Jump to content
Cameron H.

Musical Mondays--Week 3--Tommy

Recommended Posts

tommy-movie-poster.jpg

 

"Tommy can you hear me? Oh, good! You can. Because we really need to talk..."

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

HEADLINE: TOMMY SPEAKS!

Second lead: Turns out most of what he has to say is about being a clumsy Jesus allegory.

 

TommyHangGliding.jpg

 

 

EscapeFromLA4.jpg

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

So what's the etiquette and rules about this? Do we allow Tom to chime in first with his thoughts as it was his selection or do we just all pile in on this thing?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

So what's the etiquette and rules about this? Do we allow Tom to chime in first with his thoughts as it was his selection or do we just all pile in on this thing?

 

I don't know. What would Tommy do? Nevermind, he'd probably just hang glide and do shirtless cartwheels on the beach...

 

Go ahead and say what you want. :)

 

ETA: Do you want us to pencil you in for a pick, Cam?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I'm finding the pressure of having to pick in a couple of weeks very daunting. My short list is down to about 5 movies, and I'm not sure if I should go for what I think is awesome or what I know is ripe for scathing discussion or what has aged badly or what I'm just irrationally fond of. It's a good daunting though! I assume that we'll get a chance to pick again once we've cycled through once!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Firstly, yes thank you. I know I'm at the bottom but that's good because it gives me time to think.

 

I don't even know where I want to begin with this film... I mean it's been hinted at but can we have a discussion of the Uncle Ernie character? I found this be an extremely off putting character and part of the movie. I mean the music is heavy but the lyrics, the wardrobe and acting put this character in a more comedic light. Tommy's age at this point is debatable so it may just be that he's a pervert who rapes a boy because he's blind, deaf and dumb or it could be that he's also a pedophile. I guess I need to go back a bit. So Tommy's mother is worried because she believe he's had too much to drink, but yet Oliver Reed seems to know the truth about Uncle Ernie but doesn't care. This is at least in keeping with his character but what does this scene add to the story or the film? The previous scene was him being tortured by his cousin and his mother being oblivious to it, and we've seen how little Frank cares for him already. If you wanted us to know the degree to which he is being used and abused why not have a number that hints or alludes to many not just two "uncles" and "cousins" that were cruel to him and did things to him? Oh that's right that might require subtly which based on the on the nose symbolism of this film, they weren't use to alluding but rather stating everything. Rather Uncle Ernie's scene just repeats information that we've already heard and seen.

 

Two more things about Uncle Ernie. One, and this goes by pretty quickly, the paper which he is reading when caught by Frank is a gay newspaper. Now you can read this one of two ways, one he's such a pervert he even reads gay newspapers or two that he is in fact gay. If it was the prior, it's a horrible example of using homosexuality for humor. If it's the later, it's just a horrible example of many gay tropes. Second, if it were one scene you could almost right it off and pretend it didn't happen but the character of Uncle Ernie keeps popping up later in the movie just reminding you of that awful bit.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

Just a quick observation: does anyone else kind of feel like Capt. Walker deserved it? What the fuck was he doing sneaking into their house in the middle of the night? Pick up the phone, bro! Was he trying "catch her in the act?" What act? The world thinks you've been dead long enough for them to erect a memorial statue in your honor! Don't be creeping into my house, while I'm having sex, looking like a scarred up monster, and not expect me to slice your jugular with my bedside lamp.

 

You suck, Captain Walker!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Okay, what in the hell???

 

What did I fucking watch!? Like I knew the movie was crazy but this is next level bonkers shit and I'm genuinely wondering why it hasn't been done for the podcast yet. But then I think about June and she would have fucking haaaated this movie.

 

I'm still very confused as to how Tommy became blind, deaf, and dumb... Was he just traumatized so much that his body reacted that way? Cause they show his mom and Frank yelling at him that he didn't see or hear anything and then boom he literally can't see or hear anything. Cause that really makes sense... ???

