SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND: AMC's Carrollton 6, Aspen Hill 2, K-B Bethesda, K-B Cerberus I and II, Roth's Tysons Corner 5 and Springfield Mall Cinema 4.
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is a family rock musical, if that's not a contradiction in terms, from those wonderful folks who gave you "Grease," "Tommy" and "Saturday Night Fever." What they've done is think up a story to go with the songs from the Beatles' landmark "Sgt. Pepper" album of a decade ago.
Reigning teen heartthrob Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees (who, by the way, have got to have the skinniest thighs in the business) play the Lonely Hearts Club Band. The lads have got to get the original Sgt. Pepper instruments back from Mean Mr. Mustard so they can save Heartland, or some such thing. It's all about the triumph of love and goodness over evil - a bit much to take unless you're 13 and in love with Peter Frampton. Still, the movie's fun in a wholesome, innocent kind of way, and there are worse fates than having to look at Peter Frampton for two hours.
There are performances by all the latest rock stars, and you can tell how their careers are going by listening to the kids in the audience. Cheers for Aerosmith. Stomping and whistling for the Bee Gees. Squeals and sighs - lots of them - for Frampton. Polite applause for Alice Cooper, though, and not even a clap for Billy Preston or Stargard. They'll have to work on their name recognition factor.
The music isn't bad, but there's something more than a little blasphemous about hearing "She's Leaving Home" or "A Day in the Life" sung by the likes of the Bee Gees. Frampton sings the Beatles' songs "as they've never been sung before," it says in the press release.
Well yes they have been, as a matter of fact. And better. -K.C.S.