Sunday, May 11, 2014


My favorite fictional depiction of Brian Jones is in the film, My Dinner With Jimi (which is also an excellent movie). In that film, he's portrayed as a laid back, music lover musician, which is the how most of us probably want to remember him. My least favorite portrayal of Brian Jones is in this film, Stoned, known in The UK as The Wild and Wycked World of Brian Jones.

A lot of this has to do with my disappointment in Stoned not giving the viewer much of a clue into what made Brian Jones who he was. The dynamics of The Rolling Stones as a group and how they rose to fame is only brushed upon in some brief flashbacks. (These flashbacks are actually the best part of the film.) Instead, we get a portrait of a drug addled musician corrupting a carpenter/handyman, Frank Thorogood, who is hired to "look after" Jones. The handyman, who never realizes that he is out of his depth, slowly descends into the "rock lifestyle" and this film represents him as the killer of Jones.

Stoned features Leo Gregory as Brian Jones and unfortunately he bears little resemblance to Brian, but instead just looks like an actor in a bad wig. Gregory is much to "gaunt" to portray Brian, and in fact in many shots, he reminded me more of David Spade. Oddly, the actors playing the other Rolling Stone members all bear a passing resemblance to their real life counter points. Speaking of casting, David Morrisey as Rolling Stones "minder/fixer" Tom Keylock, is the standout actor in the film. The real Keylock was a consultant on the movie and while he named Thorogood as the killer in real-life, he himself was always suspected as being the actual murderer of Jones.

Probably the best part of Stoned is the soundtrack, which features only one Rolling Stones contribution, Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain". The rest of the soundtrack features Robert Johnson himself, plus songs from Jefferson Airplane, White Stripes, The Bees, Kula Shaker, Traffic and 22-20's. If nudity offends you, then be forewarned there are lots of topless women and full frontal male nudity in Stoned. None of this offended me, I was more offended by this terrible waste of a biopic, Brian Jones deserved much better.