Howard Kaylan has always been a funny guy and his wit has served him well during his long career in the music business. The basic plot line for "My Dinner With Jimi" demonstrates that even when hobbled by copious amounts of alcohol Kalylan was capable of noticing the subtle yet important details around him.
For those who aren't up on their mid-sixties musical history, Kaylan was one of the two lead singers for the LA-based band, The Turtles, whose hits included "Happy Together" and "She'd Rather Be With Me." On their first tour to England in 1967 Kaylan met Jimi Hendrix as well as Brian Jones, Donovan, Graham Nash, and the Beatles. This movie tells the story of The Turtles' early successes and their fateful visit to the center of all things mod and groovy.
The daunting task of casting for the movie fell on the shoulder of director Bill Fishman. All the actors chosen bear an uncanny resemblance to their real-life characters. Royale Watkins captures Jimi Hendrix's combination of dreamy psychedelic style and savvy street smarts. Academy Award nominee Justin Henry plays Howard Kaylan and Jason Boggs plays Turtle Mark Volman. HBO Entourage star Jeremy Piven makes a cameo appearance as Frank Zappa – he captures Zappa's cynical banter perfectly.
Of course the soundtrack includes all of the Turtles' monster hits, as well as several lesser-known numbers. The sound quality throughout the movie is exceptionally good. You will be tempted to turn up the volume to 11. The picture quality on the DVD was better than I expected considering that it is a 16x9 aspect ratio movie that's letterboxed into a 4x3 frame. This uses only part of a DVD's available picture area and makes for a much smaller image size than if the movie used the whole frame. Small details suffer because of this transfer method, but fortunately video noise and artifacts never overly distracting.
If you want to get a sense of what it must have been like to be young, hip, and in the right place at the right time in 1967, see My Dinner With Jimi. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.