TROUBADOURS All hail the Troubadour, the landmark West Hollywood nightclub that galvanized the late-'60s, early-'70s singer-songwriter scene, launching Carole King, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson and Elton John (as well as comedians like Steve Martin and Cheech & Chong). As seen at Sundance last week, Morgan Neville's pop-doc celebration features all of said boldface names and more waxing broadly about their early days at "the Troub," with the obligatory vintage-concert footage and Ken Burns–style zooming and panning over scrapbook finds. The cinematic occasion is the club's 50th anniversary, marked by a 2007 series of King and Taylor reunion concerts, slickly packaged together to wash over viewers like a sentimental, VH1-worthy pleasantry. The film is entertaining but hardly penetrating, and there's something uncool about shaking the opening credits awake with the MC5's "Kick Out the Jams" before ditching rock & roll sensationalism altogether. Not that we need to hear any more about David Crosby's snorting habits, and Taylor was probably still a mellow, boring guy even as a hop-head. But why isn't Doug Weston, the Troubadour's late owner and curatorial mastermind — dismissed here as a greedy, crazy huckster by those who owe their careers to him — the star of the show? (Aaron Hillis) (Sunset 5)
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