(MVD Visual; 123 mins) www.mvdb2b.com
BY JOHN B. MOORE
Not a single member from The Replacements is interviewed in Color Me Obsessed. There are no old videos or live performances featured in the documentary. Hell, you never even hear a single song by the Minneapolis four-some. But somehow it works remarkably well.
Filmmaker Gorman Bechard (also behind the just-released doc on the Archers of Loaf reunion tour) purposely set out to do a film on one of the most underrated rock bands to come out of the Midwest in the ‘80s, letting fans of the band do the storytelling. Those closest to the group, including producers, ex-wives, scene mates and local journalists, as well as many who simply get identified as “fan” tell the story of the band that was destined for implosion from their first gig (a show that never actually happened after the band got thrown out of the dry club for bringing in booze). That infamous start was a telling prelude to what lay ahead. The same musicians behind some of the best rock songs of the era (“Bastards of Young,” “Can’t Hardly Wait,” “Kiss Me on the Bus”) was clearly schizophrenic about their own success, signing to a major label, then almost daring everyone around them, fans included, to walk away thanks to their constant bratty antics and “we don’t give a fuck” attitude about playing music.
There are a number of celebrity fans that make head-scratching cameos (Tom Arnold, Dave Foley, George Wendt, among them), along with more obvious choices (members of Gaslight Anthem, Husker Du, The Decembrists), but the best moments are captured by those who were in attendance to witness the band’s various on stage meltdowns (99% of which include booze and fisticuffs). And really, who better to talk about the everyman’s band then… well, the everyman.
The most appropriate sentiment around The Replacements comes about a third of the way through the film, as one longtime fan tries to explain his frustration about having to relay the importance of Paul Westerberg, Chris Mars and the Stinson Brothers to those who’ve never heard them before. He points out that The Replacements should be like Bob Dylan, someone you realize is wildly influential to an entire generation of people, even if you yourself aren’t a fan. And that sentiment pretty sums up just how important this group is to those who love their music.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Bonus disc includes 19 deleted scenes; additional interviews; “Behind The Scenes” interviews with director and producer; two commentaries; four trailers.