3 stars (out of four)
Bitter about missing out on Beastie Boys concert tickets? Still spend a lot of time muttering the lyrics to "Hey, Ladies," much to the chagrin of your friends? Well, if what-cha, what-cha, what-cha want is all Beasties, all the time, your movie moment has arrived."Awesome; I Shot That!" (the ellipses stand in for an expletive), which could have stood on its own as a straight-up concert movie, comes with a novel twist: The band handed out 50 video cameras (digital and high-8) to 50 eager fans at their October 2004 show at New York's Madison Square Garden. The result: a swirling, kaleidoscopic take on a familiar concept, and a raucous, you-are-there atmosphere. The music is loud, the crowd is fired up and the visuals are all over the map: split screens, superimposition and add-on graphics are among the myriad effects layered on in the editing booth.
Fifty different vantage points provide the director (Beastie Adam Yauch, under his pseudonym Nathanial Hornblower) with an embarrassment of riches from which to choose. There are some embarrassments (the guy who cleverly takes his camera into the men's room), but the films also scores priceless moments, including several shots by a guy waaaay up in the nosebleed seats, exhorting his apparently lethargic neighbors: "C'mon, guys! Get excited and you can be on a DVD!" (The movie was originally shot for video; popular demand and good festival response sent it to theaters).
Narrative and stylistic quirks aside, the movie's energetic, tremendously entertaining stage show makes it clear that the boys, Mike D. (Michael Diamond), Adrock (Adam Horovitz) and MCA (Yauch), are seasoned pros. As they should be; uber-producer Rick Rubin issued their debut album, "Licensed to Ill," way back in 1986. Its release marked the first full-length recording by white rappers, and (you knew this was coming) paved the way for Eminem, et al.
The youngest Beastie (Adrock) will turn 40 this year, which is heartening on one level (they're still leaping around the stage like spazzed-out teenagers) and depressing on another (if the Beasties have turned 40, that means their original fans must be turning oh, dear).
'Awesome; I F***in' Shot That!'
Directed by Nathanial Hornblower (a.k.a. Adam Yauch); edited by Michael Boczon and Remi Gletsos; produced by Jon Doran and Yauch; with appearances by Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, Yauch, Mix Master Mike, Money Mark and Doug E. Fresh. A THINKFilm release; opens Friday at AMC River East 21, Landmark's Century Centre Cinema and Evanston Century Cinearts. Running time: 1:30. MPAA rating: R (for language).Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times