Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Popcorn - Movies about Music

Whilst I'm not very musically inclined (I'm pretty sure I've admitted before that the majority of my CD collection is just Broadway cast recordings) and I'm also 100% tone-deaf, but I still like living vicariously through other people's musical tastes and talents. Below are three mini-movie-reviews (100 words each) of some of my favourite films which heavily utilise the power of (rock) music. Feel free to share your favourite music-centric movies in the comments, as I love new film recs:

Bandslam (2009)
Directed by Todd Graff

I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by Bandslam. I taped it ages ago on our digital box and promptly forgot about it until the long weekend. As the film’s marketing heavily featured stars from the Disney channel, I figured Bandslam was strictly for tweens and one to miss. It managed to combine an enjoyable mix of coming-of-age story, teen romance, laugh-out-loud moments (there’s an especially funny/awkward hair-stroking scene) and a sensitive take on real adolescent issues. There’s also plenty of rock talk, excellent narration (I do love a good voice-over!) and some strong musical numbers. Definitely exceeded my expectations.

Detroit Rock City (1999)
Directed by Adam Rifkin

Four die-hard Kiss fans make the pilgrimage from Cleveland to Detroit to see the band perform. Detroit Rock City is part road-movie, part teenage-boy-fantasy (sex, drugs and rock’n’roll) and all up, it’s a pretty great film. For those who are a bit reserved, I feel I should warn you that there is a significant amount of swearing, drug references, vomit, all-male stripping revues and sex in a confession booth (but in a film about KISS,are you really surprised?). Every time I watch this movie, I feel a bit sad as it’s really Edward Furlong’s last decent role before his legal and substance abuse issues.

Empire Records (1995)
Directed by Allan Moyle
This is one of my all-time favourite films. Empire Records follows one day in the life of the employees of a struggling, independent music store as they try and stop it from becoming a corporate franchise. There are also shoplifters, an overly-tanned pop star, failed suicide attempts and plenty of rock-talk. The film captures a really genuine passion for music, as well as the co-worker bond and anecdotes to appeal to anyone who has worked in retail. It’s also super quotable and has a pretty great soundtrack, so definitely check it out. (question – has anyone seen the re-released version with all the deleted footage added back in? I am curious...)   


brave chickens said...

I thought the same about Bandslam, thought it was a rock version od High School Musical, haha.

OMG, I lovelovelove 'School of Rock'. Jack Black is hilariously awesome and the class of children are also pretty amazing.

btw, a book recommendation, which is similar to this 'coming-of-age and rock'n'roll' theme is 'Beige' by Cecil Castelluci. :)

Miss Friday said...

Hahaha Brave Chickens, my brother said the exact same thing "Why are you watching this? It's High School Musical with guitars".

I also love School of Rock!!!! and thanks for the book recommendation, will definitely have to check it out :)

Andi B. Goode said...

Hurrah for Empire Records! =D
I remember watching a mockumentary style film called 'Down and Out With the Dolls' that also has Coyote Shivers and rather enjoying that (about the rise and fall of a girl rock group in the mid 90s).
Josie and the Pussycats is definitely one of my favourites about music!
Ummm...blah, I'm sure there are about 100 more but can't think of any right now. =[
-Andi x

Miss Friday said...

Andi - ohhh Down and Out with the Dolls sounds great - will have to look for it! And I LOVEEEEE Josie and the Pussycats (I'll have to include that in my next list!)

Missie said...

Empire Records is in my movie hall of fame! But I hadn't heard of the others. Gonna go on netflix now to see if they are available. ;)

Music centered movies... of course I'm drawing a blank, but I do love watching dance centered movies!

Miss Friday said...

Missie - Empire Records is one of my all-time faves too! I saw Maxwell Caulfield perform in the musical Chicago when I went to London a few years ago and I was like 'It's Rex Manning day!' and my friend totally did not get the reference ....

and I love dance movies!! I'll have to make a seperate list of my faves :)

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