DVD Review: The Other F Word

The Other F Word DVDSTUDIO: Oscilloscope Laboratories | DIRECTOR: Andrea Blaugrund Nevins | CAST: Jim Lindberg, Art Alexakis, Mark Mothersbaugh, Tony Hawk
DVD RELEASE DATE: 1/31/2012 | PRICE: DVD $29.99
BONUSES: commentary, outtakes, acoustic performances, music videos, post-screening Q&A, more
SPECS: NR | 99 min. | Documentary | 1.78:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1 | English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

What happens when yesterday’s second-wave punk rockers — the mohawked, pierced and tatted rebels who eschewed authority by flaunting their hedonistic freedom — become fathers? It’s a good question, and according to the 2011 documentary The Other F Word’s well-crafted, skillfully edited series of interviews with music, the answer is that the rockers become suburban dads who drive their kids to schools in new SUVs.

The Other F Word movie scene

Punk daddies rule in The Other F Word.

How disappointing. But no. Director Nevins goes deeper as the featured artists begin revealing how their own childhoods — some of them horrific, all of them sad — influence their change in values once the responsibility for a child becomes the driving force of their lives. Their decision to become respectable citizens (despite their still punkish outward appearances) is entirely understandable, and by the final third of the film, there arises an unexpected poignancy that will have you shedding a tear along with Flea, the ever-colorful bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The main narrative follows skate-punk’s Pennywise singer Jim Lindberg as he says goodbye to his three young daughters prior to departing on a grueling 200-plus day tour. Lindberg’s longing never becomes mawkish, but the emotions are genuine and we’re right there with him. We’re also taken into the homes of Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus, Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath, Black Flag’s Ron Reyes and others who reflect on their upbringing and their response to having kids. Added poignancy arises when we learn that two of the dads have lost children. Oy.

The interviews are driven at a frantic pace by the bands’ songs and snippets of performances spanning the past 20 years, many of which are included in the DVD’s bonus section. One of the standouts is Everclear’s Art Alexakis’ acoustic performance of “Father of Mine,” another bit that might choke up the vulnerable among us.

The audio commentary is expansive and informative and the videos of Black Pacific (Lindberg’s new band) are fine, but the real highlight on this DVD is the post-premiere Q&A from this year’s  SXSW festival, where the cast expands on how the film was made.


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About Buzz

Buzz McClain reviews DVDs for Playboy magazine and is a former critic for Video Business magazine. But what he really wants to do is direct.