This movie re-creates the life stories of the members of the rock group "The Beach Boys". The film focuses primarily on the Wilson brothers and their parents, but also includes stories ... See full summary »
When Beach Boy Dennis Wilson introduced his new pal to the L.A. music scene, sparks began to fly. Charlie, an intense young singer-songwriter, soon was penning songs for the Beach Boys on ... See full summary »
Joseph Andrew Schneider,
I Just Wasn't Made for These Times is a documentary about the life of Brian Wilson, the musical mastermind and songwriter for the Beach Boys. The film examines the ups and downs of Wilson's... See full summary »
Following Sexy Intellectual's previous film about Brian Wilson's magnificent craft; Songwriter 1962 - 1969, comes this companion piece covering the composer's life and work throughout the ... See full summary »
The Beach Boys,
Peter Ames Carlin
In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy.
In 1968 Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys met a dynamic and passionate singer/songwriter and introduced him to Hollywood. The two set out to record that artist's first professional album. The... See full summary »
Joseph Andrew Schneider,
This movie re-creates the life stories of the members of the rock group "The Beach Boys". The film focuses primarily on the Wilson brothers and their parents, but also includes stories about the rest of members of the band. A two-part television movie special. Written by
During scenes in which Brian Wilson is demoing "I Get Around" and "In My Room," the real Brian Wilson contributes the vocal, recorded specifically for this movie. However, an uncredited Jeffrey Foskett, a member of Brian Wilson's touring band, provides the high notes during the "In My Room" demo. See more »
In the opening scene in 1960, a Wilson boy jumps out of the car with a skateboard. The skateboard has large composite wheels which weren't available to the public until the early-'70s. See more »
Being an avid Brian Wilson enthusiast, I bought an emmy judge's copy of this movie from someone on Ebay, and it was a real treat, to say the least.
Of course, you may think that because I'm somewhat partial to the founding member of the beach boys, I'd like this movie whether it was a dog or not. Not true; I happen to be more into film than I am into music.
The most notable aspect of The Beach Boys: An American Family is it's quality being made for TV. I originally saw this in 2000, and I didn't expect much, but I remember being impressed even back then. The performances are top notch. The guy who played Mike Love is a dead ringer for the real life guy and SPEAKS with the exact same inflections and -isms as the REAL Mike Love from the 60s. Fred Weller did an extraordinary job playing Brian; he got the character nailed right down to the funny way the Real Brian Wilson speaks and sings out of the corner of his mouth. In terms of performances, however, Kevin Dunn (who played the Boys' abusive father, murry) stands out as easily the best. It would have been easy to make Murry over-the-top, but Kevin makes sure that the audience sees the conflict in Murry's character and that, deep down, he really does love his sons. The movie is quite long, and even so some parts did feel a little clipped, but the only person who'd notice the difference between the pace of the movie and how things occurred in real life are the beach boys/ Brian Wilson fans who already know the story by heart. This is, after all, a movie, and some events are dramatized and others downplayed to make it more "hollywood", which sounds quite evil but actually works quite nicely on-screen.
All in all, I have but two complaints. The first is the singing, and I know that I'm perhaps asking for too much, but it would've been nice to hear some actual music recreation rather than lip synching (although how could you recreate something so magical, accurately?) This problem gets exceptionally bad during certain scenes where Fred Weller "sings" and it's obviously 56-year-old Brian Wilson doing the vocals. Secondly, the movie simply ends too soon. It ceases during the mid 70s when Brian was sort of doing better, but soon after the end of the movie's timeline, he slips back even worse and almost dies. He's rescued again, however, in a highly dramatic effort by his doctor, Gene Landy, and lives to tour again. Dennis drowns, and Carl eventually succumbs to cancer. But then again, the movie is 2 hours long already. At any rate, it's a great movie to watch. Perhaps one day they'll make a sequel that highlights the latest events in the Beach Boys' tumultuous career. God only knows if that'll ever happen, but then, Wouldn't it be nice?
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