GIGANTIC (A TALE OF TWO JOHNS)

4 Stars
Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 103 minutes
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Hey! I remember They Might Be Giants! About fifteen years ago, when I would bang my head to Motley Crue, Dokken and Def Leppard videos on MTV, a They Might Be Giants video would pop on and throw my groove all off. Man, that really twisted my tits, but I’m not gonna hold that against this documentary, no sir.
They Might Be Giants are back with their first new studio album in five years, and this film documents the making of this long-awaited album and gives an in-depth look at what exactly makes these boys tick.
It goes without saying that if you’re a They Might Be Giants fan, you’re gonna piss all over yourself while watching this thing because it’s loaded with tons of personal stories told by both Johns (the two main members of They Might Be Giants) as well as people within the music industry. There’s also plenty of live performance footage, with some of the songs presented in their entirety, as well as studio footage and a behind-the-scenes peek at their Dial-A-Song service where the two Johns placed a mysterious phone number in the classifieds of a newspaper. When people called, they would hear a brand new Giants song. Yes, this is the They Might be Giants fan’s wet dream come true.
Now, I’m coming into this whole thing as a non-fan and I still liked it…very much, even. I’m still not keen on their music, but I appreciated the way this film really gets close to the band, capturing what they’re all about and letting you into their own little world.
Also interesting are the brief appearances by such celebrities as Harry Shearer, Janeane Garofalo and Michæl McKean as they recite selected They Might Be Giants lyrics into the camera, revealing them for what they are — truly depressing. That’s kinda weird. I always figured these guys to be carefree and jovial; they certainly look so on stage and the music they write to accompany their lyrics doesn’t really make you want to break out the rusty razor blade, but take a closer look at those lyrics and you have songs about growing old and dying…with an upbeat tune. I like that. I think these guys are starting to grow on me.
“Gigantic” is a very good documentary whether you’re a They Might Be Giants fan or not, but I really do envy those true fans out there. I’m just trying to imagine a documentary this deep being done on one of my favorite bands, but I don’t think anyone’s gonna want to waste the videotape and editing bay time on a THOR movie. Shit, looks like I’m gonna have to do it myself.



Posted on June 23, 2003 in Reviews by
Buffer


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