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Smiley Smile Stuff => General On Topic Discussions => Topic started by: GoogaMooga on April 15, 2018, 09:18:07 AM



Title: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: GoogaMooga on April 15, 2018, 09:18:07 AM
Yes, there was an old thread, but it stops in 2016, so here , as an afterthought, is my Johnny-come-lately take on the film:

Finally watched the DVD of the Brian Wilson biopic, "Love & Mercy". Now, I am biased, being a rabid Beach Boys fan. But even if I try to be objective, I am absolutely certain that this is the finest musical biopic I have ever seen, and I have seen a few! The film requires at least some knowledge of BB history, as it flits effortlessly between mainly two periods, the creative peak in 66 and 67, and the romance with Melinda Ledbetter in the 80s. A romance that led to their getting married, and Brian being freed from the clutches of his legal guardian, the sinister Dr. Eugene Landy. It doesn't matter that the two leads don't look much like young Brian and middle-aged Brian; Dano and ESPECIALLY Cusack have the Brian persona down to a tee, every twitch, every gesture, even the goshdarn t-shirts he wore in the 1960s, they got it ALL right. We go through the mental breakdown of Brian Wilson, his 24 hour treatment by Dr. Landy, right up to his return to life and his new-found love, and eventually, his freedom. As the end credits roll on, we see the real Brian on stage, singing "Love & Mercy", as part of the historic "SMiLE" gig at Royal Festival Hall in 2004 (I was there!). During these end credits, I was moved to tears, but they were tears of joy.

Question: Did he really hear voices since 1963? The nervous breakdown on the plane was in 1964, and by his own account, the drugs started that year, too.


Title: Re: \
Post by: JK on April 15, 2018, 09:54:58 AM
I am absolutely certain that this is the finest musical biopic I have ever seen, and I have seen a few! The film requires at least some knowledge of BB history, as it flits effortlessly between mainly two periods, the creative peak in 66 and 67, and the romance with Melinda Ledbetter in the 80s. A romance that led to their getting married, and Brian being freed from the clutches of his legal guardian, the sinister Dr. Eugene Landy. It doesn't matter that the two leads don't look much like young Brian and middle-aged Brian; Dano and ESPECIALLY Cusack have the Brian persona down to a tee, every twitch, every gesture, even the goshdarn t-shirts he wore in the 1960s, they got it ALL right.

My sentiments entirely, GM. It doesn't get much better than this! The musical score is amazing too.


Title: Re: \
Post by: GoogaMooga on April 15, 2018, 10:16:47 AM


My sentiments entirely, GM. It doesn't get much better than this! The musical score is amazing too.

The last song over the end credits, after L&M, seems "new" to me. Was it an exclusive recorded for the OST? Do you know the title?


Title: Re:
Post by: Summer_Days on April 15, 2018, 10:28:21 AM
'One Kind of Love'. You can find it on Brian's 2015 album No Pier Pressure.

I'd say the best music biopic is either Love & Mercy or Ray.
I absolutely love love this movie. As a hardcore Brian Wilson/Beach Boys fan I have a hard time turning off my historical inaccuracy detector, but there are only a small few and they don't matter in the grand scheme of things.
It's funny you brought it up, I just watched L&M last night again and this morning I posted in the Albums, Books and Videos request thread for L&M to be included in the videos section so we could review it.
It is still so stunning to me how much they got not only right but right on the money about Brian's experiences. Plus seeing a few things from Melinda's perspective was a great idea. That scene where Landy is screaming at Melinda from the other side of her office door, calling her terrible things is a highlight. Wow, that really happened?
Dano and Cusack crush it as Brian. It occurred to me last night while I was watching one of the '80s scenes how Cusack really felt like a middle aged Dano in many ways to me. Just the way they both approach inhabiting the part. If that makes sense.

I love this movie and my sincere hope is that its popularity with casual fans and people who never really listened to Brian's deeper recordings like Pet Sounds and SMiLE will check them out after hearing pieces of it in the movie. If you want to really know Brian, the best way to do that is to listen to his music, with an open heart. Listen, listen, listen.

I'm so happy this movie came along to tell Brian's story to the masses.


Title: Re:
Post by: GoogaMooga on April 15, 2018, 10:47:16 AM
'One Kind of Love'. You can find it on Brian's 2015 album No Pier Pressure.

Thanks. My later BB purchases are not filed properly. It's the proverbial needle in a haystack, so I don't know them as well.


Title: Re: \
Post by: Bicyclerider on April 15, 2018, 11:48:34 AM
I am not a fan of this movie - the Cusack parts are well done but the 60s parts are written poorly, acted poorly, and are filled with errors of fact and tone.  I kept thinking how corny and overwrought most of the scenes were.

I don't mind that most people like it and I'm glad it brought Brian's story to many new people unfamiliar with it, but one viewing was more than enough for me.


