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Beach Boys - An American Band / Brian Wilson - I Just Wasn't Made for These Times (1995)

Brian Wilson , Dennis Wilson , Don Was , Malcolm Leo  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Beach Boys - An American Band / Brian Wilson - I Just Wasn't Made for These Times + Endless Harmony: The Beach Boys Story + The Beach Boys: Good Timin'- Live at Knebworth, England 1980
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Product Details

  • Actors: Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Carl Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine
  • Directors: Don Was, Malcolm Leo
  • Writers: Malcolm Leo
  • Producers: Don Was, Anne-Marie Mackay, Bonnie Peterson, David Passick, Jon Peisinger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: December 17, 2002
  • Run Time: 172 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006SFJC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,470 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beach Boys - An American Band / Brian Wilson - I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

What would the world be like without Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys? Let's forget the notion and enjoy a candid look at the clean-cut harmonizers with An American Band (1985/103 min.), featuring never-before-seen footage and over 40 original hits. Next, a public reawakening after a period of manipulation, I Just Wasn't Made For These Times (1995/69 min.) features some refreshingly restrained versions of previous hits. Color/fullscreen.

A magnificent DVD pairing for Beach Boys fans, these two stylistically different films here pretty much represent the two sides of "America's Band." First up is The Beach Boys: An American Band, made at the height of their Reagan-era resurgence after then Interior Secretary James Watt banned them from performing at the nation's capitol on the 4th of July. A colorful, upbeat film, it doesn't entirely gloss over the more downbeat aspects of the Beach Boys saga (parental abuse, mental illness, uncomfortably tight pants, loads of drugs, and Charles Manson), though it does go out of its way to give the story a happy ending, despite the recent death of drummer Dennis Wilson and the group's complete creative standstill. However, what it lacks in perspective, it more than makes up for in priceless footage, including Smile-era studio outtakes, the unreleased 1967 concert in Hawaii, numerous TV appearances, and extensive interview footage from the mid-'70s.

I Just Wasn't Made for These Times, on the other hand, goes more out of its way to show the long dark path of head Beach Boy Brian Wilson. While Wilson is now acknowledged as the Mozart of the late 20th century, director Don Was gives us a stark black-and-white portrait of a troubled artist still struggling to get his life back. His reminiscence of dad Murry Wilson's beatings is chilling, and Wilson is as comfortable as he'll ever be in front of the camera bragging up his drug use ("Cocaine... the works... put me in jail") and randomly quoting Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon. Through it all, Wilson comes across as a complete original, and if the reworkings of his classic songs don't quite match up to the originals, give the guy a break--he just wasn't made for these times. --Kristian St. Clair

