Tag Archives: movie review

DVD Review: “Confessions of a Beatlemaniac”


About 2.5 years ago, I reviewed the book  “Confessions of a Beatlemaniac!” A true story of a fan who broke all the rules to MEET THE BEATLES! by Dee Elias after meeting her at the Chicago Fest for Beatles Fans.  And about a year later, I posted that Dee was having a Kickstarter campaign to help fund a short film based on her book.

For those of us that were lucky enough to get in on the ground floor by contributing to her highly successful campaign, and requested a copy of the DVD as our reward, we got the goods about 2 weeks ago.  I couldn’t wait to pop this movie into my DVD player!

This 20 minute short starts with an animated title page that is just too cute.  Hint: It’s a play on the book cover.   Then the fun starts, as Dee and her friends reminisce about the fab time that had trying to meet the Beatles when they were just young innocent girls.  Flash backs will take you back to 60’s with Dee and company sneaking and conniving their way to actually get up close and personal with the Fab Four.  This movie is delightful…

But Dee’s adventures didn’t end in the 60’s.  Dee and her movie crew have decided to enter this movie as a Short Film in several movie festivals this year.  For the rest of her adoring fans, it’s scheduled to be released to the public in 2017!

For those that haven’t read her delightful true story of meeting the Beatles, you can purchase her book on her website or on Amazon.  It’ll help pass the time while we all wait for the movie to be released to the public!

Good luck at the film festivals, Dee!

 

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Movie Review: Brian Wilson – Songwriter: 1969-1982

Here’s another shameless plug for the 30 day free Amazon Prime trial subscription.  When I went to cancel before my month was up, then informed me that I could continue to use the free benefits until my 30 days was over!  So…I watch another free movie.

Brian Wilson – Songwriter: 1969-1982 was a hell of a lot better than I had expected.  This documentary was a great way to fill in the blanks that were left from watching “Love & Mercy“.  As I said in my review, Love & Mercy was an excellent film, but you really had to know exactly what was going on with Brian in the 1960’s thru 1980’s to understand the movie completely.  This film is going to give you those missing links.

And for that reason…

 

I rate this movie, 4 out of 4 Beetles!

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Note: And keep an eye out for May Pang’s book, Loving John, on Peter Ames Carlin’s bookshelf!

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Movie Review: “George Harrison: The Quiet One”

I decided to watch another movie from my free trial Prime membership before I have to cancel it within the next week.

George Harrison: The Quiet One is a one hour documentary on…George Harrison! It really didn’t offer up anything new on ‘the quiet Beatle’ that any real Beatles or Harrison fan wouldn’t have already known or read about before now. Though it was nice to see and hear the thoughts of George Martin and one of George Harrison’s childhood friends.

Add this movie to your freebie list, as I don’t feel that it would be worth the money to rent or buy it unless you’re one of those fans that has to own everything. And for that reason….

I rate this movie 2 out of 4 Beetles!

4beetle

3beetle

 

 

 

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Movie Review: “Love & Mercy”

“I’ve often played Pet Sounds and cried. It’s that kind of an album for me.” – Paul McCartney

Rubber Soul inspired Pet Sounds, which inspired Sgt. Pepper’s and that inspired me to make Smile,” – Brian Wilson

Ever since watching Love & Mercy 5 days ago, I haven’t been able to stop Beach Boys songs from playing in my head. The movie has that much of an impact.

There’s no doubt that the Beach Boys were the Beatles biggest rivals (or threat). This friendly rivalry between the bands helped to created four of the greatest albums ever made as Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney were determined to out due each other with their songwriting genius.

Love & Mercy is the heartbreaking story of Brian Wilson. Brian is the oldest of the three Wilson brothers who were the foundation of the Beach Boys, along with their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine. Suffering from anxiety and mental disorders from an early age, Brian became a recluse not only physically, but mentally. But it was within his own self-imposed isolated and demented world that he created Pet Sounds…an album that Rolling Stone magazine ranks as the #2 album of all time!

