Review: ‘Blood Into Wine’

Fans of prog-metal band Tool will remain the primary samplers of "Blood Into Wine."

Fans of prog-metal band Tool and its reclusive frontman, Maynard James Keenan, will remain the primary samplers of “Blood Into Wine,” a sharply filmed but narratively fuzzy docu that strains to detail the baldheaded rocker’s viticultural efforts in, of all places, the high desert terroir of northern Arizona. Keenan’s hands-on passion for his Verde Valley grapes appears genuine, though the filmmakers raise doubt by wandering stylistically from sober biography to staged comedy, and geographically from small-town Arizona to Napa. Ultimately, pic plays as a misguided promo tool for Keenan’s Caduceus label, with meager proceeds apt to trickle in from DVD.

Keenan explains his interest in mondovino as stemming from a desire to produce work that’s less aggressive than his Tool tunes. Fronting what he calls an “indie band” of winemakers, with Eric Glomski as its in-studio knob-twiddler, Keenan draws juice from his vineyard despite humidity, bugs and marauding animals. His effort to “court” Wine Spectator magazine’s James Suckling provides a rare taste of drama, until the critic lets slip that he’s a friend of the rock star. Celebrity cameos further one’s impression of the docu as an inside job.

Blood Into Wine

Production

A Twinkle Cash Co., Semi-Rebellious Films production, in association with True Story Films. Produced by Chris "Topper" McDaniel, Ryan Page, Jason Stall, Christopher Pomerenke. Directed, written by Ryan Page, Christopher Pomerenke.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W, DV), Cary Truelick; editor, Robert Beadle. Reviewed on DVD, Minneapolis, April 26, 2010. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Maynard James Keenan, Eric Glomski, Milla Jovovich, Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Bob Odenkirk, Patton Oswalt, Steve Heimoff, Tim Alexander, James Suckling, Marshall Trimble, Ryan Page, Christopher Pomerenke.
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