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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly is a documentary about Scott's rise to the top of the musical landscape and the release of his 2018 album Astroworld. Expect constant profanity, including "f--k," "motherf---er," and the "N" word. People are also shown smoking pot and cigarettes and drinking. In concert footage, fans get into fistfights; some get injured and are lifted by the crowd to waiting paramedics. One of Scott's bodyguards is shown walking behind him carrying an assault rifle. The documentary also covers Scott's Houston roots, his humble beginnings, and testimonies from devoted fans who discuss how much his music has helped them through difficult times. That said, this is ultimately little more than a promotional video for Scott, his music career, and Astroworld.
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What's the story?
TRAVIS SCOTT: LOOK MOM I CAN FLY provides an overview of the music superstar's life leading up to and around the release of his Grammy-nominated 2018 album Astroworld. From humble beginnings in Houston to filling stadiums of rabid stage-diving fans, the documentary provides a window into Scott's life as he becomes a father for the first time, is arrested in Arkansas for "inciting a riot," performs at the Super Bowl, and is given the key to the city of Houston by the mayor, who also promises an arena of hometown fans that Houston, because of the Astroworld album (named after a beloved Houston theme park that was demolished in 2005), will be getting a new amusement park sooner than later. From all of these highs to the lows of going 0 for 3 in Grammy nominations, Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly shows Scott's frenzied life both on and off stage.
Is it any good?
This documentary is best for superfans of the rapper. Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly shows Scott at a particularly high point in his life: the birth of his first child, performing for thousands of rabid stage-diving fans, performing at the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show (even if the criticism of many for doing so in light of Colin Kaepernick's accusations of endemic racism in the NFL is largely glossed over), completing the album Astroworld, earning three Grammy nominations for Astroworld, and being presented with the key to the city of his hometown of Houston by the city's mayor. It's a lot of winning, to be sure.
There are also moments throughout that seem, intentional or not, like nods to other star performers in their documentaries. Scott prays backstage before the show like Madonna in Truth or Dare, berates the stage crew like Beyoncé in Homecoming, tries to calm a violent crowd like Mick Jagger in Gimme Shelter, toys with fans like Bob Dylan in Don't Look Back. Maybe this proves that there's really nothing new under the sun, the beat goes on, etc. Perhaps, but none of this really makes the documentary feel like anything but an extended propaganda film/promotional video. And even with the moments of showing Scott's humble beginnings and his professed love of his fans, it's hard to shed anything but crocodile tears over the documentary's "saddest" moment -- when Scott goes 0 for 3 in Grammy nominations for Astroworld. The ultimate takeaway, for those who aren't already fans, is a prefab glimpse into yet another self-involved superstar.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the positive effects of music. In Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly, many of Scott's fans talk about how his music helped them through difficult times. How can music help people, particularly teenagers, who might be going through problems?
How does this compare to other music documentaries you've seen?
Was this an actual "documentary," or was it a promotional video for Scott and his music? Could it be both?
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