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Poll
Question: Rate Brian Wilson presents SMiLE
5 - 47 (74.6%)
4 - 10 (15.9%)
3 - 5 (7.9%)
2 - 1 (1.6%)
1 - 0 (0%)
0 - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 53

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Author Topic: Brian Wilson presents SMiLE  (Read 30234 times)
Charles LePage @ ComicList
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« on: February 12, 2006, 08:38:07 AM »

Discuss, review and rate Brian Wilson presents SMiLE, released May 24, 2005.

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Jason
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2006, 10:15:32 AM »

A perfect release in every aspect. 5 all the way.
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JimC1702
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2006, 06:00:33 PM »

It's perfect!  What else is there to say?

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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2006, 03:42:39 AM »

Five points from me.

This DVD-set totally lives up to the rest of the SMiLE-saga. The documentary is very well made, especially the second part about the recreation of SMiLE with the rehearsel-footage is incredible interesting.

The actual performance KILLS. There is no doubt that The Brian Wilson Band is one of the greatest bands on this planet right now. Also great job by Mark Linett.

Van Dyke interviewing Brian isnīt very informative, but very very moving. Hell, Van Dyke could talk about the phone-book and it would be fascinating.

My favourite part is the footage of the recording-sessions. I was very moved by seeing Brian so active and together. I just wished they would have made a 3rd DVD with 2 or 3 hours of that stuff.
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2006, 12:05:41 PM »

The more I watch this, the more irritated I get with it, especially the near-glorification of the drug influences by Loren Daro. Oh, and the totally dishonest editing that made it seem like Macca was there at the first night. Whoever is responsible for that should hang their head in shame.

The concert is good, but subtly manipulated. Not so subtle is the editing - I've never, ever seen a live show where the footage is cut across the tempo of the song. Disconcerting.

And, with an audience of maybe 300-400, the crowd reaction was never going to be anything like the first night at the RFH.

Don't get me wrong, it's good to have, but it could have been so much more. Hence, a 3.
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RobtheNobleSurfer
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2006, 08:11:25 PM »

Yeah, but what else was Loren's thoughts were going to be? He's the only one that probably would have made drug abuse seem romantic. I liked having him in there, warts and all. Because as the guy who "turned Brian on", he had a LOT of explaining to do!

People manipulate things all the time in film, unfortunately. Macca's presence in the film wasn't really neccesary.

I love the concert disc, but you're correct,  2/20/04 would have made the most sense. Damn you Melinda!!!
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2006, 11:01:24 PM »

Yeah, but what else was Loren's thoughts were going to be? He's the only one that probably would have made drug abuse seem romantic. I liked having him in there, warts and all. Because as the guy who "turned Brian on", he had a LOT of explaining to do!

No arguement there, but, unless there was an agenda to be advanced - and gee, who would do such a thing ? - then WTF is he doing there in the first place ? Have him, logic says you gotta have Landy too.
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2006, 01:52:03 AM »

Yeah, but what else was Loren's thoughts were going to be? He's the only one that probably would have made drug abuse seem romantic. I liked having him in there, warts and all. Because as the guy who "turned Brian on", he had a LOT of explaining to do!

No arguement there, but, unless there was an agenda to be advanced - and gee, who would do such a thing ? - then WTF is he doing there in the first place ? Have him, logic says you gotta have Landy too.

Why?  What's Landy got to do with Smile?  Surely Loren and the drug culture of the time is essential to this particular episode of the BW/BB story?
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2006, 05:00:44 AM »

Landy fodaed with Brian's brain pretty much the same way Daro/Schwartz did, and daro had litle if anything directly to do with Smile - less than Jeff Bridges and Elvis Costello, I'd imagine.

I was making a point in my usual heavy-handed manner, to wit, why was Daro given time in the doc in the fiirst place ? The prevailing notion is, to scupper the claims that drugs were a major factor in the project being abandoned. If you believe those sections of the film, the drugs did nothing bad to Brian. Ask Marilyn and you'll get a different answer
« Last Edit: February 15, 2006, 05:02:29 AM by Andrew G. Doe » Logged

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Sir Rob
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2006, 05:15:36 AM »

Landy fodaed with Brian's brain pretty much the same way Daro/Schwartz did, and daro had litle if anything directly to do with Smile - less than Jeff Bridges and Elvis Costello, I'd imagine.

