As the undeniable force behind the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson led the group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Through a richly woven tapestry of candid interviews with family, friends, peers and Wilson himself, I Just Was... more »n't Made For These Times chronicles his remarkable, tumultuous life. This insightful documentary captures the playfulness, genius and unconquerable spirit of an American pop visionary. Includes trailer.« less
"This documentary captures Brian Wilson as he is today -- mature, brilliant, still disturbed but clearly holding it together and still making music. Brian comes across as human and vulnerable, a modest man who quite literally changed the world. The unabashadly glowing tributes afforded him by such rock luminaries as David Crosby, Graham Nash, Tom Petty, Linda Rondstadt and others demonstrate the high regard Brian is held in by people who understand rock and roll music and its impact on our culture. These folks know the score and they're here to tell you that Brian Wilson is the man.Any Brian Wilson or Beach Boys fan should enjoy this wonderful film. More to the point, anybody who thinks Brian Wilson or The Beach Boys are lightweight or irrelevant should invest a couple of hours watching this film. It is simply outstanding."
An utterly heartbreaking bittersweet portrait of a genius
Robert M. Burlingam Jr. | Villas, NJ United States | 04/11/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Brian Wilson-The Heart and Soul of one of the greatest american rock bands of all time, the Beach Boys. Though the Beach Boys stand among rock's elite enshrined forever within the Rock N' Roll of Fame, It was Brian WIlson's genius, his vision and his dictatorial quest of perfection thats what gotten them there.Brain Wilson, an ubused child, grew up in the hedonistic environment of sunny California, were the 50's and early sixties placed california not only as a state-but as a state of mind. In time, Brian Wilson obtained the knack of songwriting and in return gave us timeless music; "surfer Girl", "I Get around", "California Girls", "Good Vibrations" and the monumental songcycle Pet Sounds-just to name a few. What he got in return was dissension, pain and mental illness. Though he has made a somewhat recovery from his illness, he still suffers today. Though still spirited and active, it is painfully obvious that his best days and work are clearly behind him. He has made brief well-produced efforts: his first self titled solo album (1989) and the recent Imagination (1998). This Video also has an improptu performance of wilson and Van Dyke Parks with "Orange Crate Art" from the 1995 album of the same name. Don Was captured wilson as a tired, but enlightened old warhorse, his looks and voice now more mellow, more tattered than the adrenilene-drenched 21 year old whose pristine voice, four-part harmony, and inventive bass patterns propelled him and his band to legendary status.The video recounts the Beach Boys heyday, culminating with the 1966 Melody Maker poll of the band being the "number one world's best band" over the Beatles. Equally touching is the participation of his daughters Carnie and Wendy (of Wilson-Phillips) on the 1968 hit "Do it Again", were Wilson still has the chops and has fun showing them off. Other performances-such as "Caroline No" and "Til I Die" recount Wilsons Highs and lows without any nuance of nostalgia.The video was primarily intended to educate fans and inquirers of who Brian Wilson was and what contributions he's made to rock and pop. Often written-off as a burnt-out, crazy sixties drug addict, the film gives a new dimension (one without Beach Boy limitations)to the man and the artist. This film, originally presented on cable's Disney Channel, serves as a document-a sort of snapshot-to how Brian Wilson emerged from mental illness and craziness to a model of self-respect and self-dignity that everyone can appreciate."
Brilliant, gut-wrenching look at a musical genius
John Cobb | Austin, TX | 02/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm just young enough to have missed the Beach Boys when they hit big the first time around, but was right on schedule when the double LP, "Endless Summer" recharged their careers. Now they've gone through how ever many different incarnations, and Brian Wilson has been tabloid fodder many times over the past 10 years or so.Famed music-producer Don Was decided it was his honor to pay tribute to a man who, indeed, was a musical genius, a man who's artistry influenced so, so many, both in the music business, and beyond.In different ways, Keith Richards, through `Hail, Hail, Rock and Roll' (the life of Chuck Berry), and Bruce Springsteen, with his `Roy Orbison, A Black and White Night' made wonderful, lasting tributes to men who's musical contributions were cornerstone to a generation. After watching this film, I find Brian Wilson no less deserving.The film is honest and fairly raw. There are many generous tributes from incredible stars, as well as recounts from family and friends. The framework is Wilson himself, telling his story, and this, of course is many times difficult to watch just due to the deterioration Wilson has experienced over his life. He seems lucid, and his memory is strong, but he struggles with speech and his focus is not real sharp at times.It's a wonderful tribute, lovingly crafted. Music buffs and documentary hounds should lap this one up."
Not Your Average Stupid Pet Tricks
John Cobb | 07/19/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a stark, disturbing, and ultimately, an enlightening look at one of the greatest musical minds of the 20th Century. Has a tendency to gloss over things a bit (relationships with other Beach Boys, family members, etc) but provides many interesting aspects on how his creative process works. And to think that he did it by dissecting Four Freshmen records note by note!"
Brian Wilson-"I Just Wasn't Made For These Times"
John Cobb | 05/05/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A stunning yet disturbing portait of a true musical genius. Paul and John had eachother, Brian had only himself, with little group participation other than critisism. This powerful documentary proves, through all his struggles, his music will last forever."