Title: Re: \
Post by: GoogaMooga on April 15, 2018, 12:28:23 PM
I am not a fan of this movie - the Cusack parts are well done but the 60s parts are written poorly, acted poorly, and are filled with errors of fact and tone.  I kept thinking how corny and overwrought most of the scenes were.

I don't mind that most people like it and I'm glad it brought Brian's story to many new people unfamiliar with it, but one viewing was more than enough for me.

I agree only insofar as Cusack's performance is the stronger of the two. The '60s were a haze, not only to the people involved, but also to the people who had to convey it on film, if they were even around then. Obviously the '80s would be much more accurate. I think what the '60s scenes had going for them was a certain dynamic, the studio work, the acid trip, etc., but key players were glossed over. It was as if they were ticking boxes based on the books. I think they got the look right, and the mood, and even the insecurity and sensitivity of the young Brian. The "Beard Movie" did a better job with the Brian-Dennis indulgences, and Murry was more fleshed out in the mini series, but neither production can compare with this biopic, IMO. I really can't think of a better music biopic than this one.


Title: Re: \
Post by: MyDrKnowsItKeepsMeCalm on April 15, 2018, 02:19:42 PM
I saw this in the theater when it came out, and was blown away. Loved it. Took along my friend, a non-BB fan who went in knowing nothing, and he enjoyed it too.



Title: Re: \
Post by: pixletwin on April 15, 2018, 03:31:22 PM
I loved it too, but Amadeus is a better film for me.


Title: Re: \
Post by: Alex on April 15, 2018, 08:52:01 PM
The only rock biopic anyone needs to see is Walk Hard.


Title: Re: \
Post by: KDS on April 16, 2018, 05:49:56 AM
The only rock biopic anyone needs to see is Walk Hard.

Walk Hard is one of the best comedies of the millennium IMO.   

As for music biopics, I'm not sure if I have a favorite.   Love and Mercy was very good.   For all of it's flaws, I think Oliver Stone's The Doors is also very good. 


Title: Re: \
Post by: HeyJude on April 16, 2018, 07:19:55 AM
I am not a fan of this movie - the Cusack parts are well done but the 60s parts are written poorly, acted poorly, and are filled with errors of fact and tone.  I kept thinking how corny and overwrought most of the scenes were.

In what way was the tone off? More importantly, what are you using as a baseline for comparison?

I'd say the 60s stuff with Dano was the better portrayal of both character, look, and tone compared to the 80s stuff. I think Cusack did fine, but he didn't seem to attempt to look or sound much like Brian.

But this film was a small miracle. I don't think there were any severe lapses in facts. A small amount of conflation took place for the sake of brevity. But just about every BB fan I've run into who *doesn't* like the film (a small group to be sure)  doesn't get that this is a *film* first and foremost, not Beach Boys fan service. If you want the dry facts (which you already know anyway, right?), there are docs and books for that. This is a film, and considering the other stuff on the market in terms of BB and other bands/artists ("An American Family", "Summer Dreams", "Dead Man's Curve", "Birth of the Beatles", "Backbeat", "John and Yoko: A Love Story", etc.), "Love & Mercy" was, again, a small miracle and actual true *art.*

Not saying anybody is going into such minutiae, but anyone who is annoyed because Hal Blaine's sideburns are a half inch too short are missing the entire point of the film. 


Title: Re: \
Post by: Bicyclerider on April 16, 2018, 07:28:57 AM
The only rock biopic anyone needs to see is Walk Hard.

Walk Hard is one of the best comedies of the millennium IMO.   

As for music biopics, I'm not sure if I have a favorite.   Love and Mercy was very good.   For all of it's flaws, I think Oliver Stone's The Doors is also very good. 

The Walk Hard psychedelic sequences are actually a better representation of Brian and the Smile period than Love & Mercy!!

where was the tone off?  Brian came off as way more insecure and unsure of himself than he was, as demonstrated by the session tapes.  I only saw it once but Dano's hesitant unsure and halting performance did not represent the "confident" Brian which he was most of the time during PS and even Smile, until the very end. I remember one scene where he is outside the studio looking bewildered and downbeat and one of the Wrecking Crew (Hal)? tells him how what he's doing is great and somehow that suddenly validates everything for him.  Corny and not accurate.


Title: Re: \
Post by: KDS on April 16, 2018, 07:32:26 AM
The only rock biopic anyone needs to see is Walk Hard.

Walk Hard is one of the best comedies of the millennium IMO.   

As for music biopics, I'm not sure if I have a favorite.   Love and Mercy was very good.   For all of it's flaws, I think Oliver Stone's The Doors is also very good. 

