Stadium Anthems is a 2018 music mockumentary directed, produced, and written by
Scott Douglas Brown. It follows the failing Dragon Chaser Records and their attempts at
surviving a post music streaming world. Formatted as both a mockumentary and narrative, it
takes jabs at all aspects of the both real life and fictional failing record industry.
The first act of the film does leave some doubt in the watcher. Much of it is set up and
introducing characters. Although this is to be expected, it is rather slow, and it takes until the
second act to get the plot moving at a more enjoyable pace. The slowdown in plot can be
attributed to its cutaway gags and humour, which seem more prevalent in the first third of the film.
More time is given to those, and so the plot feels so stretched and slow. Once it picked up, I
found myself not checking the time as much, but it will still show some slugness and will be hard to follow at times.
It was hard to watch the first third of the film. The humour didn’t work for me, the plot was
too slow and, although I liked the characters, none urged me to stay. However, I was given time
to think it over. Yes, the humour is immature, silly, and full of innuendo but seems to be
purposeful. The film parodies and comments on the failing music industry in a post #MeToo and
streaming world. Some will not like it, but I did warm to it as I watched.
Even with its abundance of male anatomy references and curse words, the film does
have some fun performances. Every actor seems to enjoy their role and even the minor
characters have enough behind them to warrant a second glance.
It does have some guidance issues as I found it difficult who to pinpoint who the main character was. There are many plotlines to follow and even though every character does receive an arc, it does become a bit tiresome to follow them all, and the abundance of them means each arc is rather short and unfulfilling.
It does use its mockumentary style to streamline these arcs and speed them up. The
common rule in film is “show, don’t tell” and it works both ways in this. Using the interviews, it
can speed up and elaborate more on specific things that don’t have to be shown, and allows for
some rather funny moments in the film.
The film also never appears amateur on a technical level. Everything has a polish to it, the cinematography is not awe inspiring, but does give us some good shots and composition throughout. The editing and timing for the humour is all there. It may not work all the time, but the filmmakers understand editing and timing in a comedy and it all shows promise and a clear care for quality. A clever eye might be able to spot some workarounds and some slight errors, but if it takes a clever eye to see, it must’ve taken a clever person to fix the initial problem.
People will not like this film, and it does have problems. However, I think that a good portion of people will like this. Some will call it dumb, some will say it’s smart, and some will say it’s both, but never on purpose. I’m in the middle of all these. In any case, I think people will talk about it. I did have a long conversation about it with another viewer, and any film breeding conversation is not bad, especially when it involves the themes in the movie.
I don’t know if I would watch it again, but if i did, I know I would feel different about it. Whether it’s better or worse, I could only know by viewing it again. I’d say give it thirty minutes, and if it’s not for you then turn it off. What’s the harm? Besides, I managed to write all this about it, so there's something to be said about it and seen for yourself.
Written by Blake Preston