I was making a point in my usual heavy-handed manner, to wit, why was Daro given time in the doc in the fiirst place ? The prevailing notion is, to scupper the claims that drugs were a major factor in the project being abandoned. If you believe those sections of the film, the drugs did nothing bad to Brian. Ask Marilyn and you'll get a different answer

I keep an open mind on the drugs question.  I'm certainly not one of those who dismisses drugs as part of the possible explanation of what happened to Brian.  I just think Daro, although nothing to do with Smile in the ordinary sense, is relevant to Brian's involvement with the drug culture at the time.  If there is criticism of his inclusion I suppose it should be in terms of just letting him put over his 'drugs were great for Brian' message without any differing point of view.
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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2006, 06:09:03 AM »

Landy fodaed with Brian's brain pretty much the same way Daro/Schwartz did, and daro had litle if anything directly to do with Smile - less than Jeff Bridges and Elvis Costello, I'd imagine.

I was making a point in my usual heavy-handed manner, to wit, why was Daro given time in the doc in the fiirst place ? The prevailing notion is, to scupper the claims that drugs were a major factor in the project being abandoned. If you believe those sections of the film, the drugs did nothing bad to Brian. Ask Marilyn and you'll get a different answer

I keep an open mind on the drugs question.  I'm certainly not one of those who dismisses drugs as part of the possible explanation of what happened to Brian.  I just think Daro, although nothing to do with Smile in the ordinary sense, is relevant to Brian's involvement with the drug culture at the time.  If there is criticism of his inclusion I suppose it should be in terms of just letting him put over his 'drugs were great for Brian' message without any differing point of view.

I sense we are in concord here.  Wink
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RobtheNobleSurfer
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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2006, 01:38:47 PM »


Quote
I was making a point in my usual heavy-handed manner, to wit, why was Daro given time in the doc in the fiirst place ? The prevailing notion is, to scupper the claims that drugs were a major factor in the project being abandoned. If you believe those sections of the film, the drugs did nothing bad to Brian.

Mike Vosse also made that same claim in the film, just not as obnoxiously as Schwartz (I refuse to call him Daro).  As did Danny Hutton. And Parks, to a lesser degree. You'll also notice that in his book, David Leaf also downplays the drugs in  SMiLE's abandonment. 

Quote
Ask Marilyn and you'll get a different answer

Absolutely.  She got to live with the results, didn't she?  Vosse and the posse fled the scene.  And I'm not passing judgement on the viewpoint of the bohemian element, but Brian was the wrong guy to have been dropping acid.   Having said that, it may be that without drugs, Brian would have still suffered from mental illness.   He may have been coasting in the  slow lane towards depression anyway. Perhaps the drugs just took him from that slow lane right into the carpool lane.  If that had been acknowledged (albeit without my clumsy driving metaphors), I think David's bias might be  easier to swallow.   
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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2006, 01:45:04 PM »


Quote
I was making a point in my usual heavy-handed manner, to wit, why was Daro given time in the doc in the fiirst place ? The prevailing notion is, to scupper the claims that drugs were a major factor in the project being abandoned. If you believe those sections of the film, the drugs did nothing bad to Brian.

Mike Vosse also made that same claim in the film, just not as obnoxiously as Schwartz (I refuse to call him Daro).  As did Danny Hutton. And Parks, to a lesser degree. You'll also notice that in his book, David Leaf also downplays the drugs in  SMiLE's abandonment. 

To use a famous UK politcal quote, "well they would, wouldn't they ?" I don't see much kudos in walking around wearing a tshirt that says "I turned Brian onto [your recreational drug of choice here]".
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RobtheNobleSurfer
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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2006, 04:04:03 PM »

Someone should make a T-shirt like that for Loren!  Smiley
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2006, 04:09:42 PM »

I know I'd wear one!
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Chris D.
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« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2006, 04:17:33 PM »

I turned Brian on to trans-fats.
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Jason
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« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2006, 04:18:54 PM »

 :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Classic. Positively classic.
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RobtheNobleSurfer
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« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2006, 07:49:31 PM »

I Turned Brian Wilson Onto  Birthday Cake
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Bubba Ho-Tep
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« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2006, 12:46:30 PM »

Probably the greatest DVD ever assembled. Perfect.
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2006, 03:23:47 PM »

The performance of Smile taped in Los Angeles is no suitable replacement for the concert that was taped in High Defintition on the stage of the RFH in London.  Clips from the RFH performance (the "staged" camera-only performance on the afternoon of Feb. 20 combined with the first 2 actual evening performances) can be scene throughout the late part of this film .  As a cameraman and a fan, I love the look and energy of the London concert(s) so much more.  I'm sure the performances, particularly Brian's, improved significantly with time....but I don't care.  So the HD footage of that London premiere of Smile exists and I wish it made it into this DVD package.