The Walk Hard psychedelic sequences are actually a better representation of Brian and the Smile period than Love & Mercy!!

where was the tone off?  Brian came off as way more insecure and unsure of himself than he was, as demonstrated by the session tapes.  I only saw it once but Dano's hesitant unsure and halting performance did not represent the "confident" Brian which he was most of the time during PS and even Smile, until the very end. I remember one scene where he is outside the studio looking bewildered and downbeat and one of the Wrecking Crew (Hal)? tells him how what he's doing is great and somehow that suddenly validates everything for him.  Corny and not accurate.

googamooga was the one who mentioned the tone of L&M.   I actually preferred the 60s scenes to the 80s scenes.   I found the inaccuracies to be quite minor, and actually quite necessary to move the story along. 


Title: Re: \
Post by: HeyJude on April 16, 2018, 08:04:55 AM
The only rock biopic anyone needs to see is Walk Hard.

Walk Hard is one of the best comedies of the millennium IMO.   

As for music biopics, I'm not sure if I have a favorite.   Love and Mercy was very good.   For all of it's flaws, I think Oliver Stone's The Doors is also very good. 

The Walk Hard psychedelic sequences are actually a better representation of Brian and the Smile period than Love & Mercy!!

where was the tone off?  Brian came off as way more insecure and unsure of himself than he was, as demonstrated by the session tapes.  I only saw it once but Dano's hesitant unsure and halting performance did not represent the "confident" Brian which he was most of the time during PS and even Smile, until the very end. I remember one scene where he is outside the studio looking bewildered and downbeat and one of the Wrecking Crew (Hal)? tells him how what he's doing is great and somehow that suddenly validates everything for him.  Corny and not accurate.

Brian "in the studio" in 1966 may have been relatively (if not quite) different from Brian outside the studio. You can't use session tapes and examples of Brian on the talkback as examples of how you think he would have interacted in real life.

Unrelentingly confident is not really a term I would use to characterize Brian at *any time* (and I'm not saying anybody used that precise term). It was never that simple. He obviously had a stretch where he was most confident in the studio and in his musical realm. But the mixed reaction to his music from everyone, from the band to the label and so on, most definitely shook the confidence.

I have no idea if he literally had a conversation with Hal Blaine or something looking for in-the-moment positive reinforcement for what he was doing. But seriously, how would you expect the often mundane, clipped, spoken-in-shorthand studio back-and-forth conversations to be translated into a movie narrative?

The studio musicians thought Brian was a talented guy, and by apparent accounts were kind enough to relate that to Brian. That it may have happened in a more mundane way or setting rather than a one-on-one heart-to-heart outside the studio door is kind of beside the point as far as a movie is concerned.

Again, if you want documentary material, you *have* the session tapes. NOBODY wants a movie filled with session tape transcripts. NO film can exist by using solely documented, verbatim transcripts of known conversations. That is, unless you simply want an on-screen reenactment of what's already on session tapes and interview tapes.

No question, a VAST, LENGTHY documentary on the scale of "The Beatles Anthology" needs to be made about the band. "Love & Mercy" is an entirely different thing, and again, as FILM, is very successful.


Title: Re: \
Post by: Gettin Hungry on April 16, 2018, 08:08:29 AM
Inside the studio, Brian was confident and sefl-assured, but not so much outside that environment. I think Paul Dano portrayed that very well. Mark me down as another one who prefers the 1960s part of this film to the Cusack sections. I think Cusack did well with the general portrayal, but I wish they would have done a little work to make him look like Brian. That was my only complaint. Atticus Ross did wonderful job creating a soundscape to portray Brian's mind.  


Title: Re: \
Post by: Rick5150 on April 16, 2018, 10:44:48 AM
NOBODY wants a movie filled with session tape transcripts.

Unless the session tape transcripts state: "Hey Chuck! Is it possible we can bring a horse in here...?"


Title: Re: \
Post by: Pretty Funky on April 16, 2018, 12:49:32 PM
Without exception I have seen, heard and read members of what is now known as ‘The Wrecking Crew’ praise the work Brian did in the studio. Having the Hal character say as much, either real or not, portrayed that sentiment and yes, “moved the story along”. I’m fine with it as I was other scenes not entirely accurate.


Title: Re: \
Post by: Bicyclerider on April 16, 2018, 03:21:51 PM
Inside the studio, Brian was confident and sefl-assured, but not so much outside that environment. I think Paul Dano portrayed that very well. Mark me down as another one who prefers the 1960s part of this film to the Cusack sections. I think Cusack did well with the general portrayal, but I wish they would have done a little work to make him look like Brian. That was my only complaint. Atticus Ross did wonderful job creating a soundscape to portray Brian's mind.  

