14 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Not the complete story, but near enough
Chip_douglas from Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands
24 May 2004
The Monkees made very groovy music, but they were a TV show first and
foremost. From start to finish, this documentary accentuates everything with
hilarious clips from that far out sitcom and manages to include all of their
greatest hits as well. The story is told by the Monkees themselves with help
from selected behind the scenes contributers. Even arch enemy Don Kirchner
shows up to tell his side of the story, though creators Bob Rafelson and
Bert Schneider are conspicuously missing. Add to this some unique material
in the form of promos, early appearances on other shows, home movies, and
advertisements (after all, the group was a well oiled money making machine),
it becomes clear that a lot of love and understanding went into the making
of this documentary.
It is good to see even Mike is cooperating, though he is even more laid back
than usual and comes across a bit uninterested (this in contrast to some of
the old clips in which he is very opinionated). Micky is very honest about
what the Monkees were and were not capable of and turns on the zany only
once. Davy's eyes still sparkle as he is obviously loving every second in
front of the camera (about half way through he even starts narrating the
whole thing). While Peter is trying just a tiny bit too hard to get his
point across and be funny at the same time.
Only Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits seems a bit out of place (his main
connection being celebrity tennis matches against Micky). However he does
offer a good analogy on the scandal concerning the use of session musicians:
because of the power of television, most people were convinced the four of
them really did live together in that beach house. The need to create their
own music is reflected here by showcasing many great songs in succession.
Producer Chip Douglas explains how he created the intro to 'Pleasant Valley
Sunday' and an unexpected surprise is the little seen "video" for the
Headquarters track 'No Time'.
Unfortunately the recollections come to an end after covering the demise of
their celluloid "Head" trip (as would the TV movie "Daydream Believers: The
Monkees Story"). I would have liked to have heard more about the decline of
the pre-fab four (the last two Monkees finally called it quits in 1970) and
especially some more recollections about the ill fated special "33 1/3
Revolutions per Monkee" (although the 'Listen to the band' performance from
that show opens this documentary). Instead we swiftly segue into 'Daydream
Believer' and that's it. Good thing nobody mentioned 1987's 'New Monkees'
9 out of 10
Save the Texas Prairie Chicken!
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