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"Morrissey25" Reviewed

rock nyc does morrissey














Helen writes:

When you watch a film of a legend you’re supposed to be impressed.  Youre supposed to oo and ahh about it.
Morrissey25 is a concert film with stellar direction, fabulous photography and a man who is.. legend.
Although it begins with the obsessed ‘Moz Army’ drooling and showing their tattoos the realy interest is Morrissey himself walking from bus to stage in black and white.  There is an element of frailty and lonliness that is enhanced with that footage.
Having lived a career of doomy sarcasm Stephen Patrick Morrissey shows that 25 years worth of career remain true.  ‘True To You’ his unofficial website where he pipes in now and again is a perfect name.  There is no doubt of what you get with Moz. You get magic.
The set list is precise to his 2013 tour much the same as the Capitol Theater show.  The show that I called the best I have ever seen.  This smaller Hollywood High audience is a bit too hip a bit too trendy, a bit too young.  I dont doubt their fandom- but I question the 500 Days of Summer factor.
The close up of Morrissey are sobering.  His twitches and lines way more pronounced from the back of a concert hall but the beauty.. the beauty is there and purely ageless. Aside from wiping his nose no less than three times on his cuff, he is a dapper and suave gentry.
I have been waiting for this film forever.  I sat with shallow breathing as he belted out the songs i had been stunned with when I was in his presence. Its not to cool to sing back to a film.
I am more excited than ever to see Morrissey25 at my local theater (and again in Boston on September 8th).  I need a crowd of other obsessed Moz Army to fire up the frenzy.  I means seriously if I could be sobbing at a concert film there has to be some sort of magic.
The highlights?  hmm, the fabulous version of “Speedway” and “Ouija Board”, the awkward eyebrow aerobics, the fabulous way he butchers a kids name (but makes up for it at shows end when he parades the terrified 9 year old across the stage in a 1 armed hold of eww) and the gut wrenching kneel at the end of “Meat is Murder”.  I don’t think I breathed at all during that.
The low light?  The fans.  The sheer smuggary of the exiting crowd is a bore.  C’mon leave that to your idol the master of smug.  When I saw him in ’92, ’04 bla bla bla.. ok ok.

Morrissey is alive and well and living smack dab in the middle of my heart.  I cannot wait until August 29th when me and the rest of the world collectively hold our breath to see the most upclose and wonderful concert we will ever see on a screen.

Mary writes:

Morrissey movie.  Holy crap.
“Meat Is Murder” gets to me anyway, but with him kneeling and bowing down in respect to the animals being slaughtered?  I got chills.  I can’t get enough of his preachy vegetarianism and it’s something I admire him for.  I like to take on a Moz mentality when people make fun of my dietary habits because screw you, the coolest man on earth agrees with me.  It was just intensely powerful, even through a screen.
However, I didn’t get too emotional over that.  Oh no.  It was what came after.
“I like to think in the future, wherever it takes me, I can still hold my head up…please remember that I love you.”
Going from that into “Please Let Me Get What I Want” put me in tears.  I was a sobbing mess and I couldn’t help it.  It was just too beautiful.  Sure, Moz is sassy and smug, but when it comes down to it, he’s loving and caring, and has all of us in the Moz Army under his wing and in his thoughts.
We love you too, Morrissey.
Iman writes:

2013 Whores In Retirement” .  That’s the copyright address on “Morrisey25”, a live in concert souvenir from his (relatively) intimate concert last March at Hollywood High. Since then, Morrissey has cancelled two tours due to illness –now he can’t get insurance and so he can’t tour any more. With no record label, a refusal to be crowd funded, and no insurance, Morrissey seems to be, if not a whore, certainly retired.

This sure feels somewhat self inflicted. Helen’s opinion notwithstanding, I would happily give $100 to a Kickstarter campaign if it meant new material. As far as touring is concerned? He could Clash At Bonds it easy, do a dozen dates in New York and let the world come to him.

Hopefully “Morrissey25” is not the final Morrissey release because while there is much I admire about the movie, the appearance was somewhat mediocre, the setlist light on the hits and if any concert that includes both “Alma Matters” and “Maladjusted is only gonna get a limited negative from mine. Still, despite over a quarter of the songs dating from his Smith years, it felt a little skimpy on the hits.

Heading an average rock and roll band, Morrissey was relatively quiet between songs, boilerplate stuff like “You never escape from school” lead nowhere, and the true but irrelevant “Let me sing, I have a lovely singing voice” was true but neither here nor there. I saw Morrissey at Radio City Music Hall last year and it was a better set than this one: for such an intemperate performer, he really didn’t seem to be embracing the moment. Set highlight, the resurrected “Speedway” was performance art, with Morrissey knocking on his skull for emphasize (a little of “Asleep”  added as a surprise switcheronoo) and in full Oscar Wilde wild romantic ambiguity acting out. But he followed it with an average “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”. A little later he introduced “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris” with the legend “This microphone will be my tombstone” and you could choke on the joke. Perhaps it is sufficient to note that Morrissey ends the evening with “The Boy with A Thorn In His Side”.

So, yeah, OK, but on the other hand it is a brilliant movie because it does what you would want you do: it gets you right on stage with Morrisssey, when he kneels during “Meat Is Murder”, you murder, when a kid in the audience kisses his hand you are so close. Director James Russell is so close to Moz, the camera goes out of focus till James pulls back, and while the visual tropes are rock concert 101, still the colors are smashing and the show is very tight, very knitted into the action. Russell trusts his material and allows the set to play itself out without interfering .

Is this the Morrissey of your dreams movie? No, but if the set had been better it would have been. It’s a good movie and I am happy to have seen it. In the 25th anniversary of his solo career, let’s hope we get another 25 years. “Morrissey25” is released August 29th.

Grade: B+

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