Well I disagree, so there!  Brian was not unsure with the Vosse Posse, Van Dyke, journalists he trusted, or his other friends.  He didn't always take to strangers or new people right away but more often than not he would invite them into the house and get them on his "trip."  Brian has always had fears and insecurities mainly regarding women and some paranoia about his father and Spector but not about his music.  Now at some point with Smile he decided the music wasn't commercial and put it aside, but that scenario still doesn't gibe with Dano's portrayal.  Where are the speed induced, rapid fire all night sessions where Brian is coming up with ideas for new forms of radio, humor albums and sound effects albums, producing other artists, music films, his own record company, stores that stay open all night - this is the confident firing on all cylinders Brian that is not represented in the film, and is how he was MOST of the time!


Title: Re: \
Post by: GoogaMooga on April 16, 2018, 03:35:52 PM
Inside the studio, Brian was confident and sefl-assured, but not so much outside that environment. I think Paul Dano portrayed that very well. Mark me down as another one who prefers the 1960s part of this film to the Cusack sections. I think Cusack did well with the general portrayal, but I wish they would have done a little work to make him look like Brian. That was my only complaint. Atticus Ross did wonderful job creating a soundscape to portray Brian's mind.  

Well I disagree, so there!  Brian was not unsure with the Vosse Posse, Van Dyke, journalists he trusted, or his other friends.  He didn't always take to strangers or new people right away but more often than not he would invite them into the house and get them on his "trip."  Brian has always had fears and insecurities mainly regarding women and some paranoia about his father and Spector but not about his music.  Now at some point with Smile he decided the music wasn't commercial and put it aside, but that scenario still doesn't gibe with Dano's portrayal.  Where are the speed induced, rapid fire all night sessions where Brian is coming up with ideas for new forms of radio, humor albums and sound effects albums, producing other artists, music films, his own record company, stores that stay open all night - this is the confident firing on all cylinders Brian that is not represented in the film, and is how he was MOST of the time!

True. Some poetic license there, to move the story along. It would have made the film longer, confused audiences, and made him less of a victim of circumstance. If he were portrayed as a powerhouse back then, it would have been more difficult for the audience to believe his mental breakdown.


Title: Re: \
Post by: bonnevillemariner on April 16, 2018, 05:12:47 PM
I'd say the 60s stuff with Dano was the better portrayal of both character, look, and tone compared to the 80s stuff. I think Cusack did fine, but he didn't seem to attempt to look or sound much like Brian.

I think John Cusack very wisely didn't try too hard to look or sound like Brian. Had he done so, it would have distracted from the performance-- as, IMO, Dano's effort to mimic young Brian's every expression and facial tick distracted me from his performance. Not only did Dano not resemble Brian to me, I kept thinking of the Monkees TV show. I think he tried way to hard to portray Brian exactly. I didn't care for Dano's performance at all.


Title: Re: \
Post by: RangeRoverA1 on April 16, 2018, 05:56:58 PM
Where are the speed induced, rapid fire all night sessions where Brian is coming up with ideas for new forms of radio, humor albums and sound effects albums, producing other artists, music films, his own record company, stores that stay open all night - this is the confident firing on all cylinders Brian that is not represented in the film, and is how he was MOST of the time!
It would be fantastic if film displayed the scenes you describe. But, I did like the 60s Dano Brian the best. It annoyed just little bit that his speaking & singing voice didn't contain the same fragility & sweetness that Brian's got. Totally different voices, not single similarity.


Title: Re: \
Post by: Gettin Hungry on April 17, 2018, 06:22:11 AM
Inside the studio, Brian was confident and sefl-assured, but not so much outside that environment. I think Paul Dano portrayed that very well. Mark me down as another one who prefers the 1960s part of this film to the Cusack sections. I think Cusack did well with the general portrayal, but I wish they would have done a little work to make him look like Brian. That was my only complaint. Atticus Ross did wonderful job creating a soundscape to portray Brian's mind.  

Well I disagree, so there!  ...

That's fine.


Title: Re: \
Post by: Summer_Days on April 17, 2018, 06:32:08 AM
Seems people either prefer Dano's '60s Brian or Cusack's '80s Brian. I can totally understand picking either one over the other. I like them both equally. Love & Mercy wouldn't be the great movie it is without either of them.


Title: Re: \
Post by: pixletwin on April 17, 2018, 11:23:59 AM
Why is this thread now titled "/"?


Title: Re: \
Post by: B.E. on April 17, 2018, 11:46:48 AM
Why is this thread now titled "/"?

I'm not sure why even the original post title has changed, but all the rest are a result of using double quotation marks in the title. Single quotation marks don't cause the same problem.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy
Post by: Gettin Hungry on April 17, 2018, 12:29:45 PM
Why is this thread now titled "/"?

