Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White turn it up to '11'

Rock documentaries can be lame, but "It Might Get Loud" isn't your average rock doc. Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, U2's The Edge, and the White Stripes' Jack White get together to talk shop and play their guitars.

"It Might Get Loud" is definitely one of the best rock documentaries I've seen in a while. Thankfully, it doesn't have a narrator spouting somber lines about the importance of it all. You don't have to suffer through inserted clips of celebrities and other musicians babbling about how great Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White are.

The filmmakers cover the three guitar greats individually doing their things, but the film is at its best when the musicians get together on a film sound stage to talk shop and jam.

There's a great little scene in the beginning where White hammers together a one-string electric guitar on a 2 by 4 hunk of wood. He plugs the contraption in to an amp and wails, and it's very, very cool. Filmed interviews with Page are pretty rare, so it's especially nice to hear his side of the Led Zeppelin story.

Oh, and there's a cool clip of a very young, maybe 12- or 13-year-old Edge playing with his band. White teaches a 9-year-old actor (who is playing the 9-year-old White) how to bash away on guitar. Sounds goofy, but it totally works. My favorite scene: White and the Edge sit there, dumbstruck, watching Page rip through "Whole Lotta Love." If you love their music, that clip alone is worth the price of the Blu-ray.

Two discs serve up five-plus hours of prime Zeppelin.

The film's pacing isn't so hot, and there's not enough of the three masters actually playing together. Still, there's lots to like. By the way, all of the deleted scenes are actually better than a lot of stuff in the movie proper.

The Blu-ray looks and sounds great.

After "It Might Get Loud" I watched some of the "Led Zeppelin" two-DVD set , which is jam-packed with more than five hours of music. Page and the boys at their prime in the '70s are still flat-out amazing.

Tell us about your favorite music documentaries in the Comments section below.

About the author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.

 

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