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66 out of 99 people found the following review useful:

Pretty Surprised

8/10
Author: morten-summers from Chicago
9 June 2008

So I just went to a pre screening of this film in downtown Chicago and Mr rainn Wilson himself was there to do a Q & A afterwards.

This movie was actually laugh out loud funny, it shows a lot of character sub plots and builds a good and funny funny time telling about each character. This is a go for the win movie and even gave me tingles once and awhile. There is a lot of sub plots and it all works together for the ending. It is about Rainn's character who was in a in a rock band that was on their way to being huge and they kick him out of the band. He starts a band with his nephew and his friends and show them how to be true rockstar giving himself the chance and the dream that was cut from him. I give it a 8 out of 10 and Rainn was a true comic.

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38 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Comedy - for laughs - not irony or sarcasm - and all the better for it.

8/10
Author: intelearts from the big screen
28 December 2008

This was the biggest surprise of the year - bar none.

A great comedy - as in laughs, feel good, and just plain enjoyable.

The plot of the loser who makes good at rock'n'roll second time around is very Jack Black and Rainn Wilson does a GREAT job - there is no recourse to gross or sarcastic humor here - rather it plays on its rock roots, chucks in some stupidity, and some kick-ass tunes, and lots of excellent one liners and like I say totally surprised us as to how genuinely funny and warm-hearted this is.

Great cast and a great script - sure it's not perfect, but after all the pseudo-comedy and angst of 2008 it was refreshing just to sit back and enjoy an entertaining movie.

we loved it and are normally really cynical about comedies - but this rocks and would recommend to anyone as a real effort by all involved to stop being smarter than the audience and just enjoy life - in two and a half words? - it rocks!

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40 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Hugely enjoyable.

8/10
Author: kevin_crighton (kevincrighton@btinternet.com) from Scotland
19 October 2008

1986 - Robert 'Fish' Fishman is the drummer of an up and coming rock band called Vesuvius. However, on the night they are offered a massive record deal, they are told there is a catch.... they have to sack the drummer. Twenty years later, Fish is still angry about that, but when offered the chance to play drums for his nephew's rock band at the Prom, he see this as a chance get to live the rock lifestyle he always wanted....

In many ways, The Rocker is a sequel to School Of Rock, in that you have the older band member, with much younger band members. The difference here though, is that they are all in their late teens. But even these similarities don't hide the fact that for it's running time, The Rocker is hugely enjoyable.

The cast, lead by Rainn Wilson are all good. Wilson as Fish gets to over the top as he lives out his dream, and while some of his antics are a bit childish at times, they are probably no worse that what actual bands get up to at times. The fact that the rest of the band, are normal teens makes Fish's antics even funnier.

As for the rest of the band members, yes you do have some clichéd characters. There is the sensitive lead singer/song-writer, the Indie- spirited girl, and the genius but shy keyboard player. Despite this however, each person develops as the movie progresses, even Fish and while some plot developments in the movie are very predictable, this doesn't detract from the enjoyment.

Peter Cattaneo, who also directed The Full Monty, keeps things moving along nicely. The script, while not a laugh out loud riot (for me anyway), did keep a smile on my face all the way through. The music in the movie is also well done. Not only in the choice of background music, but also the songs that the band have written themselves.

The Rocker will never be remembered as an all-time comedy classic. But for it's running time, it is very enjoyable, keeps you smiling and is very entertaining.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

The Rocker Movie Review from The Massie Twins

6/10
Author: GoneWithTheTwins from www.GoneWithTheTwins.com
20 August 2008

Though it borrows liberally from its genre brethren, The Rocker showcases a keen sense of parody and heart with a powerful star performance from the Jack Black-channeling Rainn Wilson. The "naked drummer" doesn't stray too far from his Office persona, but the random foul-mouthed spurts and goggle-eyed expressions certainly add a welcome layer of comic ingenuity.

In 1986, Robert "Fish" Fishman (Rainn Wilson) drums for the popular rock band Vesuvius and a lucrative career seems destined to embrace him. However, a chance to play at a killer gig causes his bandmates to sell him out for fast fame, and the drummer is literally kicked to the streets. Twenty years later, Robert finds himself in a dead-end desk job with no hope of escaping his mundane lifestyle. But good luck and misfortune strike simultaneously leaving him jobless, homeless, and shacked up at his sister's house – where the desperation of his nephew's rock band lands him a spot as their drummer. What starts off as a rocky, mismatched collaboration inadvertently becomes a rapid success and Robert, along with Amelia (Emma Stone), Curtis (Teddy Geiger), and Matt (Josh Gad) may finally get to live the dream they've worked so hard to obtain.

