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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Okay, first of all, you're probably wondering why I rated this a 10 out
of 10. The short answer is that it is undoubtedly one of the most
thought-provoking films I have ever seen. No, NOT because of its
profound analysis of something that is reliable... I am still trying to
grasp everything that this film brought to light. (Thought- provoking,
The film is obviously very flawed in its information and makes plenty of factual errors that I won't bother to list... read the other reviews. However, as I was watching it, I realized these errors but I was so engrossed that I kept watching it. It made me want to believe the whole story about the "hospital tapes" of the obviously Fake George (We'll call him Forge) and really think that James Paul McCartney has been dead since 1966.
That is one reason I am giving this movie a perfect score of ten. The Last Testament of George Harrison had me laughing with disbelief because I WANTED to believe it. It's hilarious, and the other reviewers are right to dub it a mockumentary. The film is very good at doing what it wants to do: weaving an intricate story (most of which I'd already heard) about a conspiracy and compacting it into a nice little gift- wrapped package for anyone who can understand how it exploits the original conspiracy. I sincerely hope that Sir Paul McCartney sees this. I'd love to see HIS reaction.
This film mocks those who don't know a lot about the subject matter and who may actually believe what Forge says without any evidence about HIS credibility. I tend to think the factual errors were made on purpose. Why else would they be so glaringly obvious, while the rest of the film is well-made? Of course, that unearths paradoxes, creating the existence of a conspiracy within a conspiracy film... which is why this film is really so great. It pokes fun at conspiracies and exposées while being slick and subtle.
This is first-rate entertainment. For those who rated it a one, I can see why, if you didn't take the time to enjoy the entertainment value. You all just misunderstood what this film is actually about and probably assumed it is a disgrace to the Beatles' legacy, which it isn't. Most will know that the Beatles were amused by their fans and the media and annoyed by them as well. (That's why they stopped touring... they got an overdose of fame and the bad consequences of it.) This film kind of shows this in a very indirect way. It sides with the Beatles, not against them. It's really siding against us, the viewers, who actually give a rat's ass about the Secret Life (and possibly Death) of a person we'll probably never meet or get to know, anyway. We'd have to care about Paul McCartney, a stranger, to watch it in the first place.
The purpose of this "documentary" is to reflect everything bad about popular culture... It really has little to do with the Beatles. It's about the culture surrounding them and us, the viewers. Would Beatles fans REALLY have committed suicide at hearing the news of Paul's demise? Is the job of secret government agencies partly to protect the people from their own celebrity-worshiping mania? I tend to think that a widespread riot/panic would have occurred if Paul had died in 1966. Part of enjoying this film is exploring your own motives for idolizing people like the members of the Beatles. I was able to laugh at myself as well as the screaming girls chasing the Beatles everywhere they went.
If you take the time to look past the surface, I'm sure you will enjoy watching The Last Testament of George Harrison and I recommend it to all Beatles fans. (It's currently instant on Netflix!) The so-called "evidence" is all speculation, but isn't that all that any conspiracy theory has to offer? Anyone can watch this: believers of the conspiracy, nonbelievers, and people who have no decided opinion, because it doesn't really try to convince you one way or another. It's a comedy, folks. The downside to this film is that some people are probably fooled by it, because it is quite convincing if you don't realize it's a parody and don't know the lovely Beatles sequence of events. However, there is nothing that should be done to change this because putting a "warning" (what you are about to see is all made up or unsubstantiated) on it would ruin the quality of the film, and the fun paradoxes would be gone. After all, who wouldn't like to hear Forge talk about Faul, Fohn and Fingo and create a new puzzle? The filmmakers have invented their own conspiracy with the creation of the Featles! I love this fantastic film!
Yes, this film is entirely fraudulent. Yes, very little of it makes
sense. Yes, it's insulting to the viewers intelligence. All of this is
But it's still fun to watch. The writer paints what can only be described as a hilariously creepy alternate history of the Beatles. You can of course write a list ten feet long of all the facts and details the film gets wrong, but that is entirely besides the point.
If you're a Beatles fan and can view this with a sense of humor rather than as a legitimate documentary, you'll surely get a bit of entertainment out of it.
First off, this should be classified as a MOCKumentary.
This was so terribly awful I'm considering trying to get my money back for the rental. Not only was it pure fiction and laughable at it's very best, but quite disrespectful to all the men that make up the Beatles (whether you love or hate their music)... most of all, it's appallingly distasteful to George Harrison and his family. It's amazing to me the writer/director of this "documentary" hasn't been sued for libel and defamation of character.
