Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings
In his teen years, Shimabukoro formed a small band known as Pure Heart, which garnered an unexpected level of success with their first album—recorded as a demo for potential restaurant and mall gigs—leading to multiple local awards and notoriety. Of note was Shimabukoro's intensely complex finger work and astoundingly fast playing.
With an array of talking head first person interviews with the virtuoso, his mother and a handful of people that have worked with him, Life on Four Strings outlines these details with cool, factual optimism. Some comments are made about Jake's isolated childhood, spending most of his time with his instrument while his mother worked two jobs to make ends meet but otherwise, this documentary plays out more so as a promotional puff piece than as a deconstruction and exploration of a highly talented man.
Though hearing about his YouTube successes and collaborations with Jimmy Buffett and Bette Midler are interesting, the documentary loses focus when it meanders into discussing the Japanese Tsunami, which was particularly tragic for his Japanese manager. Seemingly, it's there to assert Shimabukoro's compassionate spirit, but since we hear only wonderful things about him throughout this highly superficial and hagiographic work, it acts as little more than heavy-handed filler.
Fortunately, there's an abundance of ukulele-playing by the subject, which is nothing short of riveting and impressive.
Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings screens on Saturday November 10th, 2012 at 6:30pm at the Royal. (Independent)
ReviewsOct 29, 2014
The BabadookJennifer Kent
At every Toronto After Dark Fest, there's at least one film that rides a wave of palpable buzz and has attendees clamouring to see it. Last ...
ReviewsOct 24, 2014
Films about time travel are some of the trickiest ones to create as far as sci-fi subgenres are concerned — it's not so much about the...
ReviewsOct 23, 2014
Why Horror?Nicolas Kleiman, Rob Lindsay
As a nerd, it's always pretty weird seeing your favourite genre rise to the surface of mainstream culture, and horror is no exception. In hi...
ReviewsOct 22, 2014
Time LapseBradley King
You don't fuck with time. That's the philosophical takeaway - an idea espoused time and time again by one of the lead characters - in Bradle...
ReviewsOct 21, 2014
John Geddes' Hellmouth is a kaleidoscopic vision of hell that tantalizes with some bewitching visuals but ultimately comes off more as funho...
ReviewsOct 20, 2014
Kumiko, The Treasure HunterDavid Zellner
In 2001, a woman named Takako Konishi was found dead in a remote area of Minnesota. Botched eyewitness information swirled into an urban leg...
ReviewsOct 19, 2014
Man, I really wanted to like Zombeavers. Based on the trailer, which currently boasts over three million hits on YouTube, the film seemed li...
ReviewsOct 18, 2014
ABCs of Death 2Various Directors
When producers Ant Timpson and Tim League announced that they'd be producing a followup to 2012's highly ambitious anthology film The ABCs o...