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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Count Me In 2021 * 1/2 Stars


Few documentaries feel more fan-made and/or vanity-stricken than 2021's Count Me In. I mean when a bunch of drummers (who are mostly unknown) talk about other famous drummers as if they're in the same league with them, it feels sort of non-self-effacing and well, vainglory-like. "Playing the drums is fun". Yeah we get it dude so um, give it a rest. Overexposure kills ya.

Anyway "Count" is a rinse, repeat of archive footage spliced with interviews, all told about rock and roll/jazz percussionists who fueled the industry and made their mark. We're talking about dudes like legends John Bonham, Ginger Baker, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, and Stewart Copeland (but no Neil Peart, what?).

Count Me In, well it carries a clean and streamlined look and is not that badly made (that's not really a pat on the back). However, it doesn't have a middle, beginning, or end, and it's edited to the point of tedium while culminating in an annoying, ending rhythm session that lasts for only a couple of minutes. "Count's" rookie director (Mark Lo), well there's no real appreciation for the cinematic form here, and he'd rather let a bunch of B-list drum mongers jibber-jabber with mild insight than tell an actual story.

So OK, it's one thing to have a bunch of people I've never heard of (Jess Bowen, Cindy Blackman, Clem Burke) wax about their idolism hi-hatters. It's another thing to not include the actual band mates of said drumming idols. I mean this causes Count Me In to lack a little credibility and uh, leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Heck, if I wanted to watch The Last Blockbuster again I'd watch The Last Blockbuster again, another flat film about has-been actors who bleed nostalgia for that punchline of a video store. "I can play my drums all day and all night and, I love it". Good for you. Just do it in the privacy of your own home. Foolish "beat".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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