Based upon a true story, "It's All Gone Pete Tong" is a mockumentary focusing on DJ Frankie Wilde (Paul Kaye), who has risen up the ranks to become one of the world's most famous record spinners. He seems to be the choreographer of the party, leading the rhythm of the dance floor and keeping the energy going late into the night. Playing gigs at some of the most famous clubs in the world, Wilde seems to have all that he could ever want - money, a nice house, wife. He does drugs (a giant imagined animal shovels cocaine on him in one darkly amusing scene) and isn't without faults, but Kaye turns the character into a very sympathetic one.
One day, he starts to have a ringing in his ears. After a while, it becomes more and more persistent, until it becomes like someone is slowly turning down the volume on his world. Some think that it's an effect of having to be in the midst of such high volumes so often, but a doctor comes to the conclusion that it was a condition he's had that has gotten progressively worse. They also see his work starting to slide, as the music production work he's in the midst of is falling apart and his DJ gigs start to become less focused.
Soon enough, everything starts to fall apart - his wife is leaving him, people are upset that work isn't being done and those who care about him are upset that he's not taking care of himself. Although he goes through a period of anger, depression and continuing to try to gig at clubs, he eventually realizes that it's time to turn things around, starting with meeting a woman that can teach him how to read lips.
"It's All Gone Pete Tong" doesn't have a whole lot going on besides its core story (the manager and some of the other characters seem a bit stereotypical), but that's enough to carry the interest here. Paul Kaye turns in a marvelous performance as Wilde, portraying the character's hurt, denial and sorrow terrifically. The movie rests on his shoulders and the actor really does succeed in bringing us along for Wilde's fall and enventual struggle back. Overall, a pleasant surprise of a movie.
VIDEO: Sony Pictures Home Video presents "It's All Gone Pete Tong" in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The presentation quality isn't flawless, but it's awfully good throughout most of the running time. Sharpness and detail remained first-rate, as the picture appeared almost consistently well-defined, with good small object detail.
Aside from a couple of slight trace instances of pixelation and a moment or two of edge enhancement, the picture appeared smooth and without distraction. Colors looked bright and vivid, with no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: The film is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. Quite a bit of the movie is forward-oriented in terms of the audio, with a nice spread across the front speakers. However, scenes with music do nicely use the rear speakers to provide reinforcement of the beats. There's some occasional creative use of the music around the listening space, as well. Audio quality was terrific, as the beats came through with tight bass and sounded impressively dynamic. Dialogue remained crisp and clear throughout.
EXTRAS: We get a series of featurettes, including a lengthy 40-minute "making of" documentary. The featurette is a little dry, but it does provide a good look at aspects of the film such as casting, proper DJ techniques, production and music. There are also featurettes (multiple smaller parts that can be played as a whole) chronicling "The Rise of Frankie Wilde", "The Fall of Frankie Wilde" and "The Redemption of Frankie Wilde". Finally, a series of previews (Brown Bunny, Go, Spun, Kung Fu Hustle, Layer Cake and 24 Hour Party People) round out the disc.
Final Thoughts: "It's All Gone Pete Tong" is a touching, well-acted and engaging drama with touches of comedy. The picture is lead by a stellar performance from actor Paul Kaye. The DVD offers very good audio/video quality and a pretty decent helping of supplements. Definitely recommended as a rental, while those into DJ culture and the club scene may want to seek out a purchase.