Timothy Scott Bogart is the son of the subject of “Spinning Gold,” Neil Bogart, an American record executive, played by Jeremy Jordan. Timothy is this film’s writer, director and producer about the beginning of Casablanca Records and his father, Neil Jordan, the man who made the label, against all odds, come to life.
I enjoyed some aspects of the film, but where its trouble may have been could be in the fact that director Bogart is wearing too many hats and might have wanted to get some help directing the film, the biggest issue I had while watching.
When you go into the theater to watch a film about a music company, whether a big chunk of it is about the creator or not, what you expect is to see a myriad of artists and hear a good deal of the music that you grew up hearing, which is what this movie promises.
About thirty minutes in, you do get some, which finally has you waking from your nap, but it’s short-lived and you find yourself yawning again. Neil Bogart had once worked at Buddah Records. I remember my sister having some records from that label. What?? I’m kidding. I’m way too young for that. Yeah. Anyway, Bogart left to create Casablanca Records, Gladys Knight & The Pips was another act he ducked out with. Where was their music?
Donna Summer, KISS, The Isley Brothers, The Village People, and Bill Withers were all clients, but you’d barely know it. Some were only discussed. The most significant focus was on how Donna Summer was discovered and brought into the fold, which was very engaging, if not hard to believe, and you get very little music. When we finally get some snippets, that’s the GOLD from the title.
KISS and how they came and stayed on board was another act the movie concentrated on. Hearing a bit of their origin story was provocative, but they sounded like spoiled brats. If all true, you’ll be asking yourself how and why Bogart took stock in them. Again, more music would have been excellent.
The movie was okay, but I wanted to love this movie. I feel that with a bigger budget, help with the script and some better direction, focusing less on a couple when they first met, and drilling further into the career part of the man who made this all happen, would have been what our ears were looking for. Simply removing a bit of dull dialogue here and there would have helped.
Yes, Neil never got the recognition he deserved. Tell us that, but dig deeper into what you’re selling your audience, too. Neil Bogart, who took his last name from the famous actor, realized too late that when he started Casablanca Records, he over-advertised and over-promoted. Timothy does the same thing here, leaving us with only brass to clutch. Luckily, there’s Spotify.
Writer/Director: Timothy Scott Bogart
Cast: Jeremy Jordan, Michelle Monaghan, Jay Pharoah, Lyndsy Fonseca, Dan Fogler, Peyton List, James Wolk, Michael Ian Black, Chris Redd, Vincent Pastore, Nick Sandow, with Sebastian Maniscalco, and Jason Isaacs.
Rated: R (Some Sexual Material|Drug Use|Pervasive Language|Nudity)
Run Time: 2h 17m
Genre: Drama, Music, Biography
Producer: Brad Bogart, Timothy Scott Bogart, David Haring, Laurence Mark, Jessica Martins, Gary A. Randall, Chris Torto, Neil Dunn, Harvey Mason Jr.
Distributor: Variance Films