well-constructed and honest documentary which centers on the story of the ramones. though the film revolves around the ramones, it explores the music culture of the time as well. it touches on the ramones’ contemporaries like the new york dolls, blondie, the sex pistols and the clash. good documentaries of this kind are able to present the subjects in a personal, realistic and honest manner while still giving a good indication the subjects’ great influence on music and culture. this film does that. there is no hagiography here, but the ramones were real innovators and creators and they get the respect they deserve. at the same time, guys like johnny and dee dee come off as either completely out of it or as assholes. hearing johnny talk about joey’s death and seeing the utter lack of remorse or feeling is one of the more harrowing moments in the film.
end of the century also does a good job of incorporating interview footage with all of the ramones, critics, other musicians and other people who knew the band; there’s even some live footage and home video type stuff in here. what you end up with is a very round, full picture of a band, a type of music, and a time.