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As a huge fan of 80s Hard Rock, I was really looking forward to seeing Rock
Star. As the movie started I was more than satisfied. A lot of the early
scenes were funny and entertaining. The concert scenes made me feel like I
was actually there. One major compliment I give this movie is that they made
the songs from the fictional band STEEL DRAGON sound realistic for the time
period the movie is in. If I didn't know better, I could've been fooled into
thinking Steel Dragon was a real band, and all their songs actually were
made in the mid 80s. The underdog portion of the story may not be original,
but it still works none the less. And by the time Wahlberg's character was
in his first concert with the band, I really thought Rock Star could be one
of the coolest movies of the year.
But at about the halfway point, I was lost. The second half of this movie could've really used a lot of work on the script. I say that the second half of the script needed work, but what I should say is the second half of the movie actually could've used a script, period. The second half is held together by some predictable sequences, all telling the story of a guy indulging in the rock star life, which we've all heard and seen a thousand times. There were very few moments that actually were used to progress the story.
But I don't want to give the impression that Rock Star was no good. Although some of the movie didn't work, I still had a blast watching it. The music is what really holds it together. Both the original songs written for the film (Steel Dragon), and the background songs used. It's not often that you can hear bands like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Kiss, and Motley Crue used in a movie. And like I said before, the concert scenes are awesome.So for people who love great 80s Rock, this movie will be a lot of fun.
Rock Star is an average movie, with an above average soundtrack. Not a perfect film, but it provides enough entertainment for your money.
Surprisingly well-acted, well-written movie about hard rockin'-but-decent young man getting that much-hoped-for ticket to stardom: his favorite heavy metal band wants him to replace their lead singer. Not far-fetched, the film tries keeping things in perspective and doesn't go over-the-top; it certainly makes you think twice about those lingering adolescent fantasies about being in the music business. But the script, despite solid dialogue, follows a tried-and-true, formulaic pattern, and gets bogged down by its own clichés in the final act. I enjoyed it much more than the sugary fluffball "Almost Famous". It has a nice, bitter edge to go with its heavy metal decadence, but a stronger finish might've made it more memorable. **1/2 from ****
ROCK STAR / (2001) *** (out of four)
By Blake French:
"Rock Star" is the story of a nobody who becomes propelled into fame, only to realize living his dream is not the way he imagined it. We have seen all this before (in better movies), but this human story does capture the world of rock and roll with a brutally honest and insightful edge. It garners a recommendation because of its visualization of the atmosphere. The script, by "Crazy/Beautiful" director John Stockwell, portrays the hard-core universe with memorable images-it doesn't explain what it is about, it shows us.
"Rock Star," originally titled "Metal God," stars Mark Wahlberg as Chris "Izzy" Cole, a Pittsburgh office supplies salesperson who dreams of becoming Bobby Beers, the fiery lead singer for the heavy metal rock group, Steel Dragon. Although Chris already sings for his own tribute rock group called Blood Pollution, instead of writing his own songs, he insists on performing only those by Steel Dragon, and only in the exact way they perform them. His group becomes irritated with Chris' obsessions and gives him the boot.
This devastates Chris, as well as his supportive parents and faithful girlfriend, Emily (Jennifer Aniston from TV's "Friends"). He then receives a phone call. It's the Steel Dragon band. They have seen Chris' tapes and want him to replace the recently fired lead singer. In an instant, Chris rockets into the dizzying world of sudden stardom-from the biggest rock fan to the biggest rock star. Unfortunately, it's not as rewarding as he expected.
A true story inspired the "Rock Star" concept. An Ohio supply salesman, Tim "Ripper" Owens, really did replace Rob Halford, the lead singer in Judas Priest, after initially singing for a tribute band. The rest of the film is probably fiction, although most of what happens must represent the experiences of many other bands. The film details the various ordeals of being a rock star. It explores the aspects of touring, personality differences, the danger of drug abuse and violence, struggling relationships, sexual freedom, dishonesty, and the extreme measures of the producers all to please the fans and keep popularity high.
I have seen all of Mark Wahlberg's movies, and this is the first that has earned my affection. Wahlberg, a former singer/model, has made movies like "Fear," "Boogie Nights" "Three Kings," and most recently Tim Burton's lacking remake "Planet of the Apes." I am starting to admire the young actor more and more. Although he has not performed in many successful films, he has taken many chances, and done a variety of roles. "Rock Star" is his best film to date. I can't think of many actors who could have convincingly portrayed Chris Cole's struggles and aspirations. Wahlberg truly makes "Rock Star" rock.
