Features
Reviews
Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Archives
Bargain Basement
Downloads
Music DVD
Upstart
Pipsqueaks
 
 
 
Features
Reviews
Archives
Send Us Mail
Contact Us
 
 

Only The Strong Survive (PG-13)
Miramax
Official Site
Directors: Chris Hegedus, DA Pennebaker
Producers:  Roger Friedman, Frazer Pennebaker
Cast: Sam Moore, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Mary Wilson, Wilson Pickett, Ann Peebles, Jerry Butler, The Chi-lites, Isaac Hayes, William Bell

Rating: out of 5


Sweet soul music. There’ve been more cameras trained on classic soul performers in the last three years than you can shake a stick at. Only The Strong Survive is the corporate entry in this genre, helmed by widely admired documentarians Chris Hegedus and DA Pennebaker for Miramax. It is hard to screw up with such rich subject matter, and you’ll be glad to know that the filmmakers don’t, though neither do they provide as rich a treatment as last year’s Standing In The Shadows Of Motown.

They sure tried, though. Their mistake was attempting to create the same sort of root-for-these-underdogs vibe. Only The Strong Survive follows legendary artists (Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Mary Wilson, Wilson Pickett, Ann Peebles, Jerry Butler, the Chi-Lites, Isaac Hayes) as they tour in cut-rate nostalgia shows or perform in small hometown venues, cutting interviews between present and past performance glory. These are folks who’ve been heard of. They may have lost fame, but, unlike The Funk Brothers, they had it to lose.

Nevertheless, if this music was the wallpaper of your young life, you’ll have a good time. These folks can still dish out the mighty funk they were known for, and some have aged like fine wine. Ann Peebles’ performance was electrifying stuff. But I’m thinking, “Why did this need to be a movie?” It could easily have been a radio show instead or a box set CD that I’d lay the money down for. There’s much to hear, but not a lot to see. The only thing about it that screamed “visual necessity” is that these folks are getting along in years and one wants a document for posterity.

—Roxanne Bogucka

 

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



Pink Floyd

-------


South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

AWOLNation
Rachel Fredrickson

Kanrocksas
Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo


Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Epilogues
Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Sebadoh
Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Thrice
Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

MuteMath
Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Thrice
Lawrence, KS


 
hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.