The worse part of it all is that it might have been an interesting film if it had just been an assembled history on the conspiracy theory itself, without the so obviously fictional and badly acted George Harrison "tapes" of narration.
If you're going to rent this, don't waste your money or time. Spend NOTHING on it. Matter of fact, they should be paying people to watch it because it's just THAT bad.
According to this lame would-be documentary, George Harrison purportedly spills the beans about Paul's death in 1966 and his replacement by a double in his "last testament." Being a giant Beatles fan, I was willing to give this film a look on Netflix Instant View. I'm glad I didn't actually rent it because I would hate to think I had spent any money supporting this crap. The whole "Paul is Dead" conspiracy was an amusing bit of drug-addled inanity forty years ago but come on. This might've made an amusing five minute YouTube video if it didn't take itself so damned seriously. It is insulting, not only to the Beatles themselves, but to its viewers. If you're going to take the time to make a film like this, at least do a little research. There is a dizzying number of factual inaccuracies. And, at the very least, get someone who might've sounded like a fifty-something George Harrison. The actor playing him sounds like he learned everything from a few 60's interviews. Sadly, since those interviews didn't use all of the words in the script, he obviously had no idea how someone from Liverpool would pronounce the words. My George Harrison imitation is better than his, and I suck. (So does this film.)
Firstly, parts of this film contain quite offensive suggestions about
The Beatles. However, these can be defended as part of the overall tone
of the film and it invites you not take them seriously.
This is clearly meant to be a joke, and it is a very funny one if you are watching the film correctly. The film showcases genuine conspiracy "evidence" at its core, but alters the story about The Beatles to make this evidence fit. What you are left with is how the Faul conspiracy theorists must then see the last four years of the band, and it is a laughable view.
I found myself laughing out loud at the jumps in logic, especially the vicious attacks aimed at Paul after '66 (and poor Ringo as usual) - especially his use of drugs as if he was the only one who ever did any. I won't give any specifics but you will be shocked at the blatant disregard for facts, and that is exactly what the film is trying to get you to do.
I can't award it any higher than 8 because it's not technically that well made. I don't think the tape idea was very good because rather than use excerpts with narration they have George basically narrating the whole thing as if he could see the film in his head when he recorded it. Saying that, it does add to the ridiculous nature of the film because the accent is AMAZINGLY BAD. I found myself laughing at the way the narrator said certain words and it must have been done badly on purpose. One of my personal highlights is the way he says Frank Sinatra. It also jumps from vague Liverpudlian, to cockney all the way to South African.
In summary: You shouldn't watch this if you believe any of the conspiracy nonsense, you should watch it if you find yourself seeking out conspiracy theories in order to make yourself laugh. That's the audience for this thing and in my view it does it well.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember the early 70's when there was a huge hubbub about whether
Paul was dead, and this documentary, while it covers all of the alleged
"clues" and hidden backward messages in the albums.. . I've always been
interested in this particular conspiracy.
However, the "setup" for this particular movie, I have a very hard time swallowing. You have to remember George Harrison was supposed to have recorded all of this narration on a little tiny mini cassette recorder. There's NO WAY the narration I'm hearing on this documentary was recorded on one of those little things. The narration is way too clean Like it was recorded in a state of the art recording studio.
The main problem with conspiracy theories it that there are always loopholes, weak links. If we are to believe "George Harrison's" testimony, why doesn't he make even one reference to George Martin, the Beatles long time Producer? Wouldn't Martin also know they had an impostor in the studio with them? Harrison doesn't say anything about George Martin being under any oath, unlike the rest of the Beatles.
I really enjoyed this film, but I don't buy the conspiracy theory. This film is a great treasure trove of the Paul is Dead clues. .. But the "Lovely Rita" portion alone That makes this "documentary," one hard sell. Someone should take the bones of this doc and make a "real" movie... As I think there's more fiction then fact in this movie.
Most Beatles fans will already know the infamous urban legend of
McCartney being replaced by the other Beatles. This "documentary" adds
the original spin that MI5 was behind the mass deception (there you
go). As a serious air-tight case for conspiracy it fails from the
start. The first three albums with "clues" were actually released
before the supposed death date of McCartney given in the film
itself(!). As a mockumentary it's over long and boring. Given that it's
meant to be George's "last testament", fake George seems to waffle on
much about the "clues" like a wikipedia article, missing out on a
chance to expanded on the insane "behind the scenes" story.
