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Taking Woodstock Expertly Crafted, Yet Uninvolving

Published August 31, 2009 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Taking WoodstockTaking Woodstock
I’ve always found Ang Lee movies a little distant for me. It’s like they’re so careful, there’s no energy. I get that they’re art films, but even Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was like the most by the book martial arts epic. So Taking Woodstock is the most expertly crafted, yet mostly uninvolving, historical music movie.

Review: Taking Woodstock

It’s particularly noticeable because this is supposed to be a comedy, only when the jokes are calculated, they just feel like an exercise. Here’s the typical Jewish mother. Now we’re referencing the mother from before. Look what crazy shenanigans they’re up to now, and oh, what a crazy drama troupe is living in the barn. Charging for water is funny because they really do that now!

It’s the basic “putting on a show” story with all the hurdles to overcome, getting everyone together, securing the locations and permits, etc. All that’s missing are some Muppets. There’s some good free spirit nudity though, and this is healthy ‘60s bush.

The style mimics the split-screen, grainy 8mm look of the Woodstock documentary film. It’s as effective in the drama as the comic book panels of Hulk were. There are some trippy effects for drug induced scenes.

You never see the concert but that part’s accurate. I mean, how many Woodstock attendees talk about the music? The farmland will look great on Blu Ray though.
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Fred Topel
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