End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones
DVD Reviews | Mar 29th, 2005
Starring Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, Tommy, Marky, Ritchie, and lots of other people
Directed By: Jim Fields, Michael Gramaglia
Studio: Rhino/ Sire
Buy on Amazon.com link
I’ve been listening to the Ramones since 2nd grade and they are still one of my favorite bands of all time. Although, I never actually knew any of the stories behind the band. I just listen to the music ok ha. This documentary is all about the band’s career and it’s really interesting!
End of the Century is a compelling, candid documentary about the Ramones 20+ career. In 1974, the group was formed in Queens and the band played in small clubs around NYC like the infamous CBGBs, and built up a tremendous fan base. They played along side with plenty of new wave bands before they got popular like The Talking Heads, Blondie, NY Dolls but they didn’t sell out like those bands. They kept true to their 3 chord sound and played straight up punk rock. Around 76 and 77, punk was starting to become a big deal and the Ramones found themselves not alone with their style of music anymore. Bands like the Sex Pistols (NOT FIRST FUCKERS!), the Clash (another favorite) were born after the Ramones started the punk scene. But those bands made the music into something more. It became more nastier and also more political. It seemed like the Pistols blackballed the Ramones into getting airplay because the Sex Pistols were all about anarchy and crap like that. The documentary shows archive interviews as well as recent interviews with the members and various people associated with the band.
When was I was younger, I always thought the Ramones were all brothers. But that’s obviously not the case. I’m sure I’m not the only one that thought that. But in a sense, it was meant that way, a brotherhood if you will. From the documentary, you can tell Joey was the quiet/shy one, Dee Dee was the psycho hustler, Tommy was the dad of the group, and Johnny seemed like the grumpy antisocial one. I never knew that Johnny and Joey had such a grudge, or well I knew a little bit about it but didn’t know the extent of it. It really seemed to go until they both died. Johnny just recently passed away by the way. Joey passed away in 2001, and Dee Dee passed away after this movie was made. Tommy is the only original member alive right now and it’s really sad to think most of the band is gone now.
The interviews with the members and people associated with the band were cool. I think I smiled when I saw Joe Strummer on screen talking about the Ramones. Man, I’m still upset over his death. Probably more so than the Ramones, but I guess that’s kind of morbid of me to be ranking deaths. But back to the documentary, there are many scenes that are classic. Like seeing the band argue on stage because they can’t decide what song to play next, Johnny talking about stealing Joey’s girlfriend, and the super hilarious music video from Dee Dee Ramone’s rap career. Yes, I shit you not! The DVD is worth owning solely on that piece of crap. And Dee Dee thought that piece of crap was good haha.
The extras on here include a bunch of interview excerpts with Johnny, Joey, Ritchie, Dee Dee, Joe Strummer and others. Plus a trailer of the documentary, deleted scenes, and a few other things. I watched a few of the interview excerpts, especially Joe Strummer’s interview. Tommy Ramone has a brief interview where he discusses what band member wrote what song. Seemed like Dee Dee and Johnny wrote a lot. But Tommy kept saying he wasn’t sure after each person he mentioned haha. The extras weren’t that bad, there could have been some more stuff added though.
The documentary seemed to focus on the negative a lot. Too much about all the feuds between Johnny and Joey, drug and alcohol problems, members coming and going, and other chaotic things. I think the movie could have shown some of the lighter side of the band, I’m sure there had to be some stuff! But overall, the movie was really good and informative. Any punk or Ramones fan should buy this DVD!
– Deleted Scene
– Interview excerpts
Dolby Digital 5.1
Favorite Scenes: Dee Dee rapping had to be the highlight of the movie. Holy shit that was extremely painful to watch. But oh boy, that was hysterical! I also liked when the Ramones van was getting mobbed, that was funny.
Running Time: 150 minutes