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Author Topic: "Love & Mercy" - Board member reviews and discussion  (Read 50629 times)
DonnyL
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« Reply #325 on: July 11, 2015, 08:51:56 AM »

That's a beautiful theatre! Did you see the movie there, too?

No! I saw it in Portland on release day ... Been meaning to see it again, but will probably wait for the DVD at this point.
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« Reply #326 on: July 11, 2015, 03:03:05 PM »

Not sure if this has been discussed yet and it's a smallish thing but did anyone else find it odd that neither John nor Paul talked out one side of their mouths in their performances? Watch any Brian interview and you see it (this is nothing new to anyone on here obviously), it's not a subtle thing and I find it perplexing that neither actor did it, especially Cusack who is very much an actor's actor.

My only real disappointment with the film was how quickly Smile is dealt with and the non inclusion of the building fire after the Mrs o'Leary's Cow session. To me that track and the paranoia surrounding it is a pivotal point in Brian's breakdown.

If you aren't accustomed to talking to the side, faking it looks really weird.
(Points to An American Family as evidence #1)
(Points to pre-release photos of John and Elizabeth as evidence #2)
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« Reply #327 on: July 12, 2015, 08:37:31 PM »

Well, I finally saw Love & Mercy tonight, I think everything that needs to be said about it has already been said by posters on the board.

I was absolutely speechless by the credits. Paul Dano was outstanding, John Cusack was so much better than I ever expected.

Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamitti, everyone was incredible.

I will say I found one scene in particular really inspired, when Brian was putting the headphones on and he was hearing the voices, really incredible.

Oh and when he was floating in the pool during the smile era.

Every possible expectation blown away. Massive kudos to all involved with Love & Mercy.
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« Reply #328 on: November 10, 2015, 12:05:19 AM »

can anyone explain the bit about the "2 keys"? is it true? if not, how can this film, which labors so hard for accuracy, make up an ahistorical sequence like this of such specificity? what song was it again? can we determine if if fact BW wrote parts in 2 keys for some purpose?

It's in the scene for the "Wouldn't It Be Nice" backing track.  Lyle Ritz is supposed to play in one key on the double bass and Carol is to play another on her bass.  I'm not even remotely musical enough to know if two keys are being played on the real track.  I do know that the expository dialogue in the scene is interesting and gets the point across that Brian heard in his head what he wanted and the musicians followed.


Yeah... I have a degree in music composition and all I can figure is they are referencing Brian's odd bass placements (which are rarely rooted, as is typical). It's a common thing in jazz and something no jazz musician would have found perplexing if that is what it is referring to.  I can sort of see why Carol Kaye's nose would have wrinkled a bit at that. LOL

I THINK I can explain this.  The arpeggio guitar part in the middle section of WIBN (which repeats the intro of the song) is played in A.  But the bass part is in D.  If you combine the two, i.e. of you play an A chord with a D in the bass, you get (I think) a Dmaj9 chord.  So the middle bit is essentialy in D, but PLAYED IN ISOLATION, the guitar arpeggio sounds like it's in A.  I could probably explain it better with a guitar - I'll put something on YouTube if I get a chance!

I'm sure it wouldn't have taken Carol Kaye long to understand what Brian was getting at, once she'd heard the 'bigger picture'.





Absolutely my least favorite moment in the whole film, because the dialog is so clunky, and it's so didactically hitting you on the head with "Brian is blowing these studio musician's minds" thing.  And as you say above, Carol would not have had any problem seeing what was going on.

The moment is referencing a fairly obscure comment by Lyle Ritz from the PS box set, where he's talking about WIBN, and how his bass part seemed to be written in a different key from the rest of the band during the bridge.

It's not.



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I've also transcribed that bass and guitar part, and it does do something cool as James outlined. You get the sound of a Dmajor7th starting that bridge because the bass note is a strong D root, yet the intro sounds more like the A to Bmin7 arpeggio that is actually being played on the guitar. It's a neat trick of playing with the perception of hearing the chord as something different based on the root note played underneath. Hendrix did a similar thing later with All Along The Watchtower where what had been a straightforward A major chord in the song suddenly sounds like an F#minor7 because he played that F# root in the bass under the guitar's A chord. Simple but a very, very cool effect.

