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My main Monkees fandom years were from 1986-1992, but I still kept tabs on
the Monkees after that time, and still considered it my favorite show. I
used to worry back then about what would happen if the real life Monkees
ever got back together to make one of those years-later reunion movies.
Many of those can ruin your memories of a favorite show by having the
characters take off in new directions you couldn't imagine them
What a relief then was this Monkees special! It portrayed the Monkees as still all living together, still the best of friends. Anything else would have had me on the warpath--a band breakup, marriages, or what not. Also, by portraying the characters as such, it was as if the real life Monkees were acknowledging and telling the world that the characters they played were separate entities from them, despite the similarity in names. That was the main cause of my frustration during my original Monkee years--I felt no one took my beloved characters seriously as entities unto themselves.
True, the humor in the TV special was more corny than truly funny, but all faults are forgiven for it finally vindicating my points of view on the Monkees!
I enjoyed this very much. I thought that the guys were as funny now as they were in the television seris over 30 years ago. I always enjoyed the monkees and hope that in the coming years we hear more from them and I hope to see more shows like this one one the t.v screen.
This is one of the best movies ever! It was just as good as Head and I'm sure it was as good as 33 1/3 too but I haven't seen that. I was laughing the whole time - especially at Peter's funny sayings for throw up and dumb and Mike saying "Life is like a box of chocolates." Mike did a great job writing it and I wish they'd make another movie JUST LIKE IT soon.
"Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees" was broadcast Feb 17 1997, not on NBC like the original series, but ABC, the only time all four reunited since the 60s for a TV appearance. Written and directed by Michael Nesmith himself, an expanded episode showing The Monkees still together after 30 years, still in the same beachfront pad, still chronically unemployed, with several hundred episodes behind them. Each time a plot threatens to rear its ugly head, they remember the last time they did it, the low budget allowing occasional special effects, plus stock footage of a lizard sunning itself; it's basically an undemanding nostalgia trip, plenty of reminiscing, the four obviously still enjoying each others' company. The meager budget certainly didn't extend to the cast, with cameos from Chuck Woolery, Bill Martin (Monkees songwriter- "All of Your Toys," "The Door into Summer"), John Brockman ("Head"), and Davy's 25 year old daughter Sarah Lee Jones. Musically, we hear three songs from their Oct 15 1996 release JUSTUS, produced by Nesmith, featuring the four both writing and performing every track. First up is "You and I," a collaboration between Davy and Micky, first recorded in 1976 by Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart, then Nesmith's "Circle Sky," a new version of an actual band recording from the movie "Head" (with updated lyrics), and finally "Regional Girl," a recent Dolenz composition. The climactic concert finds the group doing a medley of five 60s hits: "Last Train to Clarksville," "Daydream Believer," "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone," "I'm a Believer," and ending appropriately with "Pleasant Valley Sunday," the band's consensus pick as their favorite single. No, it can't compare with any 60s TV episode, but it never loses its heart, surviving as our final glimpse of The Monkees as their television counterparts.
When I saw this film listed in my local television listings, I too
"Hey, Hey It's The Monkees!" I loved watching the episodes from "The
Monkees", the television series. To see that they are back, updated in a
movie only but nonetheless back, on prime-time was almost a dream come
That is until I watched it.
"The Monkees" in general terms, is nostalgic and entertaining. Unfortunately, this movie, directed and written by one of the original lead actors(Michael Nesmith) from the old series, is neither. Don't get me wrong, the large scenic window in their living room brings back some wistful memories. But where's the mayhem ... the romp-around-fun ... the suspense? These guys may be old as my father, but I've seen reunion movies of the gang from "Gilligan's Island" be more edge-of-my-seat thrilling!
This film was supposed to be a 1997 spin on "The Monkees", but is 1997 defined with over-done special effects and lack of a strong plot? Sounds like a cross-between television series "Seinfield" and the movie "Inspector Gadget"! Okay, so they made a nod towards Martha Stewart in a parody of QVC sequence, but it is just hip or effective if Dolenz, Jones, Nesmith, and Tork did the Macarena! There are a few good moments in "Hey, Hey, It's The Monkees", like the first two times where Micky used magic monkee dust, the whole "These are the bones..." sequence, and when The Monkees were getting dressed in their tuxedos while just simply reminiscing about old times. No, the movie does not need to be filled with a lot of reminiscing, but that scene was just pleasant at that particular moment in the story.
The direction was okay to say the least. Nesmith makes the scenes run together almost flawlessly, but the supporting actors(or maybe just the supporting characters) seem heavily sedated, like they all are somnambulists through this film. I did not feel anything towards the supporting characters, for instance scared, angry, pleased, happy, etc. as I did for the supporting characters in the 1960s series. If the supporting characters in this film were edited out of the dialogues, I probably would not ever miss them. Now, that I think about it, the lead characters seem sedated or hypnotized also. Similar to the way the lead characters were in their 1969 special "33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee".
Lastly, the music videos in this film were uninteresting, even though they themselves seem to have a point. The style is semi-advant-garde with some nod(or maybe nose thumbing?) towards the ten-year olds that used to watch "The Monkees".
All these flaws I see in the film makes me wonder if some top brass stuck a gun to somebody's head and said "I want you to make a movie with The Monkees in it and I don't care what the movie is about, I don't care what's in it as long as it complies with studio regulations, but you better have Chuck Woolery in it!". It is one thing to simply milk money from fans, but it is another thing to milk money from fans well.
If you have ever been, even a slight bit, interested in The Monkees, whether the episodes from the 1960s or their music or both, I would recommend not watching this movie ever. It proves how bridges should be permanently cremated and, in some cases, should not be re-crossed a long thirty years in the future. Keep your old tapes of the episodes if they are in good shape because there is not anything wrong with just simply looking back at the other side of the cliff.
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