I just finished Color Me Impressed: A Film about the Replacements and I don’t know what to think.
A lot of people are angry that it includes absolutely nothing of their music whatsoever (it really doesn’t) and that Paul, Tommy, Chris, Slim (I think this was filmed long enough ago?), even Peter Jesepersen does not appear at all. Not really even in photos or archival footage.
It works better than Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns (perhaps the worst music documentary I’ve ever seen), but that isn’t saying much. It’s Colin Meloy and Legs McNeil and Robert Christgau waxing poetic on the band, which isn’t unwelcome, but occasionally crosses into the most grating parts of Gigantic-style music film-making: pointless, pretentious pontificating. We’ve got the advantage of random fans in some cases, and the disadvantage of the same in others. Letting someone ramble about how the members of the band were their imaginary friends as a kid is a bit odd and focused more on that person than the band.
We also get the eye-rollingly-expected “Everything after Let It Be is garbage” opinion from a bunch of people (cf. “When Bob left…”), which is baffling to me as a very discerning person recommended to me Tim before any others, and, fuck it, I like all of them (I do probably like Don’t Tell a Soul the least, to be honest, but not to the level of venom that is usually heaped upon it). It’s not useful, really. And I honestly don’t get the issues with production, except on Don’t, which is poured over with reverb unnecessarily (even where appropriate, it’s overdone). We do get the explanation for this, which is nice, but overall…
Talking about how the band was one of the greatest ever and dismissing half of their output¹ seems…disingenuous. Unhelpful. The opinions are balanced out, of course, even a “Fuck the production, that’s not what matters” opinion (whew).
Can’t recommend the movie in good faith, regardless, but I found a copy of Hot Snakes’ Suicide Invoice on vinyl today, so I can’t actually complain much.
¹Yeah, I suppose if you think Bob leaving the band was the end of the band, it’s dismissing “that other band”, but I’ve discussed my bafflement at disregarding Paul’s solo albums before. It’s horseshit.