Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Movies that are Terrible: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

I have a great idea! Let's make a movie based on what might be the Beatles greatest album!

And to keep it fresh and modern.

We will cast the BeeGees and Peter Frampton as Billy Shears and the Band.

What follows is pure opinion.
I make no claims to being an expert on movies, music, books, poetry, art, fashion or even having good good taste. I do not even claim to be all that mentally stable. If you happen to like this movie please do not take my dislike of the movie as an insult. However, you may want to seek professional help or get a job in Hollywood. 

Watching this movie is just painful.
What really causes pain when watching this movie is that when I watch it I keep thinking... This could have been so good. I really wanted this movie to be great when I was young. Yes I was only four when the Beatles broke up, but I have always liked the Beatles.

What went wrong?

The Music?
That would be an easy place to lay blame. Let's face it, trying to cover songs from Sgt. Pepper's is a bold thing for any artist to try. Many of the songs from the album are actually good and the sound track sold like hot cakes.  I think part of the problem might have been that they tried to tell the entire story with songs plus some narration by George Burns. Making it all fit together was just not really easy. Some songs seemed like they where just stuck in because you had to have them in the movie. One problem I had was they left out Lovely Rita. On the plus side a high point for me was Steve Martin's performance of Maxwell's Silver Hammer. It takes silliness to a level that has got to be seen to be believed. The fight between Maxwell and Billy Shears is a great tip of the lightsaber to Star Wars. 

The Plot?
The Plot is Sgt. Pepper saves the world from the evil greedy villain. It is over the top, silly, and typically Beetles. You want deep? Not going to happen but it is no worse than The Yellow Submarine. I do not think this is the problem.

The Look?
This is part of the problem. It just does not age well at all and was not all that good when first released. The 60s had a sort of natural look that while today is dated at least looks honest. The 70s were all plastic and glitter. Add in some really bad special effects and the entire things feels super dated. The best way I could describe it is to imagine that cocaine addicted Disco Fever Hollywood of the late 1970s decided to mix LSD with their cocaine. On the plus side Lady GaGa would fit right in.

The Cast?
Here is where the problem lies, made all the more tragic because a lot of the cast was wonderful.  A cast that includes Steve Martin, George Burns, Billie Preston, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, and Earth, Wind, and Fire should have made this movie great! The problem is that Bee Gees and Peter Frampton just can not act. Every second the camera is on one of the them the movie dies a little. Here is probably the best example from the movie. It is the funeral of Strawberry Fields, Billy Shears true love. I have seen more emotion over a bad haircut.

The rest of the cast which are the supporting cast just point out just how bad the stars are! Just watch George Burn's face in the clip. He looks like a man that has just lost someone he cares about. That is why this movie is terrible. Not because it is all bad, but because it could have been so good. 

For me this was personal.
I was so excited to see this movie, I was 13 when this movie came out and was excited in the way only a 13 year old fan can be. I was expecting this to be the greatest movie in history. I was so excited to see it, but the movie was out of our local theater before I had the chance! I waited, and a year or so later, it was on HBO. I was so excited to finally get to see the movie. I finally saw it and it was awful. It was just so disappointing. If you want to see just how bad this movie is, I have good news for you. It is on Netflix streaming so knock yourself out.

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