How on Earth did it take so long for someone to make a movie about Ginger Baker?
Baker, the former drummer for Cream, Blind Faith and several other bands, is the subject of "Beware of Mr. Baker." He's also a complicated and fascinating movie "character," a point that hits home during the opening of the movie when Baker smacks his director in the face, breaking his nose. And people think Lindsay Lohan is difficult.
Baker appears to have spent the past 50 years or so in a state of perpetual crabbiness, but he is never boring.
Whether he's describing his own failings as a parent (like the time he gave his teenage son cocaine), musing on the musical abilities of such collaborators as Eric Clapton or telling director Jay Bulger to go to hell, Baker is compulsively watchable.
Would you want to hang out with him? Maybe not, unless you were wearing a helmet. But observed from the safety of a theater seat, Baker's wit and lucidity are the steady beat that keeps "Beware" chugging along.
The documentary itself has been made with style and energy, but Bulger is not as gifted an interviewer as he is a filmmaker.
I'm not saying he deserved to get his nose busted, but there are times when Bulger's repetitive or ill-informed questions make you sympathize with Baker's ire.
"BEWARE OF MR. BAKER"
Directed by: Jay Bulger
Rated: Not rated, but contains very strong language, drug use and brief violence
Should you go? Yes.
Even if you have no special interest in Baker's music, he's a compelling and witty subject. ***-1/2