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DVD Reviews

Nov 10, 2011
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By Jared Curtis jared@dmcityview.com

‘Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest’

Directed by Michael Rapaport

Rated R, 97 minutes

“Yo, microphone check 1, 2, what is this/ The 5-foot assassin with the rough neck business,” exclaims Phife Dawg on A Tribe Called Quest’s iconic album, “The Low End Theory.” Actor-turned-director Michael Rapaport embarks on a career-spanning documentary that not only highlights the group’s amazing music but also the trouble and turmoil that built between them for years. From the outside, Tribe appears to be a bunch of friends creating positive music, but as Rapaport pulls back the skin, viewers see plenty of hatred and animosity between the group’s MCs — Q-Tip and Phife Dawg — as their life-long friendship dissolves. “Beats, Rhymes & Life” is an eye-opening look at one of the greatest hip-hop acts of all time. Too bad it doesn’t offer a happier ending. CV

‘I Am Trying to Break Your Heart’

Directed by Sam Jones

2002, Unrated, 92 minutes

Some fans argue that Wilco is the greatest band ever, while others scoff at that notion. No matter what side you’re on, fans looking for perfection should stop at “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.” “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” follows the group as they record the iconic album, but the film offers so much more than music. Frontman Jeff Tweedy is as eccentric as they come and spends the majority of the film trying to wrestle control of the album from Jay Bennett (a former member who helped shape the sound), and the record label (who shelved the record, then after realizing its greatness, paid more to buy it back). The documentary features a mix of studio footage, interviews and concert performances that will keep audiences glued to the screen. Whether you’re a Wilco fan or not, “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” is truly a great music documentary. CV



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