I've been wondering why it's just a slash too.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: GoogaMooga on April 17, 2018, 01:09:00 PM
I was wondering, too, so now I've added a new heading


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Lee Marshall on April 17, 2018, 01:26:08 PM
Love and Mercy and Ray are both excellent.  There was some debate about Brian in the 60s as portrayed by Paul.  I stopped reading shortly after that as life is short...and so is my spare time today.  Ever see Brian [and the lads] on the TV show they did with Jack Benny and Bob Hope?  THAT's more like what Brian was like than the guy we have all heard and occasionally seen 'in the studio'.  Brian can communicate fully when speaking the language of music.  As just a guy?  I think Dano pretty much nailed it.

My only complaint with the movie?  The legal crap which by and large kept the music out.  They also underplayed Carl, Dennis and Al but they had to or the movie would have been 4 hours long.  I would say too that they cut 'love' a break by toning his 'way' down.  :o

Anyway my opinion works for me.  If others don't enjoy it, hear it, see it the way I do...it matters not and I am not here to change their minds.  Brian and Melinda liked it.  Those are the only 2 opinions which really matter after all is said and done.  Brian felt that a huge load had been lifted from his 'back' by this specific 'telling' of his story.  That's the best 'review' Love and Mercy could ever aspire to.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Toursiveu on April 17, 2018, 04:09:39 PM
Dennis, Carl and Al are a little bit forgotten but it's Brian's story, not the Beach Boys story. I find Love & Mercy wonderful and the small inaccuracies really don't bother me too much. Dano is amazing and Cusack is the best he's been in years! (He's done a lot of direct to dvd crap these last few years...) Musical biopics are a strange beast : most of them are just an actor's showcase. But few of them are actually really good.

My favorite performances in the genre : James Stewart in The Glenn Miller Story, David Carradine as Woody Guthrie in Bound for Glory, Gary Busey in The Buddy Holy Story, Kurt Russell in Elvis : The Movie, Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious in Sid & Nancy, Forest Whitaker as Charlie Parker in Bird, Dennis Quaid as Jerry Lee Lewis in Great Balls of Fire (terrible movie, amazing performance), Eric Elmosnino as Serge Gainsbourg in Gainsbourg (Vie Héroïque), Michael Douglas as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra and Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in Get On Up.

The worst : 44 year-old Kevin Spacey (with fake nose and heavy make-up) as the much younger Bobby Darin in Beyond the Sea and Demetrius Shipp, Jr. as Tupac Shakur in the risible All Eyez On Me.

A Dennis Wilson biopic called The Drummer with Aaron Eckhart playing him and Randall Miller directing was supposed to happen a few years ago. I can't remember why it didn't happen.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: RangeRoverA1 on April 17, 2018, 10:07:23 PM
Quote
Dennis Quaid as Jerry Lee Lewis
Dennis Quaid is talented. Maybe will check the film.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: KDS on April 18, 2018, 06:36:15 AM
Dennis, Carl and Al are a little bit forgotten but it's Brian's story, not the Beach Boys story. I find Love & Mercy wonderful and the small inaccuracies really don't bother me too much. Dano is amazing and Cusack is the best he's been in years! (He's done a lot of direct to dvd crap these last few years...) Musical biopics are a strange beast : most of them are just an actor's showcase. But few of them are actually really good.

My favorite performances in the genre : James Stewart in The Glenn Miller Story, David Carradine as Woody Guthrie in Bound for Glory, Gary Busey in The Buddy Holy Story, Kurt Russell in Elvis : The Movie, Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious in Sid & Nancy, Forest Whitaker as Charlie Parker in Bird, Dennis Quaid as Jerry Lee Lewis in Great Balls of Fire (terrible movie, amazing performance), Eric Elmosnino as Serge Gainsbourg in Gainsbourg (Vie Héroïque), Michael Douglas as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra and Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in Get On Up.

The worst : 44 year-old Kevin Spacey (with fake nose and heavy make-up) as the much younger Bobby Darin in Beyond the Sea and Demetrius Shipp, Jr. as Tupac Shakur in the risible All Eyez On Me.

A Dennis Wilson biopic called The Drummer with Aaron Eckhart playing him and Randall Miller directing was supposed to happen a few years ago. I can't remember why it didn't happen.

I think it would've been cool to see some of Carl's character in the 1980s scenes.   There are some parts when Melinda is talking to him on the phone about Landy, but we don't see him or hear what's he's saying.   His point of view of the whole Landy thing could've added a little more to the 80s portion of the movie IMO. 


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: HeyJude on April 18, 2018, 06:42:03 AM
Ultimately, the thing is Brian's story, so that explains why other band members were not prominently featured. I also think that, just logistically, they did the right thing by largely avoiding a potential political minefield by prominently characterizing the other members. They obviously had to feature them, especially key points concerning Mike. (And the film's brevity in that regard led to Mike getting probably a fairer depiction than he deserved).