If you take the lyrics into account during this section (starts around 1:05), it could be seen as a sort of musical daydream. Like you're thinking about a special someone, and you're not quite paying fully attention to the outside world. A little off, but everything is still magically together. The background vocals in this part kinda sound like a thousand thoughts going on in your head at once, and I wonder if it was this middle section is what Brian obsessed over in the studio with the rest of the band vocally to get just right.

I don't know if that was the intended effect when it was written, but it struck me today as I was listening in the car.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2015, 12:13:35 AM by thebaron » Logged
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« Reply #329 on: November 11, 2015, 01:03:37 AM »

Nice piece in Indiewire:

http://www.indiewire.com/article/how-the-love-mercy-team-is-using-their-awards-season-platform-for-good-20151110
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« Reply #330 on: November 12, 2015, 07:12:31 AM »

I should mention that I did finally get to see Love and Mercy.  I had absolutey no problems with both Dano and Cusack's performance... except for Dano's singing.  He's not remotely the singer that Brian is.

My biggest problem with the movie was the Sloop John B recreation.  I know a lot of people say it was spot on, but to me it felt mechanical.  "Look left now.  Look right now.  Look happy now.  Take a swig from the bottle now.  I said NOW!"  And Davern does not look enough like Carl for the switch between Brian and Carl joke to work.

I haven't seen it again yet, though.  I'm one of those people who need ample time to process emotions, so when I watch movies, it tends to be in block of about 5 minutes.  And the movie was definitely an emotional roller coaster ride.
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« Reply #331 on: November 12, 2015, 07:24:35 AM »

I LOVED this movie... saw it several times in the theater and now a few more at home.
Sloop John B recreation seemed kind of pointless. It would've been better, I think, to make that a fun DVD extra and leave in something else that was cut out.
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« Reply #332 on: November 12, 2015, 07:26:09 AM »

Why is it that a thread sometimes loses its title?
// edit: the title's back. Forget it.
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« Reply #333 on: November 12, 2015, 08:11:18 AM »

Couple of cool interviews, one with Elizabeth Banks and another with Paul Dano.

Elizabeth Banks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_fuZ4_RqWk

Paul Dano:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5rvY2ZPROo

Also, another really cool video with both actors. An interview with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoNla_fwXJE
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« Reply #334 on: November 12, 2015, 08:11:28 AM »

Why is it that a thread sometimes loses its title?
// edit: the title's back. Forget it.

It's some sort of glitch in the programming, and it happens when the OP who starts the thread has a quotation mark somewhere in the title of the thread. The OP is the only one who can fix the issue.
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« Reply #335 on: November 12, 2015, 08:22:43 AM »

Why is it that a thread sometimes loses its title?
// edit: the title's back. Forget it.

It's some sort of glitch in the programming, and it happens when the OP who starts the thread has a quotation mark somewhere in the title of the thread. The OP is the only one who can fix the issue.
merci!
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Paul J B
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« Reply #336 on: November 12, 2015, 10:52:54 AM »

Concerning the Sloop John B sequence.

Yes it was spot on. Freakishly spot on. That fact that it was so spot on is a testament to the detail that went into this film. It was not a typical attempt by a film crew to mimic an old piece of film. Just like the whole opening montage....its a true recreation.

Also, the inclusion, if you think it through made a lot of sense. The film is dark. It's a fun moment between the group when there was a lot of friction. It tells the viewer that even though Mike and Brian did not see eye to eye, there were good times.


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« Reply #337 on: November 12, 2015, 04:45:27 PM »

Concerning the Sloop John B sequence.

Yes it was spot on. Freakishly spot on. That fact that it was so spot on is a testament to the detail that went into this film. It was not a typical attempt by a film crew to mimic an old piece of film. Just like the whole opening montage....its a true recreation.

Also, the inclusion, if you think it through made a lot of sense. The film is dark. It's a fun moment between the group when there was a lot of friction. It tells the viewer that even though Mike and Brian did not see eye to eye, there were good times.




