Skip to main content
The Independent Critic

The Beastie Boys & Fans
Nathaniel Hornblower
Loosely scripted by The Beastie Boys
Rated R
90 Mins.
 "Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That" Review 
Add to favorites
"Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That!" is about as close as a rock band can get to creating a true love song to their fans.

Filmed during an October 9, 2004 concert by the Beastie Boys at Madison Square Garden in New York City, "Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That!" redefines, or better yet undefines, the live concert film by putting the fans in charge of the video.

A mere 48 hours before the concert, the Beastie Boys came up with the brilliant idea of handing out 50 Hi8 digital cameras to 50 fans. Their instructions? They were simply instructed to record the concert through their own eyes. They were told to take the cameras every place they went throughout the night, and to keep recording!

The end result is often exhilarating, occasionally frustrating, at times unwatchable but nearly always visually hypnotic in depicting the energy, chaos and vibe that defines a classic show by the Beastie Boys.

Directed (or more accurately coordinated) by Nathaniel Hornblower (aka MCA, aka Adam Yauch), who also directs many of the band's videos, "Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That!" is a film that will play most favorably to diehard Beastie Boys fans, though it will likely be appreciated by fans of unique cinematic experiments.

Faced with, quite literally, hundreds of hours of video from 50 cameras (Yes, it's true. Every single camera was returned!) Hornblower poured over the the videos with three other editors and selected shots from throughout the arena and, yes, in odd locations like the bathroom (repeatedly) and other locations around the Garden.

In many ways, "Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That!" plays like an official concert bootleg. While this is unique and novel, it's also a tad frustrating at times with poor lighting, poor sound and a depiction of the Beastie Boys experience that really doesn't always capture the electricity of their typical show.

As a longtime Beastie Boys fan, I found myself enthralled with "Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That!," but also willing to acknowledge that it drags in places, is a tad repetitive over the course of 90 minutes and features strobe lighting that can be a bit rough on the eyes at times.

Yet, more often than not the film succeeds in capturing a side of the live concert experience that we don't always see...through the eyes of the actual fans. In a day and age when every pretty little pop singer in the world lip syncs and stresses style over substance, the Beastie Boys show up and throw caution to the wind and let their fans run the show.

IN this case, MCA, Ad Rock and Mike D along with Mixmaster Mike and special guest Doug E. Fresh blended together perfectly and gave 50 lucky fans to this sold-out show the opportunity to become a part of the concert experience and go home saying "Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That!"
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic
    our twitterour facebook page pintrestlinkdin

    The Independent Critic © 2008 - 2021