Category Archives: movies

The Wrecking Crew

Last night, Greg and I had the privilege of attending a screening of this labor of love, the documentary film about the group of studio musicians who played on all kinds of albums in the 1960s. This interview with the filmmaker, Denny Tedesco, explains how it came to be.

The audience had more than the typical spread of gray-haired heads. The 60s were quite some time ago, so the people who loved this music are a little … older … than the average movie audience. (Of course, I was an anomaly — a spring chicken, just a babe, really).

One thing that struck me in the film, and the musicians themselves were certainly aware of this fact, is that these men (and a lone woman, who played bass guitar) were in the right place at the right time. They were also wonderful musicians, but that era was the time when studio musicians were in huge demand. Popular bands weren’t “all about that bass” or any other instrument, for that matter. There was a huge production factor in popular music in the 60s.

The heyday for the Wrecking Crew wound down in the late 60s as bands began wanting to create their own music, playing their own instruments. The audience was demanding the same, and the 70s saw a huge uptick in bands that made some awesome music together.

There was a question and answer session afterwards, hosted by a local deejay. He had some interesting stories to tell about meeting Glen Campbell (one of the studio musicians before he became a star), and the camaraderie among the audience was really enjoyable.

A tiny personal achievement for me was to ask two questions during the Q&A. I have typically stayed quiet, second- and third-guessing myself before I even open my mouth. I managed to allow myself to have the questions, and then ask them, without worrying about how imperfect they were. And when one has a question that one would like the answer to, one most definitely ought to take the opportunity to ask it!

So many of the great songs of the late fifties and sixties were in this film. My favorite nostalgic moment was Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman.

Have you seen Wall*E?

So I read the movie critic in my little local newspaper who said Wall*E got an A+. Not many movies get that kind of grade, so I thought it might be fun to take the whole fam to see it, including the little guy. It was showing at my very favorite theater, so off we went. First of all, the movie was fabulous, but in the words of Nick from the Big Chill, “You just have to let art . . . flow . . . over you.” The movie was very visual. It got mixed reviews from our family members. I personally thought the theater was extremely hot temperature-wise, so could not concentrate. Plus, Kepler thought the theater was really not as fun as being home sitting on the family room floor throwing his blocks, so Greg missed the middle of the movie and I missed the end. Joel thought it was brilliant, but I sometimes suspect that he actually has a mac in his head where his brain is supposed to be. The other three kids, you know, those other kids, all thought it was fine, but not the best they had ever seen.

What made me laugh laugh laugh was the incongruity between the message of the movie which seemed to be that humans are trashing the planet, literally, and the fact that all five of my children were presented with the little trinket I have pictured here. Ironically, the “wristwatch,” while it did fit on a wrist, in no way was able to keep time, and had to be thrown away as soon as I took the photo. A few of the “wristwatches” didn’t even make it out of the theater. Just ironic that they would present us with our own little piece of trash to take with as we pondered the problems we have with overconsumption and mindless disposal on this planet.

The Incredible Hulk movie is pretty Incredible

Tonight’s date was to the movies to see The Incredible Hulk. When I heard Edward Norton was in the movie, I knew I wanted to see it. So, Greg and I went to the movies. Two dates in the space of one month! This is a good thing.

And this is a good movie. I don’t know if “Love Conquers All” is one of the subtitles or not, but it is definitely one of the themes. The music was great and the actors did a great job. Looks like there will be a sequel, judging from the end of the movie.

I don’t want Greg to take our kids to see it in the theater, though. The sheer immensity of the sounds and sights seem like they are more than a teenager or pre-teen should really be exposed to. I don’t mind if they see the movie with us at home, but I don’t want them to see it in the theater. Plus, there is one scene I would like to fast-forward through for them, and you can’t do that in the theater.

It was super fun to see The Courtship of Eddie’s Father showing on a TV at the beginning of the movie, and to see Lou Ferrigno in a small role as a security guard.

Our only question lingering after the movie — at one point Dr. Banner was called Bruce, and at another point, he received mail addressed to David B. I remember that his name in the original show was David Banner, so this is a mystery.

And, by the way, I do love to watch Edward Norton act. He is SO good. I have seen him in Fight Club, Death to Smoochy, The Illusionist, The Painted Veil, Anerican History X, and Keeping the Faith. I think I need to see Keeping the Faith again, because that was before I became such a big fan. The movies I would recommend include The Illusionist, The Painted Veil, and of course, The Incredible Hulk.

Until next time,

Musings about Ryan Gosling

He stars in a movie called Lars and the Real Girl. LATRG wasn’t bad, exactly. It’s just the second movie I have watched starring Mr. Gosling and I have realized that he must choose his movie scripts based on the following criteria:

1. I don’t have to say many words. As few as possible.
2. I have lots of opportunities to make great facial expressions and express my innermost thoughts just through the contortions of my face.

The other movie was one where he played a teacher who was a drug addict.

So, even though LATRC had some sweet parts and a relatively good story, the acting wasn’t great, the movie was kind of weird, and you had to wait a long, long time to get to the resolution of the movie.