Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)

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Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: Directed by Michael Schultz. With Peter Frampton, Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb, Maurice Gibb. A small-town band hits it big, but they must battle a nefarious plot in the music industry.

“Time u0026amp; death has a funny way of smoothing over harsh criticism. What was deemed a colossal egg upon its release, certainly hated by discophobes and Beatles purists for its sacrilege back in the late 70s, u0026quot;Sgt. Pepperu0026#39;s Lonely Hearts Club Bandu0026quot; has since become a historical document on its own. Only 35 years later and after the deaths of 3 Bee Gees are we beginning to chill on our Bee Gees hatred and give this monumental group its due. If you watch this movie not as a Beatles tribute but perhaps as a wacky Bee Gees tribute, youu0026#39;ll enjoy yourself. This movie is a forgotten landmark of the 70s.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe Bee Gees are known for their disco hits like u0026quot;Stayin Aliveu0026quot; and such, but did you know that in the 60s they were a moderately successful psychedelic rock band quite similar to the Beatles? With that in mind, itu0026#39;s not so far fetched to imagine them playing Beatles music, and in fact they do a pretty good job if you can dump all preconceptions. The opening numbers u0026quot;Sgt. Pepperu0026quot; and u0026quot;A Little Help from my Friendsu0026quot; (with Peter Frampton singing) kick the movie off nicely. I thought the best tune was u0026quot;Nowhere Manu0026quot; with their silky smooth harmonies. And where else are you going to hear basically the entire Sgt. Peppers u0026amp; Abbey Road albums in a movie, Beatles or otherwise? Where this movie sags is in the fact that itu0026#39;s barely a movie. Itu0026#39;s more like a string of campy music videos loosely stuck together with a somewhat vapid plot. But hey, arenu0026#39;t a lot of musicals like that?u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe plot revolves the Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Next Generation, 20 years after the original horn blowers left the stage. Now amped up and rockified, the new band tops the charts and is lured away from its hometown to LA with a record deal while an evil villain u0026quot;Mr. Mustardu0026quot; takes over their hometown and turns it into a city of sleaze. Mr. Mustard answers to an even eviller entity known as u0026quot;F.V.B.u0026quot; (the meaning revealed only at the end). What follows is a very flimsy chain of events, each represented by a Beatles song. There is no dialogue in this film; itu0026#39;s all music.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eProduction values are high, and you can expect to see some impressive sets, scenery u0026amp; costumes as well as decent cinematography. In other words, itu0026#39;s not a cheap production. The style is very tongue-in-cheek, much like The Whou0026#39;s musical u0026quot;Tommyu0026quot; released 3 years prior. In fact I had to check to see if both films were directed or produced by the same people. They werenu0026#39;t. But if you were entertained by u0026quot;Tommyu0026quot; youu0026#39;ll probably get a kick out of this as well.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI recommend getting acquainted with the Bee Gees before watching this movie. Thereu0026#39;s a good documentary called u0026quot;The Bee Gees: In Our Own Timeu0026quot; which might open your eyes and prep you for a better experience if you decide to watch this. Only now, decades after the fall of disco and with only 1 Bee Gee still living, the band is finally getting some respectful treatment. Love em or hate em, you gotta admit they took the world by storm for a brief moment in music history.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eNotable guest musicians Earth Wind u0026amp; Fire, Peter Frampton, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, and a hilariously bizarre appearance by fancy-footed soul singer Billy Preston shooting laser beams of love from his fingertips round out this one-of-a-kind experience (Billy played electric piano on the Beatlesu0026#39; original u0026quot;Get Backu0026quot; which he sings here). I like to keep this DVD playing at loud volumes while Iu0026#39;m doing household chores to keep me moving. It may scare off some visitors, but then who needs em?”


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