A few evenings ago I had an epiphany. Or a sort of re-epiphany, if you will, since I had already had the epiphany once, forgot I had the epiphany, then had the epiphany again. That’s one benefit of getting older – experiencing anew something you’ve already experienced because you completely forgot about it (of course, there’s a downside as well, but that’s a blog post for a different day).
Anyway, I was scanning the fairly limited selection of instant streaming movies Netflix has to offer (yes, I’m still a Netflix subscriber for 2 reasons: 1) there really isn’t another streaming alternative at the moment other than Amazon, and their selection is even worse; 2) I’m lazy. Companies that get me on a subscription model love me because I simply forget that I’m on a subscription model).
So, there I was, back and forth, up and down. Do I want to watch a kung fu movie (ok, another aside – does it seem that all the latest kung fu movies go straight to instant streaming on Netflix?)? Nah. How about a comedy? Meh.
And then there it was. A jewel of a movie (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) I had completely forgotten even existed. It was just sitting there all shiny and pretty and spiffy – it reached out to me through the iPad and said, “Andy, watch me.” So I did. And I felt sort of reborn. It’s hard to describe the feeling of rediscovering something you really loved as a teenager and making that very visceral (re)connection to said item.
I watched it. And I loved it. Again. Now, let’s be clear. The movie is terrible. But…it isn’t. It stars the Bee Gees, Peter Frampton and George Burns. There is no dialogue in the whole movie other than when George Burns speaks or narrates. The entire (very loosely assembled) plot moves forward via song – specifically, via Beatles songs from the Sgt. Pepper’s and Abbey Road albums.
The whole movie is so incredibly surreal and feels like one big acid trip (so I’ve heard) from beginning to end. From Peter Frampton in white overalls and white boots, to Steve Martin as Dr. Maxwell and Aerosmith as the Future Villain Band (I won’t even mention the ending). There’s no other movie like it. And likely never will be again. For all intents and purposes, it was an epic failure. Made in 1978, the critics ripped it to shreds (it has a 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes). It only made $12M and cost $16M to make. Clearly, Peter Frampton nor the BeeGees were ever in another movie again (along with most of the rest of the cast), so it killed a number of aspiring Hollywood careers.
But it is so…freaking…good. Watch it. You can thank me later. Ask my wife. She LOVED it.