Beastie Boys Story, a new documentary film from director Spike Jonze, is coming to television screens April 24, 2020.
Although fans of the New York hip hop trio may initially be pumped to see a documentary film on the B-Boys. Featuring the remaining members talking about their illustrious career – it might be a short-lived feeling.
When talking about a group that were originators, innovators, and influences on many. You would expect that when Apple announces a documentary about such a group, that it would be a star-studded virtual who’s-who of early hip hop. Am I right? Then to see that this is going to be a Spike Jonze joint? Expectations are soaring as a result. But Apple and Jonze have just built us up to knock us all down. And we fell hard with this subpar piece of film.
I really wanted to hear Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond telling stories of Adam Yauch. I wanted to learn more than what has already been said a dozen times prior. Insight. I wanted new truths. Just forming a mental list in my own head of the musicians and artists that could have something to say on the topic of the Beastie Boys sparks energy. Excitement. However, excitement isn’t a word that anybody is going to mutter when talking about Beastie Boys Story.
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Beastie Boys Story unfortunately feels like a graduation speech read from cue cards. It feels awkward. Forced. And portrays a bizarrely nervous energy. Its two middle-aged guys dressed as computer techs talking about the good times. More akin to a motivational speech seminar or TedTalk than a documentary film about a groundbreaking hip hop troupe. What happened? Who thought a live on-stage chit chat in front of a live audience was a good idea?
Where are the interviews with other musicians with an outside perspective? The stories told from the outside, by those close to the Boys. Hearing the fables of Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond is cool, but the Beastie Boys deserved more. Hearing romances about the deceased Adam Yaunch is nice, but again, where are the tales from their peers. Is there an echo in here? Where was the commentary from Kate Schellenbach, the original member and “Beastie Girl” who was fired when she no longer fit the groups new image? Surely she would have some interesting insight. Stories that we haven’t yet heard.
When you see the name Spike Jonze – you expect better. The Beastie Boys deserve better. We, the fans (journalists or otherwise) deserved better. It’s a shame that this is the film that we all get instead. Hopefully, some day, somebody considers a proper documentary film on this topic. Sits down with the people that were there when it all went down. All the numerous people that were inspired by MCA, Mike D and Ad-Rock. Can we wipe the state clean and start over here please?