 

Then later on Christmas his mother is singing about he's never known Jesus and he'll never be saved? Lady you had what appears to be around 8 whole years of this kid hearing and seeing you so that's on you for not talking to him about religion.

 

And I know Cam Bert talked about how we got two back to back scenes of him being abused but honestly we got 3 because Tina Turner straight up drugs him and rapes him. That's some fuuuucked up shit this movie keeps doing to this guy.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Firstly, yes thank you. I know I'm at the bottom but that's good because it gives me time to think.

 

I don't even know where I want to begin with this film... I mean it's been hinted at but can we have a discussion of the Uncle Ernie character? I found this be an extremely off putting character and part of the movie. I mean the music is heavy but the lyrics, the wardrobe and acting put this character in a more comedic light.

 

The cartoonish-ness of this scene is precisely why I think it is even more disturbing and uncomfortable. And I do think that was intentional. However, it's a very difficult thing to watch.

 

 

I'm still very confused as to how Tommy became blind, deaf, and dumb... Was he just traumatized so much that his body reacted that way?

 

It's all psychosomatic. That's what weirdly lecherous Dr. Jack Nicholson tells them anyway. It's not so much that he can't physically see, hear and speak, just that the trauma of seeing his father's murder has made him retreat into his own head. When Ann-Margret "smashes the mirror" he is snapped back into reality.

 

What I did like about this movie is the idea that his naivete and purity make him blind to all the parasites that surround him--he can't even see that Uncle Ernie is a total creep! It doesn't matter that his message is advocating some kind of hippie Utopia, because ultimately, since he isn't "world-wise," he gets taken advantage of and his message gets corrupted. Also, I like the idea that his road map to enlightenment is next to impossible--which, let's face it-- was never going to be easy.

 

What I really didn't like was the reworked versions of The Who's songs into this synth-rock nightmare. I mean, the Overture is nigh unlistenable, especially when you compare it to this:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKdusyjiuvY

 

Also, any songs that weren't on the original album but written specifically for this. Do we really need two (very long) "Ernie's Holiday Camp" songs? I say, nay! It's a already a weak spot on the album--as are most Keith Moon compositions

burn

--and it's only there to flesh out the story. I've got an idea, instead of lengthening one of the most annoying songs ever, let's just have competent songwriter Pete Townsend write a brand new song...

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I'm finding the pressure of having to pick in a couple of weeks very daunting. My short list is down to about 5 movies, and I'm not sure if I should go for what I think is awesome or what I know is ripe for scathing discussion or what has aged badly or what I'm just irrationally fond of. It's a good daunting though! I assume that we'll get a chance to pick again once we've cycled through once!

 

 

It kind of is, isn't it? I wanted mine to be something I'd never seen before, but still (hopefully) watchable and fun--especially since it was the going to be the second movie chosen. I didn't want to burn out people too fast and pick garbage. But then, of course, here comes Prnicess Party Pooper herself, Taylor Anne, trying to make me second guess my pick...I think we got a conversation out of Hairspray, though.

 

I have a list of movies on my desktop though that I've been adding to as I think of them. And I would strongly recommend you all be nice to me, because I can make your lives a living Hell if I so choose...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Unlike Cameron, I didn't have much of a relationship with the original concept album, and I never saw the stage play either, so this was my first real in to 'Tommy', which I knew nothing about aside from the song 'Pinball Wizard'. Whatever I was expecting... it was not this. The montage of how Tommy's parents met and wooed and loved and then how he died prior to Tommy's birth? Wow. Talk about asking the audience to do all the work and get exactly zero emotional connection with the father figure - perhaps intentionally knowing that Oliver Reed's just going to beat his brains out in a few minutes.

 

One thing I'll say about most of this, is that everyone really commits. Ann-Margret, Tina Turner, Elton John, even his two awful babysitters, all leave it all there on the screen. Yeah, lots of scene-chewing, but it seemed appropriate. I had been forewarned about 'Fiddle About' so it was less creepy than I expected (when it was described I feared it was going to feature the sweet little boy playing Tommy as a child) but it's still horrible. The fact that Keith Moon shows up in the next scene to wreck his drum kit during the pinball scene (a TERRIFIC scene, I might say) really undercut how we're supposed to feel about this pervo. Setting fire to his newspaper but then asking him back to be The Who's Keith Moon? Eep. Loved Elton's stilt-boots.

