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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Dinner’ trip back in time

    Photo courtesy of Rhino Entertainment Company.
    Photo courtesy of Rhino Entertainment Company.

    Harold Bronson’s film “”My Dinner With Jimi”” certainly evokes a nostalgic image of the ’60s. The film chronicles The Turtles’ 1967 rise to fame and their fall into the arms of the London Club scene – with shenanigans including draft evasion and more. The film’s true story reveals an unseen side of the Beatles and chronicles the unending awesome-ness of Jimi Hendrix. The factual nature of the events adds a lot to the film. With acting above “”competent”” but not terribly impressive and directing to follow suit, the film starts off on a note that promises to fall flat. However, around 30 minutes in the film begins to turn around and pick up speed. It’s worth watching until the end.

    The film relies far too much on stereotypes and falls a bit short in capturing the real ’60s attitude. The film feels low budget and that holds it back. However, one solid star shines through the mediocre directing: Royale Watkins. His portrayal Jimi Hendrix is wonderful. He, more than any other actor, makes the film come to life by capturing the feel of the time period. It is easy to temporarily suspend ones disbelief and watch Watkins’ take over the screen as Hendrix.

    “”My Dinner with Jimi”” received the best screenplay award at the 2003 Slamdunk Film Festival in Park City, Utah and has a small following that has eagerly awaited its 2009 release. The biggest advantage this film has over the slew of other films that chronicle this era is being written by former Turtles frontman Harold Bronson. The historical accuracy adds depth that similar films seem to lack. Big budget movies have the ability to do more to evoke a time period past in film, but the low budget styling of the film keeps it from maintaining an effective ’60s vibe. The groovy soundtrack is sure to make any ’60s music lover happy and the portrayal of Hendrix and the Beatles is just ruckus enough to push this movie to the level of believability and fun.

    It is exceptionally difficult to squeeze a year or two of a person’s life into film, especially when a film is set in a decade as distant as it was. “”My Dinner with Jimi”” is a solid film, despite the room for improvement it leaves. The passionate nostalgia for this time comes across in the screenplay, which can certainly be credited to Bronson’s first hand experiences being the films basis.

    If you dig the ’60s, the Turtles, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix or anything else from the era this film is worth checking out, even with the actors playing Mama Cass and Frank Zappa being pretty darn terrible. Some actors are lackluster at best, while others take the film over making the movie an interesting mix of cheesiness and well-done filmmaking all in one.

    Suspend your disbelief for a couple hours and dive back into the ’60s with Bronson’s “”My Dinner with Jimi.”” It’s a psychedelic drugfest and pop music sensation all rolled into one.

    Rating: B+

    “”My Dinner With Jimi””
    Rhino Films & Fallout Entertainment
    90 minutes
    Not rated

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