Ironically, they would have had more leeway in depictions of Dennis and Carl, as one can't be sued for defaming/slandering/libeling deceased individuals. Obviously, I would imagine Brian had no interest in any depiction that would raise the ire of his family members anyway.

I think how the rest of the band played into the Landy saga in the 80s and early 90s is a *very* interesting topic, but it's probably true that to even begin to adequately address that aspect to the story would require another hour of screen time. It would be the *perfect* solution to address it in a long-form documentary on the group.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Chocolate Shake Man on April 18, 2018, 06:54:21 AM
I've spoken here before about my general apathy towards biopics - particularly what is, by now, the conventional 21st century American biopic. I normally don't really see the point of them as films. I do think that I'm Not There is a remarkable movie, mostly for its interrogation of the genre. Love & Mercy sort of walks the line (get it?) between the unconventional and conventional. I do think it's enjoyable and as a fan, it's just good to see a representation of The Beach Boys that isn't done on the cheap for a change. As a film, I don't think it's necessarily something I'd purchase but I do like it as just pure entertainment.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Lee Marshall on April 18, 2018, 08:40:10 AM
I 'get' that they didn't have time to go into any in depth anything with Carl and Dennis...but they could have represented them as they were rather than just with 2 random guys who bore almost no resemblance personality or character wise to either brother.

And that 'biop' with Gary Busey as Buddy Holly is generally considered to be so far off the mark that it qualifies as one of the worst 'pictures' of its kind ever.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: pixletwin on April 18, 2018, 09:08:30 AM
I 'get' that they didn't have time to go into any in depth anything with Carl and Dennis...but they could have represented them as they were rather than just with 2 random guys who bore almost no resemblance personality or character wise to either brother.

And that 'biop' with Gary Busey as Buddy Holly is generally considered to be so far off the mark that it qualifies as one of the worst 'pictures' of its kind ever.

Along those lines, "La Bamba" is one of the greatest biopics!


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Chocolate Shake Man on April 18, 2018, 09:20:24 AM
I 'get' that they didn't have time to go into any in depth anything with Carl and Dennis...but they could have represented them as they were rather than just with 2 random guys who bore almost no resemblance personality or character wise to either brother.

Part of the problem is that The Beach Boys in the 1960s didn't look like conventional 2015 movie stars, which is what they essentially hired to play the band. Had this been the 1970s, I'm sure they could have found lots of good performers who were lookalikes.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Lee Marshall on April 18, 2018, 01:36:47 PM
Lookalikes?  Not necessary.  A waste of time and talent.  I wanted BE-alikes.  Even if only for the brief interactions contained there-in.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Chocolate Shake Man on April 18, 2018, 06:34:00 PM
Lookalikes?  Not necessary.  A waste of time and talent.  I wanted BE-alikes.  Even if only for the brief interactions contained there-in.

Mostly I meant that it was a bit absurd that the band looked like they could be cast in a reboot of Melrose Place. Or maybe "California Dreams" would be a better example.

Meanwhile a Clint Howard-type wouldn't have been terrible for some of the members but I guess they just don't have many of those on hand anymore or people just don't expect that sort of look for a rock band.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Til...I...@died on April 18, 2018, 07:34:20 PM
I thought it was a very good movie, largely because of Giamatti and Cusack. I thought some of the 60’s stuff was a little cheesy, and I wish they had focused more on the period form 67-81, but then again I would enjoy a 10 hour beach boy movie. I think this was great for the casual fan or newcomer. I think it did a good job of conveying what a tough life Brian has lived. I think it leaves many new fans wanting to learn more about his story and his music. Giamatti does such a great job as Landy, I wish we could’ve seen more of him as well. The Burger scene where he is bragging about his subculture book was a favorite of mine, as was the ‘Til I die montage.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on April 18, 2018, 10:58:39 PM
To this day the hamburger scene makes me cry


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Lee Marshall on April 19, 2018, 04:58:22 AM
To this day the hamburger scene makes me cry

Really!!!  When I saw THAT Billy...I had 2 words for Landy...and they weren't "Happy motoring."


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: RangeRoverA1 on April 19, 2018, 05:07:02 AM
Paul Giamatti's performance is imo the best acting in the 80s scenes.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: KDS on April 19, 2018, 05:43:01 AM
To this day the hamburger scene makes me cry

This is a serious gripe.    Who grills one burger at a time?   I know this was one of Landy's sick games, but seriously, if I'm Melinda, watching this guy grill one burger at a time would make me question how he got a medical license. 


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: KDS on April 19, 2018, 05:43:59 AM
Paul Giamatti's performance is imo the best acting in the 80s scenes.

Paul Giamatti has a knack for stealing the show in biopics. 

Check out his roles in Private Parts (Howard Stern) and Man on the Moon (Andy Kaufman).


