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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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Upcoming Beatles Documentary

I’m not going to sugarcoat this…this post is going to be a plea for help! This project has just 26 days left to be financed or the entire deal will fall through…and as Beatles Freaks, I just can’t IMAGINE any of us letting that happen.

This is about Freda Kelly, The Beatles’ secretary from the early Cavern Club days when they were playing to audiences of 30 people at lunchtime, all the way through their years of international popularity and stardom, and until they eventually broke up in 1970.  Freda was only one of a handful of employees for The Beatles who lasted for the entire “Beatles Era.”

Freda has kept quiet all these years and is only now starting to come forward and tell her stories about all those years ago with the Fab Four.  She wants her grandchildren to know what their grandmother did in her youth…and what a great story she must have to tell.  I know I want to hear about it.

In order to make her documentary, the filmmakers must raise $50,000 by November 12, 2011 at 2:59 am.  Currently, the total donated is $13,390 from 117 donors.

So, let me break this down for you:  If the next 7,324 fans gave just $5 to this cause, they could make this film!  And you can’t tell me that they aren’t 7,324 Beatles Freaks out there that are dying to hear the inside stories from Freda!  You can give more if you’d like…you can give less…that’s up to you.  But I believe that we are capable of raising this money in the next 26 days.  And there are bonuses…such as, if you give $25, you will get a copy of the DVD when it’s made (there are more gifts for different donation levels, but I thought this was the most enticing for those with limited income).

All together now….come together, right now…

Donate here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1215635909/good-ol-freda

Please share this post on Twitter, Facebook and other social media to help this cause.

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Filed under Beatles-freak, Documentary, George Harrison, John Lennon, movies, music, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Uncategorized

Movie Review: The Love We Make (Documentary)

I have the honor of getting an advance copy of Paul McCartney’s 9/11 documentary’The Love We Make’.  This movie will debut on Showtime on September 10th.

This film isn’t what I thought it was going to be.  Done in black & white, the camera follows Paul in New York City in his travels from October 11, 2001 to October 23, 2001 and his day-to-day dealings to organize and prepare for The Concert for New York, a benefit concert that was held on October 20, 2001.  If you were expecting a 90 minute film on Paul’s reaction to 9/11, then you will be truly disappointed.  If you’re a McCartney fan that wants to see what it’s like to be Sir Paul, then this film is for you.

During TV and radio interviews leading up to the concert, Paul touches on issues dealing with how he’s dealt with grief in his life, how he deals with the conflict of being a pacifist after the devastation of 9/11 and how he came to the realization that he needed to do something while sitting in a plane on the tarmac watching the twin towers burn.

Mixed in with the interviews are Paul and his band rehearsing for The Concert for New York with many guest cameos as Paul discusses debuting his new song, “Freedom” for the first time at the show.  Celebrities to watch for in this documentary: Ozzy Osbourne, Howard Stern, Barbara Walters, Pete Townsend, Bill Clinton, Harrison Ford, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jim Carey…along with many more.

There are moments when Paul reminisces about the days with the Beatles and is even asked at one point, “Wouldn’t this be a perfect opportunity for the remaining Beatles to get back together”.  (Watch the movie for the answer!)   And it was interesting to see Paul once again trying to outrun his fans in NYC.

Though not a true post 9/11 documentary, I believe this is a must see for more than just McCartney fans.  There are moments that will just give you goosebumps.

Check the Showtime website for their multiple scheduled airtimes over the next week…you won’t want to miss this!  This movie will also be available On-Demand starting September 11th.

On December 6, 2011, this documentary became available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

So how would I rate a documentary by an actual Beatle?  You’d be crazy if you think I’d give it anything less than…

I rate this movie: 4 out of 4 Beetles

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Movie Review: Lennon Naked

Lennon Naked Several weeks ago I received and email from WGBH/PBS in Boston asking if I would take the time to mention their upcoming release of  Lennon Naked on my website.  They also asked if I would like a preview copy of the movie prior to writing about it.  It only made sense since this is a review website.

It would seem that 90% of this film is about John Lennon’s anger management abilities.  It’s as if the people behind the making of the movie researched every moment and every issue Lennon had and put it on film without regard for the happy or joyful times in his life.  According to Lennon Naked all John Lennon did was walk around angry and I believe they should rename this film to “Lennon Pissed-Off”.

My personal message to Robert Jones (writer): Dude….Give Peace a Chance! ☮

The one good point I found is the acting in the film is wonderful.  And though I’m not a Yoko Ono fan, I did find Naoko Mori‘s portrayal ofYoko to be excellent!

I don’t know that I can criticize the details that they present in this movie.  I didn’t walk away with the impression that they took too many liberties with the truth, though they do have a disclaimer before the movie started saying that some parts have been fictionalized.

Lennon Naked will debut on PBS on Sunday, November 21, 2010.  You can go to PBS.org and check your zip code for dates and times that Lennon Naked will be playing on your local station.

As always, I look forward to my readers responses and opinions.

I rate this movie: 1 out of 4 Beetles

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