Booze Revooze: A Drinker’s Skewed View of Taking Woodstock

Taking Woodstock

[Click here for a guide to Booze Revooze and the rating system used]

From the Bar None Juice- Box

Jimi Hendrix – Live At Woodstock – Villanova Junction

[Play this song at my funeral]

Ramblings: More Wood, Less Stock

Final Proof: 2½ Stars

You know that disappointment when you go to the kitchen for another glass, knowing you still have a lot of drinking left in the bottle, only to find the fifth is running on fumes and there’s not even a full glass left? This is the sinking feeling that settled on me during Taking Woodstock.

Ang Lee, (director of Sense and Sensibility and Brokeback Mountain) has made a movie not about the 3-day festival of Peace & Music, but the town next to it instead.

While the historical accuracy of the movie is impressive and the scenes at the fringe of the concert were techniqued to look extremely authentic, the film is as boring as Bethel NY and the acting as bad as the brown acid.

Emile Hirsch’s performance is more miss than hit as he intensifies the stereotype of a shell-shocked Vietnam vet. Worse, Demetri Martin, the unfortunate lead, bit off more than he could chew with this meaty role so for two hours we get to see him choke on screen.

i’ll give this thing 2½ shots because Lee tried so damn hard but he fell far short of his goal to recreate the spirit of Woodstock. Woodstock, the festival, was not ‘made’ it just ‘happened’–Lee failed to see you can’t plan spontaneity.

Buzz Kills (Watch Out for Spoilers)

Sex: 2 Shots

Lots of 60’s nudity with hippies bathing in the lake, welcoming helicopters on the lawn and putting on a play naked. While there’s a glimpse of Hirsch’s dangler, the best looking Earthlight Player (the acting troupe in the yard and on the stage) was Jennifer Merrill. You gotta have a quick eye, though, if you want to single her out.

My Favorite Earthlight Player

My Favorite Earthlight Player

The movie also provides some cute shots of Meryl Streep’s daughter, Mamie Gummer (sounds like a lesbian grandma’s name), in tight hip-huggers.

Mamie Gummer

Mamie Gummer

Oh yeah, there’s also a cute scene with a gay kiss for those of you who drink out of that side of the glass.

A Smoke

Drinks: 1 Shot

As this story takes place in the 60’s, the drug of choice isn’t booze but weed. Meaning beyond the scope of this blog, sorry babes.

There was some beer drinking in a motel bar.

While skirting along the outskirts of the masses, two hippies offer our hero a hit of their wine and then a hit of their LSD. This was the most sincere scene of the movie and Lee did a sensational job of filming the acid trip.

A Smoke

Rock & Roll: 1 Shot

You see a movie about Woodstock and you expect to hear music from Woodstock, right? Wrong! Instead of using authentic songs from the epoch, Danny Elfman plays vaguely folksy incidental background music throughout the movie. There were more real songs during the end credits than the rest of the entire freaking film.

For all his efforts at veracity, Lang missed beat here.

The first actual song is the Doors’ “Maggie McGill”, which is a great tune, but the Doors weren’t at Woodstock.

Ditto Blind Faith. “Can’t Find My Way Home” is a very significant song in the mellow drama that is my life, and it suited the aftermath of the concert well, but Blind Faith was performing in Hawaii towards the end of August 1969. You can’t get much farther from Woodstock.

Trust me, you’re better off buying the DVD documentary than paying to see Taking Woodstock. After seeing TW, that’s what you’re gonna do anyway.

Slurred Speeches

I  haven’t slept in three days, my hip hurts and the beer is warm…I feel great! Give me another beer.

Boring Technical Crap

Written by: James Schamus

Based on the Book by: Elliot Tiber

Directed by: Ang Lee


Demetri Martin – Elliot Teichberg / Tiber

Henry Goodman – Jake Teichberg

Imelda Staunton – Sonia Teichberg