Adventures of Power

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Adventures of power
Adventures of Power.jpg
Directed by Ari Gold
Produced by Andrea Sperling

Executive Producers
Gill Holland
Christopher Woodrow
Written by Ari Gold
Starring Ari Gold
Michael McKean
Jane Lynch
Shoshannah Stern
Chiu Chi Ling
Adrian Grenier
Music by Ethan Gold
Cinematography Lisa Wiegand
Edited by Geraud Brisson
Production
  company
Grack Films
SpaceTime Films
The Group Entertainment
Distributed by Variance Films
Phase 4 Films
Release date(s) January 20, 2008
(Sundance Film Festival)
Running time 89 minutes
Language English
Budget $2,500,000 (est.)

Adventures of Power is an American feature film written and directed by Ari Gold, starring Ari Gold, Michael McKean, Jane Lynch, Shoshannah Stern, Chiu Chi Ling, and Adrian Grenier and featuring Steven Williams, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Annie Golden and Nick Kroll, with a cameo performance by Rush drummer Neil Peart. The soundtrack includes original songs by Ethan Gold and hits by Rush, Mr. Mister, Judas Priest, Phil Collins, Dazz Band, Loverboy, Bow Wow Wow and Woody Guthrie. The film premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and made its European debut at the 2008 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. It was released theatrically in 2009 by Variance Films and on DVD/VOD by Phase 4 Films. Although the film was not released by a studio, it was influential to several Hollywood comedies such as The Hangover and I Love You, Man.

Plot[edit]

The story takes place in the fictional small town of Lode, New Mexico, where just about all of the male townsfolk work for a copper mining plant, including Power (Gold). Power (whose name was given to him by his father so he could grow up strong) lives with his Aunt Joanie (Lynch) and is always shown air-drumming to music, even when at work. It turns out he air-drums because his father never could afford to buy him drums. He does his air-drumming at a talent show in a local bar, where his only praise comes from a young boy. Unfortunately, the mining plant is poised to strike, but Power is fired for a mishap that is one too many just beforehand, therefore he cannot join in. Disappointed, he stumbles upon an ad for an underground air-drumming place about forty miles south of them just across the border in Mexico. The boy lends him his dirt bike to get there, but he ends up losing it while there.

He joins in, playing a Rush song without sitting down, which makes him nearly pass out. When the police raid the place, he ducks everyone and gets away. Before heading back, he is given an invitation to join a group of air-drummers in Newark, New Jersey, so armed with his music and cereal, he hitchhikes his way to Newark.

Once he gets there, he meets the crew, headed by Carlos, a former drummer who now has hooks in place of both of his hands (it is never explained why), and he is given a job and a place to crash at a local Chinese restaurant owned by Michael Fong (Ling). Living upstairs from the restaurant is Samantha, a religious fanatic, and her hearing-impaired daughter, Annie (Stern). Annie does take an initial liking to Power, but her mother objects to it, and even eventually threatens to move to Florida when she catches them making out. Before doing so, Annie reveals that her mother used to be a groupie, and she went deaf in her youth from not wearing hearing protection while on stage with the bands. (A picture she shows Power has her at a very young age on stage next to an amp crying.)

A subplot involves a rich young guy called Dallas Houston (or Dallas H.) who does music videos and has his own product lines of every sorts. He has a secret admiration for air-drumming that his father, who happens to own the mining company that runs the Lode plant, abhors.

Power works hard with the new crew for the upcoming air-drumming competition, eventually overcoming his shortcomings, but when he finds out the striking miners were assaulted by hired thugs and his dad is hospitalized, he bails on them and calls him, and they seem to make amends.

Carlos decides the group must go on without Power, but as they are performing their group song, one of the members is disqualified for how he’s playing, which causes the others to start a fight and gets them DQed as well.

Power, who comes in just in time for the solo competition, is the only one left eligible on their team. He plays along with Dallas H. and another female to Tom Sawyer in the finals. The girl drops out early, and after Power’s defective stool breaks and leaves him flat on the floor, it seems as though he would be out as well.

However, he finds out Annie is in the crowd at the show when she tosses a Cheerio on stage right into his mouth. (She had earlier declared to her mother she couldn’t go to Florida, and her mother, in sudden understanding, gives her a ticket to the air-drumming competition and says “Maybe Jesus was a rockstar.”)

With renewed energy, Power jumps up and continues playing without a stool (much to Carlos’s worry) and outlasts Dallas to win the competition.

He is presented the $2000 grand prize by Rush drummer Neil Peart (in a cameo appearance) and has him make the check out to the workers union of the copper plant. Power’s dad, renewed by his son’s victory and generosity, helps to resume fighting.