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Gettin Hungry on April 19, 2018, 05:49:45 AM
Paul Giamatti's performance is imo the best acting in the 80s scenes.

Paul Giamatti has a knack for stealing the show in biopics. 

Check out his roles in Private Parts (Howard Stern) and Man on the Moon (Andy Kaufman).

He's also great as the star of a biopic. Check out American Splendor (Harvey Pekar).


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Chocolate Shake Man on April 19, 2018, 05:59:00 AM
Paul Giamatti's performance is imo the best acting in the 80s scenes.

Paul Giamatti has a knack for stealing the show in biopics. 

Check out his roles in Private Parts (Howard Stern) and Man on the Moon (Andy Kaufman).

He's also great as the star of a biopic. Check out American Splendor (Harvey Pekar).

I'd also put American Splendor on my list for great biopics.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Pet Sounder on April 19, 2018, 09:25:34 AM
I'm grateful (and surprised!) that such a quality film about Brian even got made.  It's quite an accomplishment.

That being said, I would have preferred that they covered '66 to '71 with Dano playing the entire roll, or something along those lines.  I think there is a cohesive enough character arc in that time period, and you could have still ended the film with that amazing Til I Die montage, maybe as Brian hears the final mix through the floor as he lies in bed.  Dano just did something so special with the role.  Plus, you would have gotten to hear Atticus Ross remix the '68 - '71 material!


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: pixletwin on April 19, 2018, 10:17:18 AM
I'm grateful (and surprised!) that such a quality film about Brian even got made.  It's quite an accomplishment.

That being said, I would have preferred that they covered '66 to '71 with Dano playing the entire roll, or something along those lines.  I think there is a cohesive enough character arc in that time period, and you could have still ended the film with that amazing Til I Die montage, maybe as Brian hears the final mix through the floor as he lies in bed.  Dano just did something so special with the role.  Plus, you would have gotten to hear Atticus Ross remix the '68 - '71 material!

But the whole point of the movie was how Brian's life moved towards Landy and (more importantly) how he moved away from Landy.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: urbanite on April 19, 2018, 12:34:15 PM
Most of the negative comments about the film largely centered on the use of Dano and Cusack to play Brian's character.  It probably would have been more effective to have had Dano carry it all the way through.  The movie would have done better with a less confusing title.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Chocolate Shake Man on April 19, 2018, 12:44:08 PM
Most of the negative comments about the film largely centered on the use of Dano and Cusack to play Brian's character.  It probably would have been more effective to have had Dano carry it all the way through.  The movie would have done better with a less confusing title.

Oh for me, the fact that there are two actors playing Brian is one of the movies strengths, albeit not a totally unique idea. Actually, something I'd like to see is a movie that uses both the real person and an actor at various different points of the film (not just in a cameo somewhere).


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Lonely Summer on April 19, 2018, 11:03:10 PM
I liked the 60's studio scenes, and it annoyed me that they didn't attempt any similar scenes of Brian recording in the 80's. Non fans seeing this film could be forgiven for thinking Brian was not active in recording during the Landy years.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: RangeRoverA1 on April 20, 2018, 04:30:45 AM
Paul Giamatti's performance is imo the best acting in the 80s scenes.

Paul Giamatti has a knack for stealing the show in biopics. 

Check out his roles in Private Parts (Howard Stern) and Man on the Moon (Andy Kaufman).
He should be given Oscar. Did Giamatti get it for any picture?


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: KDS on April 20, 2018, 05:34:06 AM
Paul Giamatti's performance is imo the best acting in the 80s scenes.

Paul Giamatti has a knack for stealing the show in biopics. 

Check out his roles in Private Parts (Howard Stern) and Man on the Moon (Andy Kaufman).
He should be given Oscar. Did Giamatti get it for any picture?

He was only nominated once, for a supporting role in Cinderella Man, but he didn't win. 


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: HeyJude on April 20, 2018, 06:44:02 AM
L&M *succeeded* in major part by *not* trying to run through all those in-between years. Watch "Summer Dreams", that's what happens when you try to cram too much chronology in (and that film really only ran to about 1984). Same with "An American Family", which really only ran to 1974/76 and took over three hours of screen time.

L&M isn't a history of the BBs. It's not even a history of BW. It's a character study about a couple of key points in his life. It's not even really a "Biopic", though it gets categorized as that for lack of something else to call it beyond simply a "Drama", etc.

The movie conveys Brian's personal hell. It helps you understand maybe a little bit of why he is the way he is. I'm gonna crib once again from Howie Edelson, who in his review of the film said (I'm slightly paraphrasing) that this film helps show you that Brian Wilson is the guy who wrote "This Whole World" for people he'll never meet or know. Just think about that. To me, *that's* what's profound. For his own sake, he probably should have given up music long ago. I think he has sacrificed some happiness to continue to make music. He may even do it as much for himself as for us. But we've reaped the benefits, and it is at the cost (whether we want it or not) of Brian's sanity.

