Texas: 30 Odd Foot of Grunts

Starring:
Russell Crowe
Garth Adam
Billy Dean Cochran
Dave Kelly
Stewart Kirwan
Dave Wilkins

Special Features:
Music Videos
Texas Photos
60 Odd Hours In Italy Photos
BAFTA Award Photos
Sub Level Photos
Bonus Texas Footage
Bonus Bonus Texas Footage
Secret Bonus Photos
60 Odd Hours In Italy Featurette
Outtakes

Other Info:
Dolby Stereo
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 78 Minutes

Synopsis:
This documentary follows Russell Crowe’s band 30 Odd Foot Of Grunts (TOFOG) as they prepare to record an album in Austin, Texas. The band flies from Sydney to London to meet up with Crowe. As he films “Proof Of Life”, he comes and practices with the band at Pinewood Studios on his breaks. After a quick practice performance in London, everyone flies to the Lone Star State.

In Austin, Texas the band begins work on their new album. In the meantime, they prepare for a series of concerts at a local restaurant / theater. As the concert dates near, Crowe’s band is overwhelmed by their sudden popularity (thanks to their dear lead singer). The rest of the documentary features their live performances generally filled with hundreds of adoring females.

This film is not rated but it contains quite a bit of inappropriate language that would earn it an R rating.

The Movie:
When Crowe and the band did their concerts here in Texas, it raised quite a bit of publicity. I was mildly interested in hearing his band play, but I had no desire to brave the heat, crowds, and frenzied fans to hear the Aussie wonders. Fortunately, this DVD offers the opportunity to see what I and many other people missed.

So was the hype worth it? Well, despite having never heard them before, I like TOFOG’s music and I like their laid back fun loving attitude. It’s cool to see them doing what they enjoy and it’s a bit weird to see the Gladiator playing rock star. However, I think that Crowe is the best thing they have going for them. I’d say I’d have a 50/50 chance of buying their CD if I ran across it. Without Crowe, they’d be just another band. Fortunately, I think they realize this and are OK with it. In fact, Crowe seems to go out of his way to step back and give everyone equal time in this documentary. He doesn’t dominate the film any more than any other lead singer would in a concert.

If you’re looking for a concert DVD, though, this isn’t really it. The concert is maybe half or less of the film. Even then the performances are intercut with footage from their recording sessions. It’s not a straight concert film. You don’t get a really good feel for their music and I don’t think there are any songs played all the way through. And if you’re unfamiliar with their music like I was, you may want something a bit more representative of their sound.

The concert portion of the DVD has some fun features, tough. During certain songs, you can hit the “angle” button and switch the camera angle from different positions. Some of the songs also can be played with footage filmed around Austin. It kind of turns it into a music video. Some footage shows the guys walking around town. Other footage shows a longhorn steer getting ticked off.

In the end Texas is a unique film showing what Crowe likes to do in his free time, and that’s OK.

The Extras:
This DVD is absolutely jam packed with Easter egg extras. If you love the trill of the egg hunt, this DVD is for you. It’s set up with an oil well drilling theme. You have to drill down to different levels to access hidden features. Most of the levels are “locked” and you can only access them with specific routes or codes obtained from the TOFOG website.

Unlocked extras include two music videos “Things Have Got To Change” and “Memorial Day” as well as Texas Photos and 60 Odd Hours In Italy photos. Everything else on this DVD is “locked”. Fortunately, you don’t have to stumble through the DVD to unlock the features if you don’t want to. The sheet of paper inside the DVD tells you how to access everything. I was personally glad to have this because otherwise I would have never found the extras.

The locked extras include bonus videos of “Circus”, “The Photograph Kills” and “What’s Her Name?”. Other extras include BAFTA Award photos, sub-level photos, the “Nowhere” video, more bonus photos, outtakes, and more bonus footage. The most substantial of the extras is the “60 Odd Hours In Italy” featurette. This 25-minute video shows the band in Italy, as you can guess from the title.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, this DVD is for Russell Crowe fans and TOFOG fans. Everyone else may just want to rent it at the video store for the sake of curiosity. The level of detail on the extras and Easter eggs is mind-boggling and they could provide a lot of entertainment if you’re patient.

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