FELINE FILMS | JANUARY 2016

Collin Cougar's October 2017 Movie Reviews

Recovered from that carb coma yet?  Neither have I.  Did you promise yourself that this is the year you are going to start taking the gym seriously?  So did I.  Would you rather talk about some movies you can watch tonight instead of going to the gym?  Good, me too.

This month, we’re talking about new twists on classic stories.  First, we’ve got a documentary about a group of musicians who you know, but didn’t know you knew them.  And then, Star Wars.  But first things first . . . .

The Wrecking Crew (2008) [PG]

The Wrecking Crew (2008) posterThe movie poster here to the left says it all.  In the late ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and even into the ’80s, when you wanted to record an album, often times, studio heads would bring in session musicians who would play all of the instrumental parts while the singers and actual band members watched and learned.  They did this because the session musicians were such accomplished players that they could come in, read the music and play it perfectly take after take.  And when you are paying by the hour for studio time, you want folks who will get it right the first time.

The Wrecking Crew is about one such group of musicians.  The trick with these folks is, they were the best.  When I say that you have heard them play your whole life, I’m not kidding.  Ever heard “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys?  That’s them.  The original “Pink Panther Theme”?  Them too.  The Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” …. you can thank the Wrecking Crew.

Honestly, it’s crazy how much work these folks did, and yet you’ve probably never heard of them.  That’s what this documentary aims to change.  Denny Tedesco, son of Tommy Tedesco who was a guitarist for the Wrecking Crew, directed this labor of love.  It’s mind-blowing to see how much of the music my parents listened to came from the fertile minds and talents of these studio musicians.  The story Tedesco tells is ever-so-slightly disjointed, but you’re so busy saying “Are you kidding?  They played that too!” that it won’t bother you much.

It’s hard to believe that you’ll run into someone who hasn’t been touched by a song that the Wrecking Crew helped to create.  We’ve all heard them.  We’ve all sung along to something they worked on.  It’s only fair that we finally get to meet them and hear their story.  Check out the trailer here and tell me your mind isn’t a little blown.

7.5 paws out of 10

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) [PG-13]

Star Wars: The Force Awakens PosterStatistically, you have already seen this.  I mean, by the 30th of December, it had already grossed over a billion dollars.  Granted, it’s darn near impossible to not see it in 3D Super IMAX Extreme or whatever so the ticket prices are higher than they are for, say, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, but still, that’s a lot of people.  So why review this?

For one, I’ll bet there are still three or four of you out there who are either still waiting or could care less.  Yes, there are folks out there who don’t really care about the new Star Wars.  I know, I don’t get it either.  But as luck would have it, I know one. In fact, up until a few days before she saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens, she had never seen any of the Star Wars movies.  Yeah, I know, right?

Wouldn’t it be interesting to know what someone who isn’t as invested in the Star Wars mythology thinks about The Force Awakens?  I thought so.  I mean, for those of you who haven’t seen it yet but have at least seen Star Wars before, it’s great.  Really.  I know George Lucas is being a Negative Nancy about it but honestly, even if you are just a casual fan, it’s hard not to get excited when Han Solo and Chewbacca show up or when you see the Millennium Falcon fly (and I’m not giving away anything cause those are in the trailer and they are on the poster, folks).  Trust me, it’s fantastic.  Chances are, you already know this.

But for those of you who aren’t Star Wars fans, is there anything here for you?  Yeah, I think so.  My buddy felt like it was a fun, sci-fi action movie and even though she didn’t really understand why everyone was getting so excited at some parts, she still thought it was entertaining.  Is the plot a little threadbare and does it retread a bit of the old Star Wars plots?  Sure.  Are the new characters a tad bit underdeveloped.  Yeah.  But for someone who isn’t intimately familiar with this world, it’s still a fun ride.

So, let me collect my thoughts here.  As someone who’s invested in the Star Wars universe, I thought it was awesome  My buddy who is just a casual viewer and not intimately versed in the culture, it’s was pretty good.  I gave it a 9 out of 10 and she went with 7.5 out of 10, so let’s average it out, shall we?

8.25 paws out of 10

As always, if you have a movie you think I should check out or you want to talk further about one of these reviews, drop me a line at collincougar@collin.edu or leave me a message on Facebook.

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