I also think that while I'd probably say Dano's segment is better than Cusack's, Cusack's is still strong as well. Case in point: The hamburger scene. As Billy mentioned, this scene is really just beyond sad. It may be the emotional low point of the movie. It's a situational sort of thing that I think some people truly understand in terms of how awful it is. And you know what? This scene is surely *FAR LESS* awful than stuff that *actually* went down. It reminds me of watching one of those bonus features for "The Dark Knight" where they discuss the CGI effects for Harvey Dent/Two-Face. Quick primer: He loses half of his face in a fire, and they did some very realistic CGI effects on his face and then decided they had to actually purposely make the effect *less realistic*, because the realistic version was too jarring. I think especially the Cusack/Landy stuff in L&M is similar. They actually walked back the truly awful, awful stuff because I think it would have just been too dark and depressing and awful.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: GoogaMooga on April 20, 2018, 07:39:13 AM
Yes, at least one recording session scene from 88 would have been good, or from Sweet Insanity (!) To show how Landy wanted to bask in Brian's fame, to the point of getting (co- ?) producer's credit.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: KDS on April 20, 2018, 08:30:10 AM
Yes, at least one recording session scene from 88 would have been good, or from Sweet Insanity (!) To show how Landy wanted to bask in Brian's fame, to the point of getting (co- ?) producer's credit.

There is a scene were Landy is trying to get an out of it Brian to sing a song called "Heaven is a Car" (maybe that's an early version of In My Car or Let's Go To Heaven in My Car??), which shows Landy trying to direct Brian in the studio. 


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: GoogaMooga on April 20, 2018, 09:43:43 AM
Yes, at least one recording session scene from 88 would have been good, or from Sweet Insanity (!) To show how Landy wanted to bask in Brian's fame, to the point of getting (co- ?) producer's credit.

There is a scene were Landy is trying to get an out of it Brian to sing a song called "Heaven is a Car" (maybe that's an early version of In My Car or Let's Go To Heaven in My Car??), which shows Landy trying to direct Brian in the studio. 

Yes, I noticed that one. My thoughts exactly. They could have mined that stuff a little more, then Landy's desperate scene at the car dealer's would have made more sense to the average viewer. Landy was desperate to keep Brian; losing him meant not only losing money but also fame by association and appropriated credits.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: KDS on April 20, 2018, 09:50:11 AM
Yes, at least one recording session scene from 88 would have been good, or from Sweet Insanity (!) To show how Landy wanted to bask in Brian's fame, to the point of getting (co- ?) producer's credit.

There is a scene were Landy is trying to get an out of it Brian to sing a song called "Heaven is a Car" (maybe that's an early version of In My Car or Let's Go To Heaven in My Car??), which shows Landy trying to direct Brian in the studio. 

Yes, I noticed that one. My thoughts exactly. They could have mined that stuff a little more, then Landy's desperate scene at the car dealer's would have made more sense to the average viewer. Landy was desperate to keep Brian; losing him meant not only losing money but also fame by association and appropriated credits.

They also touched on it when Landy mentioned he was staying in Brian's house, while Brian stayed in the guest house.   And while not mentioning the fact that Landy received songwriting credits on the current Beach Boys album at the time, it did seem pretty clear that Landy and his cronies were enjoying the good life on Brian's dime. 


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: NOLA BB Fan on April 20, 2018, 12:56:34 PM
I also think that while I'd probably say Dano's segment is better than Cusack's, Cusack's is still strong as well. Case in point: The hamburger scene. As Billy mentioned, this scene is really just beyond sad. It may be the emotional low point of the movie. It's a situational sort of thing that I think some people truly understand in terms of how awful it is. And you know what? This scene is surely *FAR LESS* awful than stuff that *actually* went down. ... They actually walked back the truly awful, awful stuff because I think it would have just been too dark and depressing and awful.

I skip over the hamburger scene, too depressing. Gets me so upset, how Landy humiliated Brian in public for no good reason. The restaurant scene in that 1970s Rolling Stone article was similarly depressing.


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: Sam_BFC on April 21, 2018, 05:27:15 AM
Hi Nola
Please remind or provide a link to restaurant scene reference in Rolling Stone


Title: Re: Love & Mercy biopic reassessed
Post by: NOLA BB Fan on April 21, 2018, 07:30:42 AM
I don't have the link handy. Think it was the RS issue with Brian on the cover.
The guy who wrote the article related something he witnessed. He was at a restaurant with Brian, Landy and others. Brian apparently did some minor faux pas, and Landy lit into him, bringing him to tears.
The author didn't indicate what Brian did but wrote that it surely didn't warrant Landy's overreaction.

So similar to the "hamburger" scene