad first!). Live At Missoula was performed with the band's instruments playing at frequencies that only the standing room only crowd of cows could hear. We talked with the Tap about those projects back when this film was first released but NBC owns the rights to those tapes, so I can't quote the band. We just report it for the record. Honest to God truth. Really.

I am so desperately in need of a sound effect rimshot here that I'll wait while you whack the side of your monitors . . . Thank you.

Seriously, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Rob Reiner created, in this fictitious documentary of a nonexistent band, a gem whose value lay unappreciated until the rest of Metal caught up to the clichés that had been in place for a great while. Thank MTV for a lot of it. I sit through This Is Spinal Tap and laugh my butt off every single time.

Now that we're years away from their struggling beginnings, a good hunk of the fun of Tap is seeing star names -- Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Anjelica Huston, Ed Begley Jr. and Fred Willard -- in bit parts.

With no changes from the original, we're marking this down in the reissue category, which means no Dollar Sign Rating, as with regular movies. That being said, upon its release back in '84, I saw this flick numerous times. Now, in 2000, I've done the same. That would mean the $8 (out of $8) rating. But that's just me.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Rob Reiner
Click to buy films starring Christopher Guest
Click to buy films starring Michael McKean
Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.