Welcome to the world’s first review of Roger Waters The Wall movie. It is only fitting it comes from T-Mak World – we loved the concert so can the movie meet our high expectations?
September 6 2014 – The date was September 15 2010 and as the Stuka bombers came crashing into The Wall and the audience felt the heat of the stage spewing flames everyone knew that this concert was going to be something extraordinary. Toronto’s Air Canada Center was the opening night for a 3 year tour with 219 stops and box office sales of close to half a billion dollars. This was not just the old geezer from Pink Floyd trying to make a few retirement bucks but a genius that in the course of three years gave over 4 million people an experience of a lifetime. One year after that tour ended we have a movie to capture the magnificence that is Roger Waters – The Wall Live.
This review of Roger Waters The Wall Movie is not from a professional movie critic so I won’t be able to throw mind numbing analogies or metaphors. This review is from a major Pink Floyd fan that puts out a music and movies website with his friends as a hobby and who wrote this about The Wall concert in our review from Austin, TX – “We are declaring this show not the best concert of the year, decade, or millennium but the best concert ever. Period. The Wall is a musical masterpiece (not necessarily the individual songs – but the entire album consumed in its entirety from the first note to the end) and will be enjoyed for many generations to come. Add in massive visuals and theatrics to play out the album and you have something so unique and refreshing that it will stay with you for the rest of your life. Seeing it’s creator on stage performing it as he intended is quite the experience.”
I personally saw The Wall Live in concert 10 times in 4 different countries. I was left breathless on the opening night in Toronto. Tears swelled at the second of six shows in London, England where the David on top of the wall was not Kilminster but Gilmour (and Nick Mason joined David Gilmour and Roger Waters on stage at the end of the show). Needless to say, the excitement my crew and I had to be at the world premiere of the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) with Roger Waters in attendance was off the scales. In summary it turned out to be an incredible concert film with a secondary story interspersed.
Below is the introduction of Roger Waters The Wall Movie by the legend himself.
Roger Waters who was celebrating his 71st birthday tonight not only introduced the movie, but also took part in a Question and Answer (Q&A) session upon the film’s completion. As is usual for movies that premiere at TIFF they are being shopped around for a distributor and that was the case tonight. The film gets shown to a bunch of industry folks who presumably get into a bidding war for the rights to distribute it.
Executive Producer is Mark Fenwick who also served the same role for Waters In The Flesh DVD from 2000 and Pink Floyd’s Live In Pompeii film from 1972. Waters directed the film along with Sean Evans (who is the creative director of the concert itself). When Waters was asked when people can expect to buy the DVD/Blu-Ray he had no answer as it all depends on whomever gets distribution rights. We hope that happens very quickly because this film needs to be in the hands of the masses ASAP.
So seriously, how does one capture the best concert tour of all time and do it justice? The challenge is great but this film does that and more. The crystal clear cinematography is top-notch, and the sound is the best I have ever heard of any concert film ever. It felt almost as good as being at the show. This film needs to be seen in a top notch digital movie cinema with massive surround speakers cranked up.
The movie starts with Waters walking off what appears to be a stage and into a car where we get taken to Water’s house. While inside this house, a camera zooms in to the document on the wall which reveals Waters father death certificate (from World War II). Water then gets in his car and drives off through the English countryside. The death of Waters father plays the central theme of the movie which proceeds to show The Wall concert interspersed with Waters travel to his fathers’ grave in Italy.
Waters drives to a War cemetery and pulls out his trumpet and begins to play Outside The Wall which then ties into the beginning of the concert with explosions and the flying Stuka. What a powerful way to start the movie.
A couple of songs in the concert during the slow instrumental part of Another Brick In The Wall Part 1 – we are transported to the car once again in which Waters with tears in his eyes is reading his father’s death letter the army sent his mother. As the car drives off we are transported again to the concert in which Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 kicks off.
Filmed in Quebec City, London, Athens and Buenos Aires, the locations are easily some of the main highlights of the tour. As an aside, T-Mak World was at, and reviewed shows in Quebec City (read here), London (read here) and Athens (read here). Mother begins with Waters reading the French intro to the song (from Quebec City). After the song is over Waters is back in the car, this time with a passenger who he is talking about war again – this time about his grandfather’s death in World War I. Waters visits his grandfather’s grave, reads some passages from a book, and then Water’s three real-life children magically appear beside their father in an emotional scene.