To me it felt too stiff.  Dano looks this way and that way only because Brian looked this way and that way.  Brian looked this way and that way because he wanted to.  Dano was recreating a nervous Brian, and for the rest of the movie it's fantastic and I'm lost in the feel... it just doesn't work in the recreation since Brian was relaxed and jovial that day.  Same goes for just about everyone else in the recreation:  They're going through the motions, but they're doing it stiffly, and just because someone else did it fifty years ago.  It's like watching an elementary school play.  They're hitting their marks when they're supposed to just because they're supposed to, and not able to act off of each other.
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« Reply #338 on: November 12, 2015, 05:53:34 PM »

Concerning the Sloop John B sequence.

Yes it was spot on. Freakishly spot on. That fact that it was so spot on is a testament to the detail that went into this film. It was not a typical attempt by a film crew to mimic an old piece of film. Just like the whole opening montage....its a true recreation.

....except that they included Dennis.
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« Reply #339 on: October 06, 2016, 04:56:46 AM »

OK, re-watched this. I'll be short, can't do reviews as easily as many of you. 1stly, would like to say the jump from 60s to 80s, then back was a little inconvenient for eyes but I got used to it halfway. As others, I liked the Dano scenes the best. Crafty shots of the Pet Sounds sessions, some quick showcase of the early BBs, the "California Girls" colored video etc. It was good to see familiar faces, f.ex. Gary Griffin, Mark Linett. It helped that Paul looked a bit like Brian. The 80s were boring. John Cusack & Elizabeth Banks don't look as their respective roles. She isn't good actress imo. Of course, I'm glad that Melinda got her due, she deserved. John is rather good but he was miscast. Some of you don't care if the actor/-ess looks like the character they play - I do. Same issue with the rest of the Boys. Though "Carl" & "Mike" did the best to copy mannerisms. "Landy" & "Murry" were good, esp. Murry. Too bad he featured for short screen time. The score was OK.
Regarding the "Sloop John B" clip, it's clear as a day that it's not identical or as Paul J B said, "freakishly spot on". As 37!ws said, there is Dennis. The BBs vid features Brian, Carl, Al, Bruce, Mike. Where is Al piggybacking Carl? etc. Brian's facial expression was suspicious when he looked around & Dano did it cheerful. Still good it was included in the script as it's historic event for the band. Bottom line: 60s - 5; 80s - 2 (for Landy, "L&M" at the piano, Melinda teaming with Gloria against Landy).
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« Reply #340 on: October 06, 2016, 05:25:18 AM »

Since this thread got bumped back up, now is as good a time as any to invite you to watch my review of Love and Mercy over on my YouTube channel. Stick around and watch my other reviews if you're so inclined too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnvFA1ERCvs

It is still one of my favorite movies.
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"Because of the attitude of a few mental dinosaurs intent on exploiting our initial success, Brian's huge talent has never been fully appreciated in America and the potential of the group has been stifled.... If the Beatles had suffered this kind of misrepresentation, they would have never got past singing 'Please Please Me' and 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' and leaping around in Beatle suits."
-Dennis Wilson, 1970
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« Reply #341 on: October 06, 2016, 05:55:38 AM »

I enjoyed it when I first saw. Looking back on it now, I do agree that it focusses a bit too much on the negative aspects in Brian's life. It breezes over his exciting musical career and heads straight for the Smile collapse and his recluse period in the 70s, which I don't find to be entertaining. We love the guy for his music, not just because he came over depression. I would much rather enjoy seeing him an Van work on the lost symphony.
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« Reply #342 on: October 06, 2016, 06:43:01 AM »

LOVE the film. Have seen it several times now, and I don't ever get tired of it. I had no problems with any of the casting, and I thought everyone did a great job in their roles. I was already a Paul Dano fan when I saw it - it's actually the reason I saw the film to begin with. I didn't know much about Brian and the Beach Boys going in - and the film opened up that world to me, and it's why I'm here now. I think despite some of the historical inaccuracies, it did a brilliant job of telling the story to people who didn't already know.

Now that I've immersed myself into the BW/BB realm, my most recent viewing of the film gave me the opportunity to look at it a little more critically, as seems to be happening with some of you as well. And I really still have no complaints. I think my favourite aspect of it is the "fly on the wall" video scenes from inside the studio in the 60's. The way Dennis repeatedly "breaks the fourth wall" to look directly into the camera, acknowledging the presence of an outside viewer, the way he does in the GV studio footage. It's genius. All of the scenes from inside the studio are shot as if it's the actual person who shot the GV studio footage - peaking out from behind corners, etc. Really, really clever.

