Reviews of Movies, TV shows & metro Detroit Restaurants

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Movie Review: "Phil Spector" (2013)

"Phil Spector" is an HBO movie very loosely based on the 2007 murder trial of famed music producer Phil Spector (and his wigs). Spector is played superbly by Al Pacino and I thought this movie was well made.

This movie only focuses on the timeframe associated with Spector's first murder trial inn 2007 where he is accused of killing his girlfriend Lana Clarkson (played by Meghan Marx in flashbacks). He is defended by Linda Kenney Baden (played by Helen Mirren), who Spector tells his story to, including his history with respect to his time & achievements as a record producer. This part of the movie is excellent, as Spector indeed was a genius at his craft. The movie also shows his explosive, manic & paranoid side as well, which Pacino plays with just the right amount of craziness. And most importantly, the movie goes into his troubled history with women. It also does a very good job showing how Baden builds her defense of Spector and how she uses the evidence at hand to prove her case, that he didn't really kill Clarkson. The interplay between Spector & Baden is very good, thanks to the fine performances delivered by Pacino & Mirren. Again, this is about the first trial which ends with a hung jury and thus a mistrial. It is not until 2009 that he is convicted of the murder.

This movie definitely shows Spector as an interesting character who is pretty much a nutjob. But it also does a very good job of digging into the evidence and allowing the audience to determine whether or not they think he's guilty. If this movie is even remotely true, I don't believe he committed the murder. This movie opens up with this disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. It’s not “based on a true story." Maybe this is director David Mamet's preemptive strike against lawsuits, critics, etc. Regardless, Mamet does an excellent job of creating a compelling movie about Phil Spector.

I liked this movie...7.0/10 stars

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