As we get transported back and forth from the concert to the “quest for Roger’s father burial site” we notice that the concert scenes are magnificent. They let the viewer absorb the scene before moving off to a different angle (and is nothing like the Led Zeppelin reunion DVD with its MTV like multi-camera changes). The driving scenes are also magnificent and when Waters is in France (on his way to Italy) we get to hear Roger and his friend reminisce about being 17 and climbing Mount Olympus (in yet another ode to Greece). The quest scenes have various people appear magically beside Waters which indicate they are dream (or daydream) sequences.
Vera and Bring The Boys Back Home remind us of the power and anti-war theme of the concert and will leave you emotionally charged. Very powerful stuff that the concert portrayed and are now captured on film. However the biggest (and only) disappointment of the movie happens at Comfortably Numb – we were fully expecting to see David Gilmour up on the wall playing and singing the song as he did one night of the tour in London. That was not to be the case though. Instead Comfortably Numb shows a ton of audience shots with all the emotion of fans singing along or with hands in the air in euphoric bliss with David Kilminster up on top of the wall. Kilminster most certainly deserves to be on the wall doing the solos but I can’t help to think how cool it would be if even for a few seconds the film edited in Gilmour doing some of that killer solo.
As the concert winds down Waters makes it to Italy and visits his father’s burial-place commemorated by a war monument grave. Waters has tears in his eyes (which he tells the audience during the Q&A were real) and brings out the trumpet to play Outside The Wall – which is the transition point back to the concert part of the film for that song.
The movie ends as Waters walks of stage (just the exact same way the movie began). Pink Floyd fans will know that The Wall album ends with “Isn’t this where” and the album begins with “we came in?” – the cyclical nature of the album is reproduced in the film as the opening scene is a continuation of the closing scene. These little details are part of the genius of Roger Waters.
Words can not describe what an amazing cinematic experience this was. The audience stood on their feet for a standing ovation for the closing credits. The closing credits themselves were significant in that all the faces on the wall (victims of war) started to fade into the infinite abyss.
Roger Waters and Sean Evans then proceed to come up on stage to take some questions from the audience and sign a few autographs. We have the full video of the Q&A above.
And we got one too! After seeing the concert 10 different times and being at the world premiere of the movie, an autographed The Wall album just seems like the ultimate reward for my passion for this masterpiece.
Verdict: 5 out of 5 – A fitting memoir of the biggest and best rock concert tour of all time. This film achieves the almost impossible task of capturing the energy, power, emotion and thrill of The Wall tour with the most impressive camera work and sound of any concert film we have ever seen. An excellent movie in many ways and one that should be owned by any Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, or music fan in the world once it is released.
The Wall started 35 years ago and this film is the fitting end to a masterpiece. With that we award it a “best of T-Mak World” award.
T-Mak World The Wall Concert Reviews
- Athens, Greece 2013 Review
- Quebec City, Canada 2012 Review
- Charlotte, USA 2012 Review
- Toronto, Canada 2012 Review
- Buffalo, USA 2012 Review
- Austin, USA 2012 Review
- London, England 2012 Review
Roger Waters The Wall Movie – FILM INFORMATION
Director(s): Roger Waters, Sean Evans
Country: United Kingdom
Orig. Work Title: The Wall
Runtime: 133 minutes
Roger Waters The Wall Movie CAST & CREDITS
Executive Producer: Mark Fenwick
Producer: Roger Waters, Clare Spencer
Production Company: Rue 21 Productions Limited
Principal Cast: Roger Waters, Dave Kilminster, Snowy White, GE Smith, Jon Carin, Harry Waters, Graham Broad, Robbie Wyckoff, Jon Joyce, Pat Lennon, Mark Lennon, Kipp Lennon, India Waters, Jack Waters, Willa Rawlinson, Peter Medak
Screenplay: Roger Waters, Sean Evans
Source Author: Roger Waters
Cinematographer: Brett Turnbull
Editor: Katharine McQuerrey
Sound: Nigel Godrich, Adam Scrivener
Music: Roger Waters
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