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My Dinner with Jimi (2003)

Justin Henry , Jason Boggs , Bill Fishman  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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My Dinner with Jimi + Shell Shocked: My Life with the Turtles, Flo and Eddie, and Frank Zappa, etc.
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Product Details

  • Actors: Justin Henry, Jason Boggs, Royale Watkins, Taylor Negron, Wendie Jo Sperber
  • Directors: Bill Fishman
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Micro Werks
  • DVD Release Date: June 23, 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0026LYLVK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,455 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Although he later received notoriety as a member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention and as half of the duo Flo & Eddie, Howard Kaylan is likely best remembered as the lead singer of the 1960s pop band the Turtles. It is this period of his life that Kaylan illustrates in his autobiographical screenplay for My Dinner With Jimi. Beginning right before the band hit it big with their single "Happy Together," the film follows Kaylan (played here by Justin Henry from Kramer vs. Kramer) as he and his bandmates struggle through gigs at small clubs and spend their free time hanging out in a deli, discussing the draft with Jim Morrison (Bret Roberts), Mama Cass (Lisa Brounstein), and Zappa (Adam Tomei). When their song hits number one on the charts, the Turtles head out to tour England, where they catch up with their old friend Graham Nash (Chris Soldevilla). Nash takes the band to a club where they meet the Beatles and Kaylan has a lengthy chat with John Lennon (Brian Groh). Further cementing his rapid transformation from fan to star, Kaylan is then introduced to Jimi Hendrix (Royale Watkins), leading to the titular dinner. Featuring a supporting cast led by George Wendt, John Corbett, and Curtis Armstrong, My Dinner With Jimi was directed by Bill Fishman, best known for his cult-classic directorial debut, 1988's Tapeheads. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you can remember the sixties... July 9, 2009
Format:DVD
At long last, the sixties as seen through the drug-addled orbs of a cat who was really there, living the high life with the Beatles and the Stones.
I first thought this was going to be a documentary...the Turtles released one in 1990 called Happy Together, so I assumed that this would be actual footage from back in the day.
BUT NO, my cats and kittens...
it is much, MUCH more than that.
First of all, it's a comedy, mostly, starring a bunch of fresh-faced kids in their twenties BEING the Turtles, the band from the sixties who were the first rock band to play at the White House. And while that particular story is not told in this volume, the author, Turtles' lead singer Howard Kaylan, has filled the screen for an hour and a half with enough stories to tell around rock and roll water coolers for decades to come.
It seems that fame was thrust suddenly upon Kaylan and his bandmates and we witness his early photo sessions,(with a moustached John Corbett playing Henry Diltz), we go backstage at the Whisky A-GoGo with their manager,(a suitable slimy George Wendt, and learn draft evasion from Frank Zappa's manager, Herb Cohen, (Curtis Armstrong).
The ordeal of prepping for the draft board exams, when both Howard (played by Acadamy Award nominee Justin Henry--Kramer Vs. Kramer), and Turtle partner Mark Volman (a wonderfully comic Jason Boggs) proceed to intoxicate themselves with abandon is only a set-up for the draft board sequence that follows...Taylor Negron is a standout here.
Where, I hear you ask, is Jimi?
Well, the title IS a bit deceiving.
But he's coming.
Not, however, before we meet Graham Nash, Donovan, The Moody Blues, Brian Jones, and, in an amazing scene, the Beatles themselves.
Folks, right here, you got your price of admission.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Celebration of Innocence Lost July 24, 2010
Format:DVD
I was so pleased to "discover" this film. As a member of a high school "cover" band in the late 1960s playing Beatles, Turtles, Rascals, Trogs, etc., I've been fascinated to see how badly modern films are at capturing the real Sixties as I remember them. Dark, moody, intellectualized, star-struck recreations miss the key point - that we were young, dumb, talented and clueless. There was an enormous innocence that gets lost in translation. But not here. This time a real participant in the pop rock scene tells us what it was really like - and it rings true to me. Sure it's a low-budget film that lingers too long on scenes that may only be meaningful to nostalgic Baby Boomer garage band members. But this was a bold little film since, rather than layering on the rock legends, it throws aside the rose-colored glasses and the bull analysis of rock "historians." The point is that we were all in awe of the Beatles and, as this film points out, they and Jimi Hendrix, and Zappa, and the rest were all just young talented people who were lucky enough to hit a pop culture wave. The Turtles were among the most tuneful bands, not deep, but upbeat and well orchestrated and great on stage. They were not, however, as pretty as the fabricated Monkees or Herman's Hermitts or other B-level Beatle-imitators. They were not as hard edged as the Stones, Doors, Animals, etc. or as goofy as the Bubblegum bands to which they are often wrongly linked. They had bad management and broke up by 1970. But they were part of the powerful West Coast wave that washed back over England after the British bands influenced us (and they in turn were influenced by American 50s rock). The Turtles were a light-hearted balance to the angst of the Doors and fell apart before they turned dark. Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Care About The 60's, Get This Film! July 2, 2009
Format:DVD
I just watched this tonight; it's wonderful. Screenplay by Howard Kaylan based on the Turtles 1966 rise to the top & 1967 visit to London. It was touching & hilarious, get this one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a gem! May 28, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Amazon wisely suggested this for me after I bought Howard Kaylan's new autobiography, Shell Shocked (great book, by the way). It looked interesting and I certainly knew of all the principals, so I ordered it.

What a delight! All of the events in the film are expanded upon in Shell Shocked and to see them "in the flesh" as it were made them even funnier. One of my favorite pieces depicted Howard's and Mark Volman's efforts to avoid the draft. Simply as storytelling it is hilarious, but for those of us who lived during the Vietman War era, it is hilarious and so very real. I personally knew so many guys who used so many of the same devices to obtain the blessed 4-F. Watching Howard and Mark do it made me smile (and laugh VERY hard).

The Turtles in London chapter of the film I just loved because I was/am so familiar with the players portrayed. Who WASN'T a huge fan of The Turtles, Donovan, Graham Nash, The Moody Blues, Brian Jones and of course, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix? I really think one has to have a complete familiarity with these other musicians and their impact to really appreciate this film and the events depicted. The Beatles are portrayed exactly as I imagined they were at the time. Jimi Hendrix is portrayed as such a kind, modest and gentle soul - as he stood at the precipice of his own stardom. I had always read such about him; it was nice to see it portrayed on film.

I was younger than my heroes depicted in this movie and therefore, these guys always seemed so very cool and floating above the rest of us. This little film gave a different perspective and closer to what they really were: young guys who were indeed very cool, but they were young guys just like the ones I knew - with all of the same insecurities, goofiness and hormones.
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