Keep Your Eyes Open
Released on DVD back in 2003, Keep Your Eyes Open seems to be something of an enigma that many Beastie Boys fans have not yet taken a look at. For those who do not frequent the beastieboys.com message board, you may not have yet even heard about the project. Rumor of the film first started circulating when the Internet Movie Database listed Michael Diamond and his wife Tamra Davis in the film's credits. At that time, little was known about the plot of the movie or what exactly Mike D's role in it was or would be. Then after several months of silence, Ian C. Rogers made an unexpected message board post announcing that in addition to Michael's appearance, the film would also feature new music from the Latch Brothers. This announcement sent a few of us out to our local Best Buy stores to pick the disc up, but for the most part reluctance of fans to throw down the cash on this DVD approached the level usually only seen when DJ Hurricane puts out a new album.
Now as far as expectations go, one might have expected Mike D's role to be nothing more than a cameo appearance. After all many of us sat through the Britney Spears movie Crossroads, which Tamra Davis also directed, hoping to catch a glimpse of Mike D. A pleasant surprise though is getting to see Mike D and Spike Jonze repeatedly throughout the course of the movie. The Mike and Spike appear cast in the roles of security guards who work to prevent young adults from skateboarding in "no skating zones." However, Mike D's character is known to take an occasional bribe in exchange for looking the other direction. When Spike's character happens to see a couple of skaters in direct violation of the no skating directive, Spike and Mike D spend the rest of the movie chasing after them.
The scenes featuring Mike D and Spike Jonze appear between the interviews and action footage clips of extreme sports athletes doing what they do best. In the context of this movie, the label "extreme sports" includes skate boarders, snow boarders, motocross racers, surfers, skiers, and BMX legend Mat Hoffman. During the course of this documentary-style motion picture, the viewer is introduced to eleven different people each with their own distinct personality and passion for their sport. The interview content is interesting and holds a person's attention, but the best parts belong to Mike D and Spike. In fact, Mike D and Spike Jonze should have received an academy award for their roles in the sequence's unexpected twist at the end of the movie.
In addition to acting in the movie, Mike D also contributed its soundtrack. His side project, the Latch Brothers, provided the movie's score. Now if you are expecting something similar to what they recorded for the Jet Set Future soundtrack, you are going to be disappointed. Instead of highly recognizable vocals and beats, on this outing the Latch Brothers supplied bits and pieces of back ground music that unfortunately ends up taking a back seat to artists like Powerman 5000, the Kottonmouth Kings, Afu-Ra, and Talib Kweli. For some reason, the Latch Brothers compositions appear as short edits whereas the artists previously listed have their songs played for longer durations.
For all of you out there who bought the DVD, the audio commentary with director Tamra Davis and professional snowboarder Tina Basich is by far and away the best part of the disc's special features. At one point it is revealed that Tamra Davis originally met Tina through Adam Yauch, who snowboarded with her for two winters. During the course of the commentary track, the two go on to discuss how Adam Yauch's abilities as a snowboarder are considered with high regard among those who he has wintered with.
After a little searching, no obvious Easter eggs have been located. If there is a DVD Easter egg hidden on this disc, please let it be either a commentary track featuring Mike D and Spike Jonze or a few songs from the Latch Brothers. If you find something that you think is a hidden extra, please contact us here at beastiemania.com so we can share the news with other fans.