 

We are of course aware that Ann-Margret was nominated for an Oscar for this? And won a Golden Globe for it?

 

And when have you seen Oliver Reed look happier than when he was guzzling those 'prop' beers?

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

 

We are of course aware that Ann-Margret was nominated for an Oscar for this? And won a Golden Globe for it?

 

 

c3b00da29689ddb3020806a5e4cc61a0051be663.gif?w=600&q=65&dpi=1&h=240

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

But then, of course, here comes Prnicess Party Pooper herself, Taylor Anne, trying to make me second guess my pick...I think we got a conversation out of Hairspray, though.

Woah there jerrycanada was the one who brought up the superior original first and I just agreed with him. How dare you, sir!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Woah there jerrycanada was the one who brought up the superior original first and I just agreed with him. How dare you, sir!

 

tumblr_m464qgCVlP1r2g67h.gif

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

 

tumblr_m464qgCVlP1r2g67h.gif

tumblr_n9vne6DpkG1smcbm7o1_250.gif

 

(there are a lot of really serious forgiveness - or lack there of - gifs out there)

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I went on to google to find images of the scene at the end where all of the pinball machines are smashed and junked as the crowd goes into a frenzy at Tommy's camp, as I couldn't stop thinking of that thread here in the forum last year about pinball machines and the people who collect them. As I was looking, I found this amazing listicle, which is very useful in unpacking the significance of the pinball machine and why it's such a big deal in 'Tommy':

 

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/g284/4328211-new/

 

Of particular interest to us is point #5, which won't let me copy and paste it because listicles are the worst. But I think it's interesting!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

CakeBug Tranch, on 16 January 2017 - 09:39 AM, said:

 

 

We are of course aware that Ann-Margret was nominated for an Oscar for this? And won a Golden Globe for it?

 

Did Jack Nicholson win a Oscar for his singing in this picture?

 

w8mcs5.jpg

 

In my mind, The Who's Tommy is the true life story of Tommy Wiseau

 

He's a Pinball wizerd!!!

 

23vjq8p.jpg

 

btw that pinball machine can be seen here.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

HEADLINE: TOMMY SPEAKS!

Second lead: Turns out most of what he has to say is about being a clumsy Jesus allegory.

 

there is a surf scene that is much the same as the one in No Escape from LA.

 

I had some who records at one point in time, when I had taken up guitar playing, it's easy stuff to learn really quickly. and you get sick of learning house of the rising sun. But I first had seen The Tommy Movie on canada's much music station, back in the days when they played movies rather then music videos, now it's all realty tv shows. I am sure MTV is the sameway now, but I never watch any of those stations anymore so I would not know.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGa70tVYVKo

 

2min mark, if you want to fast forward it, but why would you do that, this is a kick ass song.

 

Ohh my, two hours gone from my life. every time I check ear wolf boards..

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Maybe it's because everyone had already talked about it, so I thought it was going to be a lot worse, but I didn't find the Uncle Ernie scene all that disturbing. Like, I don't care for the idea of them using sexual assault in the way they do, but they also don't really show anything and the assault is implied.

 

However, I do have a major problem with him reading the "Gay News" paper afterwards. To me, that was the movie suggesting that Ernie assaulted Tommy because he was gay. Remember: this was 1975, and the trope of gay characters as perverts and rapists was still a thing (hell, it still is today sometimes). It was more bothersome to me that they were suggesting that Ernie's homosexuality was what made him a pedophile than the actual act of assault itself.