Awards[edit]

Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival
Official Selection, Karlovy-Vary International Film Festival
Audience Award, Best Feature, Vail Film Festival
Audience Award, Narrative Feature, Memphis Indie Film Festival
Grand Jury Prize, San Antonio Film Festival
Jury Prize, Best Feature, Fort Collins TriMedia Festival
Best Comedy, Philadelphia Independent Film Festival

Reception[edit]

Adventures of Power has received mixed to unfavorable reviews. Review-aggregator Metacritic assessed the film a "metascore" of 39, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews",[1] while Rotten Tomatoes assigns a score of 28% .[2]

New York Magazine called the film “One of the funniest films in recent years.”[3] The Chicago Sun-Times rated the film as “Platinum level!” “An enthusiastic drums up!...Totally awesome” said a LA Times reviewer Michael Ordona.[4] Ain't It Cool News described the film as “Crazy, hilarious, bizarre, insane...And in all the best ways possible.”[5]

Neil Peart, drummer in the band Rush, called the film “The best rock movie in many a year.”[6] “A huggable bit of indie fearlessness” is how TimeOut New York described the film.[7] “Hilarious. Universally entertaining” said UGO.com. Variety reviewer Peter Deburge noted that the “Rowdy response to 'Power's' midnight unspooling at Sundance establishes the pic's cult-movie cred. Gold's a gifted comedian.”[8] Tom Boyd of Real Vail Magazine said: “Audience Award winning film Adventures of Power took the Vail Film Festival by storm.”[9]Adventures of Power gets it right....Gold's vision is fully realized in a movie that blends place and theme, and a wicked ass soundtrack, wonderfully,” said Christopher Stipp, Quick Stop Entertainment.

The Chicago Reader dubbed Adventures of Power “...Spinal Tap caliber!....Imaginative sight gags and laugh lines are timed like a Neil Peart solo, but the film also inexplicably succeeds as a melodrama and a heartfelt pro-labor statement.”[10]

Chris Gore, of ChinaShop Magazine noted that “Optimism is making a comeback, but perhaps not as big a comeback as air-drumming after audiences see Adventures of Power....Perhaps the most hilarious opening to an indie comedy ever....Without apologies or irony, this is the kind of earnest go-for-your-dream movie that might have been made in the 1980s like Flashdance or Karate Kid. And thats what works so well about Adventures of Power, it is simultaneously hilarious and heartfelt and better yet, it all feels real. This film will single-handedly bring newfound respect for the art of air-drumming and dreamers everywhere.”[11]

DVD release[edit]

Adventures of Power was released on DVD in the United States on January 25, 2010, by Phase 4 Films.

The DVD extras include an exclusive interview and drum-off with Rush drummer Neil Peart; a music video starring Adrian Grenier (Entourage) as Dallas H.; deleted scenes featuring Jane Lynch (Glee) and more; Postcards from the Set, the story of the making of the film; fan videos, short films by Ari Gold; and trailers and commentary.

Soundtrack[edit]

The film features original songs by Ethan Gold and hits by Rush ("Tom Sawyer"), Mr. Mister ("Kyrie"), Judas Priest ("Hell Bent For Leather"), Phil Collins ("In The Air Tonight"), Dazz Band ("Let It Whip"), Loverboy, Bow Wow Wow and Woody Guthrie.

The Adventures of Power original motion picture soundtrack contains the original songs by Ethan Gold that appear in the film. It also contains the Adventures of Power Story, 36 digital postcards that describe the making of the film.

The soundtrack was released on December 25, 2010, by Gold Records.

Track listing:
1. “The Beat of Our Mama's Heart”
2. “New Jersey Nights”
3. “Impossible Fantasy”
4. “No Drums”
5. “A Little Like You”
6. “Rainwalk”
7. “Dream Drum Solo”
8. “Crib Hip Hop Mashup”
9. “Trains”
10. “Cerealismo”
11. “Bring the Hammer Down / Blanda y Mojada”
12. “Hospital Lullaby”
13. “Tabla Conga Kit Workout”
14. “No Hands”
15. “Nahnu Wahad”
16. “Impossible Love”
17. “The Kiss”
18. “The People Want Peas”
19. “The Call”
20. “Lovin' Tonight”
21. “We Can't Beat Them”
22. “We Got a Job to Do”
23. “The Docks”
24. “The Drums of Bakir”
25. “I Can Feel You”
26. “The Dance Floor”
27. “Ecscape, Supposably”
28. “Showtunes”
29. “The Armpit of the Nation”
30. “Union Local 832”
31. “Memory”
32. “Bugle Call / Impossible Rainwalk”
33. “Who I Really Am”
34. “A Golden Sound”
35. “Grunge”
36. “Cap Medley”
37. “Possible Fantasy”
38. “New Jersey Nights / Tabla Breakdown”
39. “Impossible Fantasy Ballad”
40. “We Are Power”
Bonus: Digital Booklet – the Adventures of Power Story

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Adventures of Power - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Adventures of Power - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ Ebiri, Bilge. (October 23, 2009). "The Real Ari Gold on His New Movie With Adrian Grenier." New York Magazine. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  4. ^ Ordona, Michael (October 16, 2009). 'Adventures of Power' gets an enthusiastic drums up. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  5. ^ Quint (January 21, 2008). Quint rocks out with Ari Gold's ADVENTURES OF POWER at Sundance! Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  6. ^ Olson, Andy (n.d.). Making Something Out of Nothing: An Interview with Ari Gold. The AndyO Experience. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  7. ^ Rothkopf, Joshua (October 5, 2009). Film: Adventures of Power. Time Out New York. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  8. ^ Deburge, Peter (January 31, 2008). Adventures of Power. Variety. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  9. ^ Boyd, Tom (April 7, 2008). My Adventures of Power through Vail Film Festival, Taste of Vail [realvail.com] Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  10. ^ Doerksen, Cliff (December 7, 2009). New Comedy Mavericks: The Gene Siskel Film Center Presents an Independent Comedy Film Festival. The Chicago Reader. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
  11. ^ Gore, Chris (May 19, 20098). Film: Adventures of Power. ChinaShop Magazine. Retrieved December 27, 2011.

External links[edit]