Hey guys, just got back from watching the movie...and I gotta say, it was amazing!
Overall, my rating is 2 very enthusiastic thumbs up. The film was not perfect, but it did a great job and I think a lot of people in the theater left with more appreciation towards Brian's life and what he had to endure.
So here's my review.
First, the production of the movie is incredible. They managed to recreate every single detail we've seen in photos and videos. Particularly good was the recreation of Brian (Paul Dano) performing Surfs Up solo on the piano for the Bernstein special. And I gotta say, Paul Dano did an amazing job singing and playing. In the end credits I read Darian was his music coach, so that explains a lot.
But aside from his singing (and a pretty good falsetto), he was the best in the cast. The mid 60s scenes were awesome and he did a fine job showing Brian's increasing mental deterioration. I think he has a great career ahead, top actor.
John Cusak was competent in the older Brian role. They didnt do much of an effort to make him look like Brian - actually that kind of sucked sometimes, since John is so John - but some of the scenes with Landy were very dramatic and he did good. Paul Giamatti (hope that's how its spelled) was a bit over the top, but then again from what I've read, Landy was like that in real life. You got to watch the scene when he's forcing Brian to finish up 'Driving to Heaven in my car'...its really tough and sad.
I saw Elizabeth Banks up close and personal when I was getting to my seat
Not only she's pretty but carried the role of Melinda pretty well. Its obvious the script wanted to put Melinda as Brian's savior and make her the reason why the guy is alive nowadays and so Elizabeth played the part strongly.
But the rest of the cast and how their characters were presented was kind of weak. Van Dyke Parks for example hardly gets 2 scenes, doesnt talk much and seems like he's not really important. They changed the lyrics discussion from Cabinessence to Heroes and Villains (the snuff bit), so that was kind of lame.
Murray gets a big part and its shown in all his evilness. They even showed him hitting kid Brian and making him deaf...and to this day I dont know if thats true or not, since I've seen interviews of Brian saying he was born deaf...so...aucune idee la
The Boys are not really worked as characters. Mike gets to be the asshole, but in a justifiable way if I may say. He's always shown as worrying about the band and how Brian is losing touch with their public's interest. I mean, I (we) know a bit more of the story, but I can understand if people who dont know much about the band would side with him. Since the Van Dyke's characters was not really built up, Mike's kicking him away seemed rather appropriate in the context of the movie. Anyways.
There was a good scene with Hal Blaine talking with Brian in the parking lot and comforting him, saying the boys were going to love what he recorded for Pet Sounds. But aside from that and a quick scene with Carol Kaye complaining about bass keys, not much was discussed about the Wrecking Crew.
Carl and Dennis got a couple of lines during the early days, but not much after. Al and Bruce practically didnt exist. Marylin looked really cute actually, I wonder who played her? Checking later on IMDB.
But then again the movie was about Brian and Melinda, so 90% was Paul Dano/John Cusack and Elizabeth Banks. The last scene was when she almost ran him over and then took him to visit his old house on Hawthorne to find they built a highway on it. And as they hug and kiss, Wouldnt it be nice plays over.
A little nice detail though, the closing credits were played over Love and Mercy sang live by Brian, with concert footage. When the song was over, we all stood up and applauded Brian for almost 5 mins. Standing ovation!
But one thing I really, really didnt like, was how so stupid some people in the audience were. During some really sad scenes, like when Brian was saying stuff like 'I dont get to talk to my family' or 'like I got this mental problem...since 1963', some people were laughing as if it was something funny. John Cusack did a good job in getting Brian's impersonal way of talking, so its sounds somehow comical, but for the love of God, the guy who suffered this ordeal is there, in the audience!!! Show some respect
Aside from that, the venue was cool, the screening and the atmosphere was Hollywood style. I recorded most of the Q&A session and Brian leaving the theater - it was funny everyone was there to take pics of John Cusack, and when he left, most left...so I could move up front and scream at Brian like a mad man
...actually I didnt, I'm a fan, not a crazy stalker
Anyways, hope this review gives you some insight to the movie. I recommended it completely, the focus is not the drugs but Brian's mental health struggle. I think it was a nice treatment of his life.
Gotta leave now and get some sleep, I'm catching the 6:00 am train back to Montreal. I'll share some of the pics and the Q&A session tomorrow night.
Bonne nuit a tous!
Why would we want to know exactly how the film ends before we've even seen it???
Please can all such similar posts please could with a 'SPOILER ALERT' tag at the top, thanks.