SPINNING GOLD – Review by T.J. Callahan

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Spinning Gold: The soundtrack of my teens.

Neil Bogart was the maestro of magic melodies as the founder of the most successful independent record company in history, Casablanca Records. Now his son, writer/director Timothy Scott Bogart, pays tribute to his father with a biopic that brings us behind the scenes at a production company that was a big gamble in more ways than one. We are observers and toe tappers watching Neil (Jeremy Jordan) spin music into gold records while his life, fueled by drugs and alcohol, spiraled out of control during the raucous 1970’s.

Spinning Gold is an over the top, frenetic and mostly true two plus hour three ring circus of top hits and how they were made by the P.T. Barnum of tunes that are the soundtrack of our lives. Jeremy Jordan plays Neil Bogart like he’s Chuck Barris and Casablanca Records is run like the Gong Show…crazy, colorful, talented musicians and just as zany producers behind the scenes who love what they do, but fly by the seat of their pants taking chances on what’s hot or not.

Go to Spinning Gold for your favorite songs from Kiss, Bill Withers, Donna Summer, Gladys Knight, Parliament, The Village People and The Isley Brothers. Keep in mind this film is not a documentary, but a biopic. Actors are playing caricatures of our favorite performers and producers….especially a totally unrecognizable Sebastian Maniscalco as Giorgio Moroder. Tayla Parx has Donna’s voice down, but looks nothing like Miss Summers.

No spoiler, Bogart died in 1982 of cancer, but he sure did produce an LP full of memories in his 39 years. Spinning Gold is fun, but you may want album notes to follow some of the action. It skips a few beats. My husband Ricky must be tone deaf. He slept through Shout It Out Loud…and half the film giving it one 👁open. Spinning Gold kept my fingers snapping though so I give it a 6 out of 10.

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T. J. Callahan

Texas Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster, T.J. Callahan switched gears from traffic and news reporting as a member of the Marconi Award winning Hudson and Harrigan Show on KILT in Houston to directing you to the right movie theatre as the resident film critic for Houston Radio Platinum and 101 Gold , Southern New Mexico's favorite radio station. Since 2009, T.J. has exclusively critiqued premiering films on such stations as KRMD in Shreveport, La., KILT in Houston, WCKT in Sarasota, Fla., as well as on The Chris X Blayney Show on The Liberty Eagle Radio Network and The Sam Malone Show on KNTH in Houston. Entertaining and informative, T.J. gets right to the point and lets you know whether the latest epic is worth your time. Listen to her Friday and Saturdays on houstonradioplatinum.com and on Friday afternoons on the Leslie T. Travis Show on KVLC FM in Las Cruces. T.J. is also a proud member of the Critics Choice Association and the Houston Film Critics Society. She truly believes everything in life is one degree of Blazing Saddles.