 

That said: the one scene I found MOST disturbing was the fuckin' beans (and, to a lesser extent, the chocolate) during "Champagne." I felt so bad for Ann-Margret. Here she is - a well-known actress at the time - and they're like, "yeah, wallow around in these goddamn beans." I can't believe she wasn't like, "Bitch, I was in Viva Las Vega. You wallow around in the beans." I wonder how many times she had to wash her hair to get all the beans out of it.

 

I honestly spaced out during the last 20 minutes or so after that. I saw Tommy fly in on a hang-glider and was aware of Nora and Frank dying, but I don't even care what happened.

 

Everything about this movie was so heavy handed. I kind of wondered if I would have hated it less if I was actually a fan of The Who, but based on the responses in this thread so far, I doubt it. From the word go, this movie was a colossal piece of shit. The opening romance was bad enough because it did nothing to build any characters. It was pretty much just, "Here was this character. Here's this other character. They're in love now. He's going to war. She's staying behind. Now his plane is going down. Now it's VE-Day. Now she's having a baby." It's feels like a catalog of events rather than a story. There's no pathos to anything in this movie, so it's all kind of like, "Oh, so that's a thing that happened, I guess."

 

The worst offender, though, is right after Ann-Margret scream-sings "You didn't see it!" about 45 times in a row. The first lines of "The Amazing Journey" are "Now he's deaf; now he's dumb; now he's blind." How about you do your fucking job as a movie and show us that shit instead of just explaining what we're literally watching on-screen! Songs in musicals are supposed to fill in what's happening in the movie, not describe what they are too lazy to show us.

 

Fuck. This. Movie.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

 

there is a surf scene that is much the same as the one in No Escape from LA.

 

I had some who records at one point in time, when I had taken up guitar playing, it's easy stuff to learn really quickly. and you get sick of learning house of the rising sun.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGa70tVYVKo

 

2min mark, if you want to fast forward it, but why would you do that, this is a kick ass song.

 

The fisherman on the right pulling in the net, just before Tommy runs into the surf (1.59), looks just like Sean Connery in either Zardoz or Highlander 2. I choose to believe it really is him.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Just a quick observation: does anyone else kind of feel like Capt. Walker deserved it? What the fuck was he doing sneaking into their house in the middle of the night? Pick up the phone, bro! Was he trying "catch her in the act?" What act? The world think you've been dead long enough for them to erect a memorial statue in your honor! Don't be creeping into my house, while I'm having sex, looking like a scarred up monster, and not expect me to slice your jugular with my bedside lamp.

 

You suck, Captain Walker!

 

I sort of always had taken that as him being his ghost, haunting the couple from the dead. or was it, his and get ready for it. his

 

 

Capt. Walker ladder!

2rmlf02.jpg He was just learning that his ex wife was not really a devil but an angel freeing him from his body!

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

That said: the one scene I found MOST disturbing was the fuckin' beans (and, to a lesser extent, the chocolate) during "Champagne." I felt so bad for Ann-Margret. Here she is - a well-known actress at the time - and they're like, "yeah, wallow around in these goddamn beans." I can't believe she wasn't like, "Bitch, I was in Viva Las Vega. You wallow around in the beans." I wonder how many times she had to wash her hair to get all the beans out of it.

 

i just came in to say essentially the same thing. That scene was gross. Ann-Margret was a real trooper.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

 

I sort of always had taken that as him being his ghost, haunting the couple from the dead.

 

Nah, man. They kill him via lamp in front of Tommy. That's what fucks him up--or at least--that's a huge part of what fucks him up.

Share this post


Link to post

That said: the one scene I found MOST disturbing was the fuckin' beans (and, to a lesser extent, the chocolate) during "Champagne." I felt so bad for Ann-Margret. Here she is - a well-known actress at the time - and they're like, "yeah, wallow around in these goddamn beans." I can't believe she wasn't like, "Bitch, I was in Viva Las Vega. You wallow around in the beans." I wonder how many times she had to wash her hair to get all the beans out of it.

Oh my god I blacked that out because I was so genuinely disgusted by that whole thing. Like genuinely sick to my stomach disgusted.

 

I fucking hate beans and I fucking hate this movie.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×