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent combination May 15, 2003
By A Customer
These two films provide a very good overview of the Beach Boys. "An American Band" is a fairly good comprehensive look at the band from their beginnings through 1985. There's a lot of historical performance footage of the group and interviews from throughout the years, with some on-camera narration from Carl Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, and Bruce Johnston from 1985.
"I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" picks up the story about 10 years later, and focuses on the genius (and genial) composer Brian Wilson, showing his at least partial success in dealing with his personal, emotional, and psychological problems, which had plagued him during the previous two decades as recounted in the "American Band" film. Brian comes off in "IJWMFTT" as much more articulate in conversation than I had expected (he's really pretty articulate by any standard), and his new performances of some older songs are well done and compelling. Interestingly, the footage is almost entirely new, including interviews with family (Carl Wilson, mother Audree, daughters Carnie and Wendy), associates (Van Dyke Parks), and admirers (Tom Petty, John Cale, Thurston Moore, Linda Rondstadt), with almost no archival footage. So, between the two films, you have a history of the band and a portrait of its driving force during its glory years. A great combination.
One additional note: "IJWMFTT" is actually in letterbox in this version, not pan-and-scan. When I first bought this DVD, I was dismayed to see on the back of the box that it said the film had been modified to fit the TV screen, which usually means the letterboxing has been scrapped. I was pleasantly surprised to find when I actually watched the film that while the credits were in "full-screen" (i.e., not letterboxed), the rest of the film was definitely in letterbox. Very nice B&W photography.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
"The Beach Boys - An American Band" and the subsequent "Brian Wilson - I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" are perfect documents of the real American rock band. The former focuses on the years '61 to '85 while the latter is a black & white document of The Beach Boys' troubled leader trying to get his life back together after years of personal problems.
1985's "An American Band" opens appropiately enough with footage of Brian Wilson's 1976 birthday party intercut with scenes from an interview done with him from his bedroom, half - dressed, smoking a cigarette. The rest of the film's made up of interviews with the other Beach Boys that are good, though obviously scripted. The real highlight are the concert footage, featuring footage from their European tour that includes an electrifying performance of "Breakaway", not to mention glowing versions of "God Only Knows" and "In My Room", plus rockers like "Barbara Ann" and "Fun, Fun, Fun".
1995's "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" has Brian coming to terms with his troubled life through various interviews with him and several people close to him, including his two wives, his daughters, Van Dyke Parks, and Carl Wilson, his brother who succumbed to lung cancer in 1998. In between are scenes of Brian doing newly recorded versions of "Meant For You", "Do It Again", "The Warmth Of The Sun" (a real surprise for me), "Til I Die", a rousing "This Whole World" as well as a few others.
Overall, these are two finely done documentaries of one of the greatest artists of all time, a group who forever changed the face of music with their surfboards, woodies, girls, pet sounds and good vibrations. Surf's up.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than Fun, Fun, Fun October 11, 2003
It was great seeing both these documentaries again. "An American Band" has some great concert footage, and includes Brian, eyes closed and totally into it, singing "Surf's Up" for the TV cameras just before the downfall in '67. Dennis' own downfall in the 80's is appropriatly handled; it's painful to see him at the end, barely able to talk. I saw the band in Dennis' last year, and the footage of him here brought back that painful memory. Concert versions of "Good Vibrations" (before it became a ridiculous sing-a-long) and "Heroes and Villains" are also a treat.
"IJWMFTT" shows a mostly lucid Brian, memory surprisingly intact, talking about his creations. But, the reason to watch this bio are the performances. Hearing Carl sing "God Only Knows" with his brohter and mother was a treat. And listening to Brian's ex-wife talk about "Caroline No" segue into Brian totally nailing the song was great stuff.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Endless Disharmony March 25, 2005
This set of two revealing perspectives on the Beach Boys has enough samples of their best music to be appealing to fans. It also uncovers glimpses of the inner turmoil that developed as Brian Wilson, their primary creative force, left touring and changed the focus of his talents from writing catchy tunes about surfing and girls to writing complex harmonic sequences with lyrics that told stories of lost innocence and finding one's soul.

The turning point came in 1966, when Wilson essentially replaced Mike Love with Van Dyke Parks as his primary lyricist collaborator after "Pet Sounds". After the resulting "Smile" project was abandoned due to internal strife, the Beach Boys minus Wilson re-invented themselves as primarily a nostalgia band, riding the crest of the wave that had formed under Brian's leadership, but whose new songs were weak imitations at best. Wilson himself never fully recovered from the demise of "Smile", although the recent successful reconstruction of this project has signified a partial recovery of his significant talents.

"An American Band" does its best to sugar-coat the conflicts, and has the look and feel of the "official story" of the band, like a 2 hour press conference in which the facts are sanitized. There are two pivotal moments in this video: one comes when squeaky-clean Bruce Johnston walks towards the camera looking like a televangelist, saying confidently with a straight face "We knew Brian was not going to be around [after "Smile"] but that we had to push on without him" (why?) The other highlight of the film is Brian's amazing solo performance of "Surf's Up" accompanying himself on the piano. "Surf's Up" expands the harmonic horizon beyond even "Good Vibrations", and is one of the most original, most beautiful, pop songs ever written.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Hugh
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great bargain. Fast service. Would recommend.
Published 2 months ago by Dr. David Hopper
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by James Lister
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
First movie is better than second.
Published 2 months ago by Danny Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story
Published 3 months ago by Alan R. Skuba
5.0 out of 5 stars The Boys still Got It
I Love it.
Published 3 months ago by Robert G. Daniels Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars nice reference
anything about Brian Wilson is good to have, but this is very thorough, leaves no stone unturned...unfortunately it leaves off too early but to date this seems to be the definitive... Read more
Published 5 months ago by wendy parson
5.0 out of 5 stars For the Beach boy fan
Husband loved it. Big beach boys fan. So it was hard to find something he hasn't seen. Nice touch with the Brian Wilson addition.
Published 9 months ago by Lori Goodson Flynn
4.0 out of 5 stars Just like she's still there, the way that I feel
This fine D.V.D. presents two documentaries: The 1985 feature THE BEACH BOYS: AN AMERICAN BAND and the 1995 television special BRIAN WILSON: I JUST WASN'T MADE FOR THESE TIMES. Read more
Published 10 months ago by J. L LaRegina
2.0 out of 5 stars Beach Boys
This was more of a documentary. Really didn't care for it. I didn't see anything about it as far as a documentary in the description.
Published 10 months ago by Pen Name
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