5 Stars
Year Released: 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 93 minutes
Click to Expand Credits:

“….i apologize for the title of the film. I hate the devil as much as anyone. I am a good god fearing soul, and have only called the film this way to tempt him to come out, so that I may slay him down right in front of you.” – Nathanial Hornblower

For a band that started out as a hardcore act before moving into silly hip-hop party songs, they certainly know how to evolve. Lately the Beastie Boys have been politically active and aware, especially with their last album, To The 5 Burroughs. They reinvented the band DVD compilation in 2000, with the Criterion release of their finest music videos. It had so many cool extra features (multiple angles, commentaries, different audio tracks, etc.), no band DVD has ever come close to competing since. And just like they reinvented the DVD, “Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!” reinvents the concert film like no other before it.

The Beastie Boys passed out 50 cameras to 50 different concertgoers at their October 9th, 2004, sold-out performance at New York’s notorious Madison Square Garden. The cameras handed around were simple hi-8 cameras, which aren’t particularly known for their brilliant video quality and it looks exactly how you are picturing it to look, too. This film wasn’t made to look glamorous like countless concert films before it. Those elements help “Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!” succeed. Since all of the cameramen and women were nothing but amateurs, don’t come in here expecting Malick style cinematography. Stylistically, this film is like the “Blair Witch” of concert films.

There are a lot of shaky shots, unnecessary zooms and unfocused imagery all throughout this film. Those with epileptic tendencies that have had to stay away from Tony Scott films may want to stay away from this one too. Their ferocious performance mixed with this choppy footage brilliantly adds to the feel of the actual concert going experience without the costly tickets, bad seats, claustrophobic atmosphere and sweaty bodies rubbing against you. To the die-hard Beastie Boys connoisseur, this is their love letter to you. This style will no doubt turn off some audience members; this was shot exclusively by fans and for fans.

Hornblower also adds some digital effects to the footage too. He fuses different color schemes and patterns to go along with the music to keep it from going stale. The editing also deserves a mention, as it rarely stays with one camera. They even chose to show some of the camera crew getting beers at the concession, going to the bathroom, and even one guy trying to make his way backstage. Rarely before has a concert taped for theater and home viewing ever been quite as interesting.

Just thinking about the editing process of this film is exhausting, let alone all the hard work that went into it. Watching the same concert from 50 different points of view is a pretty brutal task, so it should be exciting when the DVD for “Awesome; I Fucking Shot That!” is released. There is no limit to the various angles this concert could be shown in, flawlessly utilizing a DVD function rarely used.

The Beastie Boys have delivered the ultimate gift to their fans and the title couldn’t be more perfect. “Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!” is exactly that… it’s fuckin’ awesome!

Posted on April 2, 2006 in Reviews by

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