Directed by: #ChrisEasterly
Lithium Phoenix - the most famous band you've never heard of! No, seriously. Lead singers J-Phoenix (Jason Gray) and Brian Lithium (Brian Cox) wrote some of rock's most famous tunes—and then had them stolen. Suddenly, rock bands from around the world were releasing very obviously rebranded versions of Lithium Phoenix's songs: did you know, Poison's Every Rose has its Thorn is just an illegally reenvisioned version of Lithium Phoenix's original (albeit less inspired), Every Flower has its Prick…yeah.
So, in case you haven't guessed, The Rise, Fall, and Rerise of Lithium Phoenix is a mockumentary; think Rob Reiner's This is Spinal Tap, only it's 20-minutes-long and has some of the best character names I've ever seen - Jackie Bloodgood (Walker Haynes), Rusty Mullins (Will Mack) and Phoenix Leenix, to name a few. And it's a bloody good mockumentary at that!
We follow the ups of Lithium Phoenix's past, the downs of its present, and the question mark hanging over its future, as J-Phoenix, Brian Lithium and a host of fans, roadies, "industry professionals", and even a badly underpaid Private Investigator, give their two cents on possibly the most unfortunate band never to have existed, in that staid, interview-based mockumentary style. Think the Office (UK or US versions), and you know roughly what you're in for.
Terrific performances, boasting great laconic and wry humour, from the entire cast (but particularly from the real-life married leads) make this an entertaining watch that had me laughing-out-loud on several occasions (something which doesn't happen often), and I love the fact that both lead actors had a hand in the writing process. It works so well in movies like this, and the difference it makes is instantly noticeable.
One could certainly argue the film's rather unoriginal, as it doesn't bring anything new to the table. Instead, Director Chris Easterly plays it safe, following the standard mockumentary protocol rather than attempting anything overly bold. But it works well, and while it doesn't bring anything new to the table, what it does bring is brilliant and can rival the best of them.
As someone who isn't usually a fan of the genre (band-based movies, I mean), I very much enjoyed my time with this film, and at a mere 20 minutes in length, it's perfectly paced and more than worthy of repeated viewings.
I think it's fair to say that Easterly, Cox and Gray have pinpointed my funny bone, quite proficiently. So do yourself a favour, find this film if you can.
You won't be disappointed!