AWESOME: I FUCKIN' SHOT THAT!

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Reviews

In Awesome: I Fucking Shot That!, 50 audience members attending a Beastie Boys 2004 Madison Square Garden concert are given video cameras and instructed to film whatever their nascent auteur souls desire. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. But what becomes apparent from the opening shots of the concert is the inferior quality of the camcorder footage, which definitely mars one's enjoyment and involvement.

Coming on strong with their rousing opener, "Triple Trouble," the Beasties remain a spirited, near-irresistible act who truly helped pioneer a real creativity in rap, but it's frustrating to see their cavorting so annoyingly chopped up and in such grainy images. They bring on Doug E. Fresh to add his propulsive sound to the mix, but his performance, too, is rendered rather unintelligible. The compulsive editing, which must have been a monumental task of sifting through crap footage, is from the A.D.D. School of Cinema which does no one-audience or performers-any favors. The dazzlingly skilled Mix Master Mike comes off best, aurally working the turntables like those old vaudeville plate-spinners used to do on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

New Yorkers are a famously jaded, at times aloof crowd who rarely appreciate the performance fourth wall being broken, so any really juicy shots of buck-wild and crazy audience reactions are rare. The entire enterprise is rather dopily encapsulated when one "filmmaker" takes his camera into the men's room and shoots himself urinating. What's also revealing is how many audience members choose to hang around in the bathroom or concessions area during a concert they've doubtlessly gone through such effort and expense to attend.

-David Noh