Jennifer Aniston lights up the screen as well. She creates a chemistry-rich relationship with Chris that induces audience participation. It's tragic of what happens to their relationship. We care about these characters a great deal.
During the film concert scenes, director Stephen Herek (who also directed "Holy Man" and the live action version of "101 Dalmatians") creates a gripping atmosphere. He captures the scenes with an intense urgency, and a raw, unmistakable energy. The musical numbers provide the film with the best, most involving scenes.
Unfortunately Herek cannot sustain the energy and zest throughout. At the three-quarters mark, he looses the spark as the movie becomes dull and unpleasant. I understand where the story needs to go in order to portray the negative side of fame, but this movie loses everything it previously had going for it. In "Almost Famous," a much better film about rock and roll, there is a certain amount of interest and life in even the most sorrowful scenes. Here, it feels as if the filmmakers lose their passion.
The message comes a bit too late and suddenly in the story. The film turns into a morality tale that wants to provide us with a sappy destination. The filmmakers might as well stop everything, appear on screen and say: "now audience, the moral of the story is " We understand the theme, but it's too instantaneous. The personal discovery for Chris' must be gradual.
Fortunately, all of this happens in the last twenty-five minutes of the film, hardly enough to completely destroy an entire eighty-five minutes of a reasonably good feature. "Rock Star" is not a great movie-see "Almost Famous" if you want a remarkable film about rock and roll-but for Marky Mark, it's a turning point in his career.
I must admit I wasn't expecting much on this movie. I was surprised I truly
enjoyed it as much as I did. The script wasn't oscar material, but it
wasn't horrible either. The acting was great by Mark Wahlberg. Jennifer
Aniston had a great supporting role, and looked lovely as ever. What made
this movie for me was the music. If you do not like 80's glam metal or hair
bands, then you probably wont like this movie. Its all about being a
rockstar. Some cliche's were present, but didn't bring down the movie at
all. I would recommend it to anyone who likes rock and roll and remember to
Stand up and Shout!!!
8 of 10 for great acting and awesome music.
Where have all the rock stars gone? The bubble gum pop bands with their
virginal image and the hip hopping wannabe baddies bore me. Where's the
flash and excess of groups like Led Zeppelin, or the old Motley Crue? These
were the hard rocking, and even harder partying bands who brought the sex
and drugs to rock n' roll. Whether trashing hotel rooms, engaging in
debauchery that would make Caligula blush, or caught up in a deluge of
chemicals and booze, there were no half measures. Women wanted them and men
wanted to be them. Sometimes, life is good.
Life as a photocopier repairperson is less than riveting. For Chris Cole the only way to cope with the daily tedium of toner and paper jams is in his alternate guise as the lead singer in a "Steel Dragon" tribute band. Chris acts, dresses and sounds like his idol, hoping beyond all reason that one day he will join his idols. Lucky for him, rock and roll is a fickle business.
As anyone who follows heavy metal (or reads previews) knows, "Rock Star" is loosely based on the true story of salesman-turned-heavy-metal-frontman Tim "Ripper" Owens, who was tapped to fill in as lead singer for Judas Priest when Rob Halford left the band. However, the similarities end there - when Judas Priest pressed for increased creative control over the project, the producers opted to distance themselves from the band and change the story and the exploits of "Steel Dragon" are a composite of several apocryphal rock legends.
With strong performances in such films as "Three Kings" and "The Perfect Storm" Mark Wahlberg has proven that he is more than a living underwear mannequin. Wahlberg brings the same combination of innocence and wide-eyed wonderment to Chris that he displayed in "Boogie Nights" (without displaying much else). These qualities keep Chris' transformation from nobody to rock god from becoming a ridiculous parody. Keeping him grounded is Jennifer Aniston as his girlfriend/manager, the one person who realizes his talents and for once Aniston breaks free of Rachel, and delivers a decent performance. The supporting cast, drawn from real rockers and solid character actors, gel well onscreen. Overall, the story is well paced, light-hearted, the soundtrack is great (I felt my head moving back and forth more than once) and you actually buy the group as a real band. Definitely worth the price of admission, and remember not to leave before the outtakes are finished.
Nothing really unpredictable in this movie, but a solid flick in all respects. Everything from acting to cinematography was solid. Not a perfectly linear plot line, but there wasn't anything you couldn't see coming. Perhaps a tad melodramatic at points, but again, a fairly decent movie none the less. Definitely worth checking out. If in doubt of what film to rent over the weekend, give this a go. Though you may not feel like running out and buying it, I found it to be quite worth while.