This is one of those times that I believe that the greatest musicians of the world were given their gift from the universe, as you watch a young Brian Wilson (played magnificently by Paul Dano) struggle with the voices and sounds in his head, and turn them into art.

Get yourself a copy of Love & Mercy…this movie is a must see for any true music fan! And for that reason…

I rate this book: 4 out of 4 Beetles!

 

 

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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!

 

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Movie Review: Paul McCartney Really Is Dead

Paul McCartney Really Is DeadMy neighbor knows what a huge Beatles fan I am, so he asked me a couple weeks ago if I had seen this movie.  I told him I had heard about it but hadn’t had a chance to watch it.  He said, “It’s not bad…”  Well, I’ll be the judge of that!

Paul McCartney Really Is Dead is listed on the IMDb (International Movie Database) as Documentary/Fantasy/Music.  This should be the first clue that something just isn’t right about this film.  A documentary and fantasy?  I believe we call that a ‘Mockumentary’…which brings to mind images of Spinal Tap or Desperately Seeking Paul McCartney.

The story line of the film is that in 2005, a package from London containing two mini cassettes and recorder showed up at Highway 61 Entertainment’s office.  The package had no return address.   The voice on the tape claims to be none other than George Harrsion, making a confession that Paul McCartney really did die in a car accident in 1966.  (Note: the subtitle of this film is ‘The Last Testament of George Harrison(yes, with a question mark!))  The voice on the tape then narrates the rest of the film as he explains the circumstances around Paul’s death and the ensuing cover-up.

Believable?  Maybe to the young and the gullible who, unlike us Beatles freaks, haven’t grown up hearing the tall tales of ‘Paul is Dead’.  The movie actually does a pretty good job of putting together all the clues about Paul’s untimely demise that could supposedly be found in the Beatles album covers and lyrics.  And I actually found that part of the movie informative since I had never heard ‘all’ the clues.  But the ability to find this movie entertaining came crashing down when the stories of how ‘Faux Paul’ ended up married to Linda Eastman and Heather Mills were discussed.  At this point, I let out an audible laugh and felt the film became a comedy.

Because of this films ability to show new Beatles fans all the album and lyric ‘clues’ that obsessed fans found to support the tall tale of Paul’s supposed death, I gave this movie a bit of a higher rating.

I rate this movie: 2 out of 4 Beetles

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Song Review: “Look to the One” by The Vals

Look to the One - The Vals

I love this band.

Wait…that wasn’t strong enough…

I LOVE THE VALS!

Okay…that was much better.

Phew…now on with the review.

The Vals are from Belfast, Ireland and appeared in my inbox about 2 years ago when they told me what huge Beatles fans they were and how influenced their music has been by the Fab Four.  At first, I thought they were just another band looking for attention, but I went to their site and gave their single “Yesterday Today” a listen.  The song will give you chills!   They soon released their first album “Sticks and Stones” in October 2009 which I had fully intended on reviewing but for some reason, I never found the time.  The album is amazing for a debut album…there is no doubt it is on my list of favorite albums along with my Beatles collection.  There is no mistaking that these guys too are Beatles freaks!

Now this band has released a new single, “Look to the One” and I’m not going to miss this opportunity to let the world know exactly how talented this group of musicians is.  An upbeat song, with a sound reminiscent of John Lennon.  I’ve embedded the video to this new song into this review, but I highly recommend taking a listen without the visual imagery if you want to truly get into this song.  These are the types of songs you pop into your car stereo and all your friends ask, “Who’s this?!”

Did I say I love this band?  I LOVE THE VALS!  I just wish I could give them more support and bring them to the U.S..  The people at SXSW Festival in Austin, TX, actually turned The Vals down last year to appear at the festival.  I think this was a huge mistake on their part and a big loss for the fans that attend the festival.  Hey…SXSW!  Get on the ball and bring The Vals to the U.S.A.!

You can become a fan of The Vals on Facebook.

I rate this song, this band and all their music: 4 out of 4 Beetles

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