The voice over that's meant to be Harrison sounds nothing like him or anything even a resembling a Liverpudlian accent. As a piece of camp, the grim tone and gory "dead McCartney" pictures are too on the nose for this fun for fans making seem more like a Faces of Death style feature then a fanboy "what-if" film. And the final scenes cross the line from being stupid to just plain offensive.
In the right hands, it could of been a fun idea, but instead tyhe mess comes off as sleazy.
Paul McCartney Really is Dead: The Last Testament of George Harrison
*** (out of 4)
Producer-director Joel Gilbert usually does documentaries on Bob Dylan but he reaches out to try and explain why the Paul McCartney who has been touring the past forty years is actually a double and that the real Paul died decades ago. According to Gilbert, he received two audio cassettes, which are supposed to contain the last testament of George Harrison. We then learn that three different labs couldn't tell if this really was Harrison or not. From here we learn that McCartney was killed on November 9, 1966 when he had a car crash after giving a woman a ride. From here the audio tape talks about why they decided to cover up his death and what clues they wanted fans to know so that the group wouldn't be hated for covering it up.
This documentary is getting a lot of hatred from fans of the Beatles but I must say it's quite hilarious in parts. I really don't see this as a documentary but it's more like an exploitation movie that's taking a myth and trying to pass it off as the truth. I will admit that I enjoy myths and hearing about them but there's so many unanswered questions here that you can't help but laugh. For starters, early in the film we're told that Lennon was about to tell the truth but was killed eight days later. Harrison then says that he was about to tell the truth but was attacked by the "fan" and almost died. Of course, the hint here is that the British government was trying to shut them up. Even more laughable stuff is the actual way the McCartney was killed and how they went about getting a double. The "audio tape" doesn't sound like an audio tape at all. It's clearly a narrator. Another problem is that you have to wonder why, if all of this was true, someone would send the evidence to Joel Gilbert. Why not ABC, CNN, NBC or someone who could really get the story out there?
Gilbert even uses this documentary to say Bob Dylan wasn't involved in a motorcycle crash in 1966 but instead used this as an excuse to go into drug rehab. It's funny because there are people out there who believe Dylan was killed in this crash and was replaced by a double. The same thing people are claiming about McCartney. PAUL MCCARTNEY REALLY IS DEAD: THE LAST TESTAMENT OF GEORGE HARRISON is something that conspiracy theorist might believe but I think most people are going to notice that countless holes in the plot. Not to mention what this so-called "double" has been able to do after The Beatles broke up. We're told Lennon "covered" most of the writing in The Beatles but who took on Wings and everything that followed? As silly as this is, I must admit that I found it incredibly entertaining from start to finish. Again, seeing all these "clues" was interesting because it shows how someone can take something and spin it in any direction.
Obviously, this film is a 'mockumentary', but it certainly makes an entertaining and circuitous 'case' to support the rather outrageous premise. However, if you are an 'open-minded' Beatle fan, you should get more than a few laughs over the cracked associations and assertions that are made in this film. Mass media is rife with 'spin' and willful deception, and I don't think any of us knows how far collective reality has been augmented. So, one could suppose that a deception of this magnitude could have occurred. Reincarnation, UFO's, The Afterlife, Necromancy, and Supply-Side Economics are all widely held beliefs which are regarded as fact, but, in reality, they are only collective suppositions. THE LAST TESTAMENT OF GEORGE HARRISON is not so much about whether the thesis is true, but how much of the Beatles's artistic legacy and actual history could actually support such an assertion. And, by the way, have you ever wondered about, The Weapons Of Mass Destruction?.... Have you got ninety minutes?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Wow! The worst documentary I have ever seen. Surely only a moron could
have heard these tapes and thought that this was George Harrison. I am
English and I can promise you that this is the worst fake Liverpool
accent I have ever heard. It sounds like a hack like Mike Myers
incorporating various regional dialects from the U.K thinking that he's
doing a spot on impression.
The "George" character who narrates this rubbish slips up so many times it's embarrassing. He pronounces an MI5 office called "Maxwell" as "Moxwell" because it is what this talentless oaf thinks a Liverpudlian would say. There are so many errors in inflection that a shaved chimp could have easily concluded that this is not George Harrison. The story is SO ludicrous that it is the kind of rambling gibberish that a maniac might write on his cell wall in his own feces. This is the kind of insane nonsense that sad sacks make up, spread on the internet and fill the deranged sad lives of those who believe in patently false conspiracy theories. There is not even a scintilla of verisimilitude in this tragic nonsense. If it had been marketed as a comedy written and directed by an unfortunate soul with severe mental issues, I might give it a modicum of credit, maybe 2 stars instead of one.
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