Tag Archives: Documentary

Movie Review: Mugshots: John Lennon – Death of a Beatle

I found this movie through Amazon Prime and decided to give it a go.  Apparently, “Mugshots” is a whole series of movies about either famous people who have been murdered, famous murderers or famous murders.

Mugshots: Mark D. Chapman – John Lennon: Death of a Beatle – is actually not a bad documentary for Lennon fans, if you can get past the taped interview of Mark David Chapman.  But if you are one of the folks that lives by the belief that “he who’s name shall not be spoken”, should also not be heard, then you’re going to have a big problem with this film.

The movie is more of the story of John Lennon, his life growing up and his life as a Beatle.  Several very familiar people participated in the making of this documentary, including such names as Pete Best, Bob Gruen, and Scott Muni.

At times, it almost appears as if this is two separate stories being told…that of Lennon and that of his killer, with each of the stories being able to stand on it’s own if it had to.  Chapman’s words are haunting…his story is strange…and his reasoning just unfathomable when you hear him tell it.  Yet, like a train wreck, it’s hard not to look and listen just to try to comprehend what he did.

If you’re a true Lennon fan who has to know every detail, then yes…watch this film.  If you love Lennon, but believe Chapman’s name should not be spoken, then watch Hard Day’s Night.

This documentary is well made, but because of my own personal beliefs on the subject…

I rate this movie: 2 out of 4 Beetles!


Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, John Lennon

Movie Review: “George Harrison: Living In A Material World”

This is the movie I had attempted to watch several weeks ago while I was traveling.  I ended up in a battle to watch it on my iPad mini for weeks now, before finally giving up and having to watch it on my PC.  I really dislike watching any type of movie on my computer.  I’d much rather do it from the comfort of my couch, especially a 3.5 hour documentary like this.

George Harrison: Living In The Material World, directed by Martin Scorsese, came out in 2011.  Even I had tears in my eyes when I saw the trailer for the movie before it’s release.  Was I going to be able to sit through this film about a beloved Beatle who left us way too early?

The movie actually starts out quite poorly.  Several times during a scene, the music just drops off and  the scene goes to an interview.  There’s no fade out.  I kept thinking, “Is this going to happen through the entire film?  Is this really a Martin Scorsese film?  I guess I should be happy he didn’t cast Leonardo as George!”  Then I started thinking, “Thank god it’s not a Tim Burton film with Johnny Depp as George!”  But I digress…

For some unknown reason, the music stops dropping off and begins fading out between scenes, but still the first half off this film felt more like a Beatles documentary than a movie about George.  I paused it and got up several times to get a drink, let the dog out, etc.  I almost dreaded having to sit through Part Two after the intermission, but that’s actually where the movie picks up and becomes George’s story.  (Except the part where Derek Taylor’s wife shows up and, just like Derek, only wants to talk about doing LSD with the Beatles.  Do these people talk about anything else?!)

Part Two of this movie is a delight and kept me in my chair until the end as George’s friends, colleagues, wife and son telling us about the real George.  If you can make it through the Blah-Blah of the first 1.5 hours,  you’ll love the rest.  Though I wouldn’t call this Scorsese’s best cinematic production, the scenes with George and Friar Park are beautiful.

It was not available on my Fios OnDemand, but you can rent from Amazon.com, iTunes or Netflix.

Buy at Amazon.com or any major retailer where movies are sold.

I rate this movie: 3 out of 4 Beetles!


1 Comment

Filed under George Harrison, Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Good Ol’ Freda

I’m two years behind on watching Good Ol’ Freda, the story of Freda Kelly who was the Beatles Fan Club President from the very beginning and up until the very end.  Until the making of this film, Freda willingly remained a silent and loyal figure in the background of the mayhem that was Beatlemania.

Good Ol’ Freda was the brainchild of Kathy McCabe and Ryan White who began a Kickstarter campaign on October 11, 2011 in hopes of raising $50,000 to make a movie telling the story of a young, naive, seventeen year old girl who fell in love with a local band in Liverpool and ended up the secretary of the greatest band the world would every know.  Within one month, Kathy and Ryan were able to raise $58,000 for this project and in 2013 they release this documentary.

Maybe it was all the hype and hullabaloo that has been made about this film over the past two years, but I didn’t find it to be ‘all that’.  I felt as if I spent at least 25% of the time listening to Freda, her family, friends and colleagues tell me how loyal, devoted and honest she was/is and that she would never spill any dirt about the Beatles.  Hmm, so what was this movie about?  From the magazine clippings about Ms. Kelly that appeared in this film, it doesn’t seem as if we were learning anything about her that hadn’t already been told during her years working for them.

This film left me a little confused as to why it was made and it’s purpose.  Near the end of the movie, Freda says she finally decided to tell her story for her grand-children so they would know what she did with her life.  Uh…they probably could have learned that from the four boxes of memorabilia and scrapbooks in her attic that we get to see her rifle through throughout the film.

Now don’t get me wrong…Freda is fun to watch and listen to for the 87 minutes of this film as she giggles like a young girl as she reflects back on her years with Eppy, Richie, John, Paul and George.  And there is no doubt in my mind that she’s a lovely lady to meet and spend time with over tea or such, but I’m glad this movie wasn’t much longer than it already is.

If you’re a die-hard Beatles fan that has to know absolutely everything about the Fab Four, than this movie is for you and you should buy it and add it to your collection.  If you’re just curious about Freda Kelly and her story, you can rent Good Ol’ Freda on Amazon for $2.99 and watch it on your laptop.

You can buy Good Ol’ Freda at Amazon.com.

Or you can purchase from the Good Ol’ Freda website.

I rate this movie: 3 out of 4 Beetles!

Leave a comment

Filed under Movie Reviews