Don Messerli’s Blog |

An exercise in self-indulgence.

The Wrecking Crew

Tuesday Jun 10, 2008

Tommy TedescoBack in April, Regine and I attended several films at the Nashville Film Festival. We especially enjoyed a documentary called “The Wrecking Crew”. It is about a group of about 20 studio musicians in Los Angeles in the 1960s. They played on so many different records that it is almost impossible to count. They played for solo artists who didn’t have a band (i.e. Nancy Sinatra), groups that needed a little added help in the studio (i.e. The Beach Boys), groups that didn’t exist until AFTER a hit song was recorded (i.e. the Marketts, Routers, and T-Bones) and groups that were fabricated and couldn’t play their own instruments (i.e. The Monkees).

Regine came away feeling that she had been duped as a child. I knew this was going on. I just didn’t know it was the same group of musicians in every instance. Musicians like Tommy Tedesco, Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Plas Johnson and Don Randi.

The film was a labor of love by Denny Tedesco (Tommy’s son) and took him several years to complete. The movie was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. I really enjoyed seeing Carol Kaye, bass guitarist extraordinaire, play some of the riffs that we all grew up with. One of the difficult things about producing the movie was getting clearance to use the over 100 songs in the film. Since the same thing would have to be done again for a DVD release, it is highly unlikely there will be one unless a distributor with a department dedicated to that task decides to get involved. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

You can check out information about the film, see where it’s playing and sign up for notifications at The Wrecking Crew Film website.

A Pleasant Surprise

Thursday Feb 9, 2006

The MatadorI hadn’t seen any trailers for The Matador; but I caught a glimpse of the movie poster on the way out of another movie. I like Pierce Brosnan; especially in his non-James-Bond roles. The storyline about a hitman who realizes after years in the business that he has no real friends sounded interesting. He befriends a down-on-his-luck businessman played by Gred Kinnear. I was more than pleasantly surprised by this movie. This is Brosnan like you’ve never seen him before. And IT’S REFRESHING!!! His character has the mouth of a sailor and no social skills at all. I loved it! Every time Brosnan said something crude, I felt euphoric. Sort of like catching your grandmother swearing.

This movie is one of my favorites of the last few years. No, it doesn’t deal with any lofty subjects like Middle -Eastern oil barons or racism in Los Angeles; but it does deal with something we can all relate to…life.

5 paws

Feel The Love

Friday Dec 30, 2005

The Family StoneA few weeks ago we saw the movie Family Stone. We both enjoyed it very much. The casting was very good. Even though I can’t stand Sarah Jessica Parker, I think she was perfect for the part of the uptight woman who accompanies her boyfriend to his family’s annual Christmas celebration. She reminds me quite a bit of someone I used to be married to.

The ensemble cast of Parker, Claire Daines, Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson, and Luke Wilson are very believable as a slightly quirky family. I enjoyed every single one of them. OK, I enjoyed Rachel McAdams a little more than the others. To paraphrase something I said on my previous web site about Kate Beckinsale, I can watch Rachel McAdams doing nothing for two hours.

This movie is a good mix of comedy and serious moments. It goes in my list of “feel good” movies. A good movie for the holiday season. I recommend it.

4 paws

Dating your therapist’s son

Tuesday Nov 8, 2005

We went to see the movie Prime. The story about a woman who is dating her therapist’s son seemed entertaining from the trailers we’d seen. The trailers didn’t do the movie justice. This is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a long time. The humor is quite dry. If you’re looking for Stripes or Animal House, this isn’t them.

I haven’t liked anything Uma Thurman has done in a long time. I really liked her performance in this film. She really has gotten in touch with her vulnerable side. Maybe her divorce from Ethan Hawke had something to do with that.

Meryl Streep stole the show! She was cast perfectly as the therapist who wants her son to marry a nice Jewish girl and is then horrified to find out that not only is he dating a Gentile; but it’s one of her patients. She plays it straight and the performance is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time.

Some people tell me they don’t like Meryl Streep in previous movies. I actually think they don’t like the character she is playing. She thoroughly becomes the character. If you don’t like the person you’re seeing on the screen; it’s the character you don’t like, not her.

5 paws

My Cats Have It Easy

Monday Aug 15, 2005

Regine and I went to see March of the Penguins last week. The documentary about the emperor penguins in Antarctica is amazing. I was mesmerized and glued to the screen. I must warn you. This film might not be for everyone. There isn’t any nudity or car chases. If you can’t sit still for two hours, go see something else.

The filmmakers spent something like a year in freezing temperatures to capture the penguins’ struggle to propogate their species on film. It was obviously a labor of love for them. I commend them and recommend this movie to everyone.

The next morning, I realized how easy my cats have it as one of them followed me into the kitchen to get some food. Walking 30 feet to get your food out of a bowl sure beats walking 70 miles in freezing temperature to catch it.

5 paws