Filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich set out to tell the story of legendary rock band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and boy did he deliver. This four hour documentary, spread over two discs, is undoubtedly THE best way to learn the history of The Heartbreakers. It’s not simply a guy with a camera crew out covering where the band has been or what they’ve done, but Tom Petty himself narrating the band’s history along with interviews from other members of the group (such as Benmont Tench, Mike Campbell, Ron Blair and archival footage of those that have passed on). Actors like Johnny Depp and other musicians like long time friend Stevie Nicks, Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl also appear.
Through the journey we learn details of how the band first got together, their journey to Hollywood, the many run-ins Petty had with record record labels and how he wouldn’t give in to what they wanted, as well as dealing with the trials and tribulations that fame brings and the film ends on a sweet note as they perform in their home town of Gainesville for a 30th anniversary concert.
It’s hard to put into words what makes this so entertaining, but the way Tom Petty and those close to him chronicle their life story is something vastly different when watching shows like E’s True Hollywood Story or other documentaries where you get an outsider’s perspective on the life of someone.
Currently there are two versions of this movie out; a four disc version that, at the time of writing this was a Best Buy Exclusive and a two disc edition.
What’s included in the four disc version:
– Disc one and two contain the four hour documentary
– Disc three contains the entire 30th anniversary concert from Gainesville, Florida. (Featuring three songs with Stevie Nicks)
– Disc four contains rare songs such as Honey Bee (As performed on SNL with Dave Grohl)
– Four promo cards featuring pictures of the band
– A small booklet detailing what’s all contained in this DVD set as well as the thoughts behind them
From my understanding two disc edition only has the movie and some rare live performances, but nothing to the extent of the concert in the previous version.
Anyone who is a fan of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers owes it to themselves to pick this DVD up or at least give it a viewing whenever it’s on TV. It’s a fantastic story and really shows how great of a musician/song writer Petty is.
Final rating: 5 out of 5