Regarding the Sloop John B. recreation... I enjoyed it, even if it wasn't replicated to 100% accuracy. It's a fun comparison. But if I do have a tiny complaint after all, it's that we didn't learn anything new from that scene. We can go on youtube and see the real thing any time we want. What I think would have been REALLY cool would be to recreate the Pet Sounds photo shoot at the zoo. Hear the conversations that might have happened while the photos were being taken with the animals.

The last time I watched it I caught a few things during the montage near the end, where Dennis is now missing from scenes where he was present earlier in the film, and the moment where 60's Brian and 80's Brian are holding hands, walking on the beach, away from the camera. There is so much in that extremely brief moment, easily missed. Making peace with the past, and acknowledging that there will be a future. The joining of two parts of a person into a whole. I realized I was holding my breath for a good while after that.

Oh, and the deleted scenes... so good. I see why they were cut, but really worth watching.

Damn, now I gotta watch it again, lol.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 07:55:57 AM by SCaroline Z » Logged
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« Reply #343 on: October 06, 2016, 11:11:06 AM »

I think I've watched it about five times now, and I still cry through much of it, especially the burger scene.  sh*t, I tear up every time I think of that part,  including right now
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« Reply #344 on: October 06, 2016, 11:29:23 AM »

the deleted scenes are good, if dispensable - brian deliberately bumping into phil spector on the street, casual introduction of tony asher, etc
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« Reply #345 on: October 06, 2016, 12:34:31 PM »

the deleted scenes are good, if dispensable - brian deliberately bumping into phil spector on the street, casual introduction of tony asher, etc

What was cool about the deleted Phil Spector scene, had it made the final film cut, is that it sets up the fact that Brian has a history -- at least within the film's universe -- of deliberately bumping into people, which makes the scene with him stepping out in front of Melinda's car a "character" thing rather than just a random impulse. Having said that, stepping out in front of the car works as an impulse too, since the impulsive quality was established early on in the pool scene where he falls in backwards to swim to Marliyn. Interesting parallel there.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 12:38:33 PM by SCaroline Z » Logged
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« Reply #346 on: October 06, 2016, 12:43:51 PM »

I'd love to agree with you wholey, it certainly makes sense from a thematic standpoint (has Brian ever owned up to his deliberately walking into somebody as if by accident?), but from a practical standpoint there's a world of unfortunate difference between 'walking into' any person you see strolling down a sidewalk, and walking into a moving car out on the street
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« Reply #347 on: October 06, 2016, 12:58:52 PM »

I'd love to agree with you wholey, it certainly makes sense from a thematic standpoint (has Brian ever owned up to his deliberately walking into somebody as if by accident?), but from a practical standpoint there's a world of unfortunate difference between 'walking into' any person you see strolling down a sidewalk, and walking into a moving car out on the street

In real life, yes, I totally agree with you. But for the purpose of storytelling in the film universe, which we know is not 100% accurate to real life, and as a film requires the use of dramatic devices to tell a story, I think they can be related. It's like bumping into Phil sets the precedent. Setting aside the walking out in front of the car bit -- in the movie, he went to that intersection at that time of day because he knew she'd drive by there. Pohlad could have had Brian yell and wave at her from the corner, like the way he yelled out her name to find her on their first date , but that might have been too comical for that moment in the movie. Walking out in front of the car is more dramatic, and does speak to the impulsive quality.

Deliberate AND impulsive is a contradiction, and yet that scene does seem to capture that duality.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 01:10:52 PM by SCaroline Z » Logged
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« Reply #348 on: October 06, 2016, 01:21:17 PM »

"walking out in front of the car is more dramatic" - i'll say it is (try it yourself sometime), and conveys a sense of danger like it or don't
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« Reply #349 on: October 06, 2016, 01:24:47 PM »

"walking out in front of the car is more dramatic" - i'll say it is (try it yourself sometime), and conveys a sense of danger like it or don't

Oh I totally agree with you. Definitely an "oof" to the stomach, every time I watch it. I don't think I'll be trying that myself anytime soon.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 01:25:23 PM by SCaroline Z » Logged
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