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Matt Whitecross’ “Supersonic” Reviewed


Two hours and three minutes and all I saw was a great deal of what I’d seen previously of Oasis when they were a going concern and at the top of their game in the mid-’90’s. This much-anticipated documentary about Oasis, the Manchester phenomenon, driven and sabotaged frequently by the Gallagher brothers (Liam and Noel, for those who don’t know) is the emperor’s new clothes – a big, empty nothing.

Let’s start with the basics: the sound wasn’t great. This wasn’t presented in HD, which is a mystery to me. The use of constantly-seen footage was less than interesting right there – for those who either followed or wrote about this band back in the day has seen all of what’s in this film courtesy of all the MTV coverage the band received at the time. And, if you’re going to do a comprehensive documentary, why would you cut it off at 1996, at their pinnacle? It by no means tells a complete story, since the band went through so many changes and lasted until 2009. All this story does is give you the Gallagher brothers’ beginnings, the formation of the band and their rise, climaxing with their 2 night stint at Knebworth in 1996 in front of over 500,000 people.
Because they were only on the American charts briefly in 1995, it would have been far more worthwhile to see/hear the rest of the story – the one-by-one departures of members, the music they made as the years went by and what finally led them to permanently unravel. And while it was nice to hear the stories told from at least four of the band members’ own mouths, the majority of it is cobbled together from audio archives. And none of the band members ever appear on camera being interviewed in the here-and-now. I think, for me, part of it is upon hearing those songs again, they don’t make me feel anything any longer (unlike when I felt Oasis, along with Blur, Cast, Supergrass and others were meaningful). So I was left feeling like Charlie Brown on Halloween – all I got was a bag of rocks.

I’m surprised, since these are the same people who did the Amy Winehouse documentary, which was riveting, heartbreaking and interesting. One thing about this movie is that there’s really nothing interesting about Oasis. Which I fear was hammered home by the length of the film and the non-telling of a story. So try to look at this as I did, from the objective: it’s the too-long story of a band that, like so many others before them, got lucky and hit it at the right time.

For hardcore fans only.

Oasis: Supersonic is out in limited-engagement theatres and on pay-per-view now

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