Searching for Tony Joe

"Excellent"

Searching for Tony Joe Review


Move over, Blair Witch.

Documentary films are often so fraught with stuffy self-importance they forget the first rule of filmmaking: Entertain the audience.

Searching for Tony Joe is an unabashed crowd-pleaser because it follows that rule to the letter. What's it about? Four guys go on a quest to find MIA "swamp rocker" Tony Joe White, a popular crooner in the 60s who had a couple of hits, plus wrote songs for Elvis Presley and other big names.

But this isn't really a movie about Tony Joe. It's a movie about the four guys and their often-clueless, always-hilarious road trip from Austin to Nashville, interviewing people along the way, a few of whom actually know who White is, but all of whom are curious or bizarre in their own way. By the time we actually meet Tony Joe himself, the audience is as thrilled as the crew is to meet this genuinely American character.

If you can catch Tony Joe at a festival near you, do so. It's barely over 60 minutes long, but it's hysterical the entire time and ranks as one of the funniest filmgoing experiences I've had this year. (The film is not in distribution partially due to copyright issues over Tony Joe's songs, included in the current version of the movie, so you can't buy a tape -- yet.)

Unlike the vapid and clueless Anthem, which had a couple of people on a road trip searching for "the real America" or some such nonsense, these guys are the real America.

Recommended.

[Full disclosure: Three of the four crew members are friends of mine, and I have a mention in the credits.]



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Movie Review

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Movie Review

Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie brings a dark and gritty tone to this larger-than-life franchise. Along with...

Beyond the Reach Movie Review

Beyond the Reach Movie Review

With a spectacular setting and two solid actors on-screen, this thriller builds enough solid suspense...

Cub Movie Review

Cub Movie Review

At a time when horror movies seem to only want to make the audience jump,...

Inside Out Movie Review

Inside Out Movie Review

Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to...

Advertisement
Southpaw Movie Review

Southpaw Movie Review

Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...

Eden Movie Review

Eden Movie Review

Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered...

The Gallows Movie Review

The Gallows Movie Review

Without a single moment of originality, this found-footage horror movie really deserves to be the...

Self/Less Movie Review

Self/Less Movie Review

An intriguing premise keeps the audience gripped for about 20 minutes before the movie runs...

Advertisement