Otherwise, I really like use of keying in an appropriate background behind the key interview subjects.  It really helps move the story along.  I'd say Brian Wilson is fortunate to have a very talented filmmaker as a major fan. 

My other favorite part of the film is when my name comes up in the credits under "Camera."  (I'm just being honest.)

phil.
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« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2006, 05:39:05 AM »

Daro ruins the damn thing and I wish The Beach Boys would have been a part of it. I have a feeling the producer and them don't get along.  A lot more vintage 66-7 footage would have been nice too. I do like the drama of seeing Brian during the rehearsals. I mean the hospital sequence was very brave to put in there. The veil dropped. The music in here is terrific. The recording session footage is terrific. Let me say this if Brian had seen through Daro his life may have been far better.
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« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2006, 09:46:50 AM »

Well it's easy to be revisionist two years on, isn't it?  Now this sucks and we're all supposed to hate it?

I gave it a 5 notwithstanding many of the flaws others have pointed out above, i.e., the staged "reconstruction" of the Wonderful segue and Jeff's "first rehearsal" pep talk, Macca's third night visit looking like it's on opening night, and the like.  And I knew going in it was a publicity piece for BWPS, no matter.  Viewed critically, it is a remarkable document and worth a 5 even with its acknowledged slants.  Even so, a lot of the truth still comes through, perhaps more than intended, perhaps exactly as intended.  Brian is back and functioning but still has a lot of problems.  When I saw Loren Schwartz giggle about giving Brian acid, I wanted to push him off a bridge -- so he hardly comes across as a hero.  The whole "Mike hated Smile" thing may be simplistic and unfair to his fans in the overall scheme of things but it is/was Brian's mental reality, it's one reason he gives for "getting tired of it", so viewed from that perspective it is a proper part of the story.  It might have been nice to get a dissenting view in there but it might have been too much of a distraction if that were to be explored fully.  That's what these boards are for, I guess.  Certainly trying to deal with the Landy years in any detail and the fallout from them would have sidetracked the whole film and become the main focus because it's so sad and sensational.  That said, the BD show would not have been broadcast if there wasn't a certain amount of honesty about Brian's drug use and his coming apart.   Most likely the BB  would not want to have any part of it, or if approached would have tried to kill it.   (See the 2005 lawsuit).  Others have their own reasons not to appear.  Marilyn preferred to keep her counsel, which is her right, and in any event her story really would not shed much light on the music, however juicy the details of Brian's erratic (and often execrable) behavior in those years would otherwise be.

I'm afraid the many folks (including my whole family) who love the 2005 live DVD Smile put the naysayers to shame here.  Yes the Feb. 2004 London performances are more historic, but they're also a lot more ragged.  It's good to have a live filmed performance where everyone is at the top of their game, having played the piece for a year and honed it further to perfection.  Though you're right about the odd video edits at times.  Even with that it's one of the top music videos and will serve as evidence to future audiences that Smile is not just a studio creation, but will forever be part of a living repertory.
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« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2006, 01:16:30 AM »

Excellent package, value for money. Possibly the best music DVD assembled.

My only criticism is that I think they should have used Alan Yentob as the narrator of Beautiful Dreamer (as per the UK version shown on the BBC "Imagine" series), he has a better voice than the American guy who sounds a little bit cheesy.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2007, 03:55:34 PM »

Outstanding emotionally and artistically. A 5 from me. Sometimes I envy people here for their vast knowledge of Brian and the band. Other times I'm glad that I don't know all that stuff. It seems to lead to nitpicking an otherwise wonderful dvd.
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« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2007, 04:32:32 PM »

Why is everyone so certain that the RFH SMiLE concert would have been soooo much better? Is there more out there than the bit we see on the SMiLE DVD?
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