Pearl Jam Twenty Cameron Crowe

Pearl Jam Twenty Cameron Crowe
While it remains unclear who approached whom, there appears to be an unspoken agreement between Pearl Jam and director Cameron Crowe that Pearl Jam Twenty won't stray from the accepted narrative of the band. Crowe's new doc detailing the band's tumultuous 20-year career sees an idealistic young group swept up into a sea of fame only to battle back in a bid to retain their independence. But in reality, the quintet sought fame, quite aggressively. The death of Mother Love Bone's Andrew Wood only emboldened Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament to prove to the world that they could be stars, even without their charismatic friend and frontman. But once found, they realized what they had chased for so long wasn't all it was cracked up to be. The miasmic haze that resulted – No Code – is barely touched upon, as is the band's slow fade from the spotlight over the last decade. The DVD is light on extras, tacking on some short vignettes with each band member culled from the contemporary interviews Crowe shot for the film and some tour outtakes. Considering the archival footage he unearthed – Pearl Jam's much lauded MTV Unplugged appearance or their very drunken appearance on MTV's Singles special – sticking some footage from the vault onto the bonus features would have been appropriate. Still, Pearl Jam Twenty isn't a bad film. In fact, it's quite enjoyable, but it's hard not to see this as anything more than another bone thrown to the band's fans, who quite frankly are rivalled only by Dave Matthews Band in their willingness to buy anything the group put their name on. Rather than flipping the script of Pearl Jam's music and history, we get a reaffirmation of their current status in the rock pantheon. (Columbia)