I've been looking forward to the release of this movie since I first heard
the concept two years ago, and I was not disappointed. I won't bother
summarizing the story since everyone else has, but I will say that it was
just plain entertaining throughout. The performances were great, as was
music, and the main characters were likeable.
My only complaints are: (1) the story was definitely lacking; the movie wrapped up very abruptly- in fact the writing became pretty lax in the second half, as though the writers weren't sure what to do with the plot. Since the plot wasn't nearly as important as the music and the action, this didn't really affect the entertainment value of the film, so this is not as major a complaint as it would seem.
(2) This is really nitpicky, but the music that the characters in the movie were listening to was sometimes dated after 1985, when the movie was set. INXS' Devil Inside was from 1987 and AC/DC's Are You Ready was from 1990, among other mistakes. This bothers me a bit, since they obviously went to lengths to make a good period piece, they could have checked the copyright date on these songs to make sure they were 1985 or earlier. Again, not a big deal.
Oh, I thought of something else that was strange. The Steel Dragon band members were supposed to be English, but for some reason Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson and Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde played band members, and they each had a couple of speaking lines in AMERICAN accents. That was kind of lazy also, but it was still cool to see actual musicians playing musicians, so I will forgive that as well.
I could probably nitpick all day, but I don't want to give the impression that this wasn't a super entertaining movie. I will probably buy the DVD when it comes out, and I will certainly buy the soundtrack CD simply for the six Steel Dragon songs (some of which were sung by the singer from the band Steelheart, if you remember them!). The highlight of the film was possibly a great outtake where Mark Wahlberg is lipsynching to a rock song on stage and suddenly someone plays "Good Vibrations" by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. The surprised look of Mark's face is priceless. Classic rock and roll flick! Score: 8/10 due to extreme entertainment
ROCK STAR is a well-told Hollywood-style rendition of the tale based on
fact actually on how Ripper became Rob Halford's replacement for Judas
Priest. Mark Wahlberg poured on his likable boy-ish charm and performed
with believable admirably, something he has been known to do since the
release of BOOGIE NIGHTS.
Stephen Herek, no stranger to musically-themed movies, takes the audience through the wonders of the breakneck lifestyle of an extinct species, the Hair-Metal Rock God. Wahlberg's "Izzy" acts as the film's host plays the everyman who gets to see his wish come true. His likable character quickly wins over the heart of the viewer, who wants to see him succeed and gets the chance to give him the Metal "goat horn" hand-sign several times over.
The only real complaint with the story is that the supporting cast, namely the other members of the band, were not fleshed out, or even introduced, properly. More interaction with these life-long Rock musicians would have amplified and solidified Izzy's new surroundings.
Naturally, ROCK STAR is filled with great music. Rabin's score, the Steel Dragon's original work and plenty of 80's-style Metal hits makes this soundtrack a must-have! Let's all hope that films like ROCK STAR not only give a credibility to a style of music that helped define a generation but also spark a very-needed revival.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie had the potential to be great. It started out with an
interesting idea: small town guy worships famous band then gets the
chance to perform for thousands as a member of the band he worships.
The problem is that the great idea was badly handled with an inept script. I enjoyed the music, but the story left a lot to be desired. Wahlberg did okay in his part, particularly in the concert scenes. But I felt that Jennifer Anniston was all wrong for this film. I totally did not believe that she would fall for a guy as goofy as Chris/Izzy. He reminded me of a big, dumb puppy.
Also, the emphasis on the "rockin'" parents and the scenes of the mom's home daycare center made the movie seem too cute and cuddly...cute and cuddly do not fit in a movie about metal music!
The use of real metal musicians as band members was interesting...but most of the musicians were bad actors. I know it won't happen, but it'd be great if another movie centering on the rock music world could be made...this time with a better script. An updating of the Barbra Streisand/Kris Kristofferson movie "A Star is Born' remade as "A Rock Star is Born" would work nicely.
Mark Walhberg in a great role, idolises a rock star to the extent of knowing all his songs, imitating him to perfection, and dressing like him. When the opportunity comes for him to take over his "idol's" role in the band, he jumps at the opportunity. However the role of a rock star may not be what it is cracked up to be... and relationships can change .... This movie certainly struck me as having the theme of what you attain for may not be what you think it is once you get it. Overall a really good movie with great performances from all the cast as well as the two leads, Mark Walhberg and Jennifer Aniston. It did make me feel sad, especially when Emily, (Jennifer Aniston), met up with Chris in Seattle and saw the depths to what he had sunk. If anybody ever dreamed of being a rock star or a groupie they should watch this movie to see that the lifestyle, although glamourous for a while, is very lonely and ultimately not what you may want.
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