For his debut leading film role, Rainn Wilson manages a diverse blend of comedy and emanates the better qualities of funnyman Jack Black. Rainn keeps his character under control so as not to get annoying but remains erratic enough to evoke plenty of laughs. Most of the physical comedy (and nudity, unfortunately) belongs to the Office veteran who competently handles elaborate falls and crazed expressions with sincere enthusiasm. Spouting off random quotable gibes, Wilson utilizes a copious amount of offbeat one-liners and bizarre references that will result in a hearty chuckle for those attuned to the borderline-offensive brand of comedy.

While the primary band members fill their roles quite ably, a surprising amount of laughs come from the hilarious supporting characters and their moments of inspired lunacy. Most notable are Will Arnett as a crazed 80's rocker and Jason Sudeikis as an arrogant record label agent whose offensive pick-up lines never fail to amuse. Numerous cameos also fill the screen, from stand-up comedian favorites to famous musicians and anchored comedy character actors.

Though the whole cast turns in fine performances and Rainn Wilson conjures up a delirious beast of a drummer, The Rocker's downfall may be its heavily treaded subject matter. The cliché-filled plot resembles far too many others and even the rather unique pieces feel drowned out by the surplus of stereotypical events. What clearly rocks though is the hysterical frontman and a host of great cameos and fantastic supporting characters who bring an edgy absurdity to the whole affair.

- Joel Massie

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26 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

The Rocker has a really funny beginning, even the middle is fun, but the conclusion was horrible

6/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
26 August 2008

I don't know why, from the trailer I didn't really want to see The Rocker, it looked like another silly teenage comedy, but I had the opportunity to see it for free and decided to go ahead and give it a fair chance. So I saw it yesterday and honestly, I thought it was a pretty decent comedy, much better than I expected. But it fell flat and became a predictable movie, I don't mind them every once in a while, but this story could have had a better ending that surprised us all. I love Rainn Wilson, ever since I saw him way back in House of 1000 Corpses, I just thought something strange stood out about this guy, he eventually became bigger in the hit TV show The Office. He's now the new male lead in a comedy, now he's decent, he did make me laugh like crazy in a lot of his scenes, but I think he could have held his own a little better, he's good, but he's not great as a leading comedic actor.

He plays Fish, a drummer for a rock band that later goes platinum after kicking him out. His life as an adult isn't so great, the band is doing very well even 20 years later. Fish moves in with his sister, his nephew asks him to play drums in his band when their drummer can't play with them any more, but later Fish gets in trouble with his sister and can't live with her any more. But his nephew sets up a way through the internet and camera's, but when Fish doesn't know the camera is filming him naked, a new internet era is born of the Naked Drummer. ADD, the band he's playing with his nephew, becomes huge and fame takes a tole on the kids as well as Fish's old age.

Now over all, I did like The Rocker, I think it's worth a matinée price, it's a fun and silly comedy that gives you a few good laughs. Mainly by Rainn Wilson, I couldn't help but laugh hysterically when he finds out the band is kicking him out and he jumps on the van that they're driving away in and is holding on by his drum sticks, sounds stupid, but when you see the look on his face, it reminds you of The Terminator 2: Judgement Day with the T-1000. Like I said, the ending flops a bit though, I think they could have done something different, but it's a good movie for laughs. Like I said if you want to see it in the theater, I'd recommend the matinée, but otherwise it's just a rental.

6/10

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38 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

The Rocker is a comedic charttopper!

9/10
Author: meeza (themeezaman@hotmail.com) from Miami, Fl
25 August 2008

Some critics have called the latest "rock-n-roll world" lampoon flick "The Rocker" an incomparable imitation of the critical darling of the same theme "School of Rock". To drum it up in simplistic syntax, both films ROCKED!!!!! "The Rocker" is not a carbon copy narrative of "School of Rock"; it does have a musical story life of its own. "The Rocker" stars the zany Rainn Wilson as Robert "Fish" Fishman, an over-the-top boisterous drummer. Fish was about to dive into the school of "Rock-Roll Fame & Fortune" when he was the drummer of an 80's heavy metal band called Vesufius. Just before Vesufius made it to stardom, Fish got the firing bait when the band's agent persuaded the Vesufius band members to let the Fish go so he can be replaced with a recording studio hotshot's son. Therefore, Fish was a musician out of the musical waters for the next twenty years. That is until Fish's nephew Matt asked Fish to be the drummer of his high school band entitled A.D.D. (are you with me?, lol) because the original juvenile drummer boy was being a bad boy and got expelled. Fish accepts and the rocker show begins! Fish is one to rebel and follow the beat of his own ludicrous drum and therefore A.D.D. chaos follows. Due to parental control issues of the remaining A.D.D. band members, the band is forced to rehearse each from their own home utilizing technical wizardry so they can view each other. Fish chooses to rehearse in the nude and before you can say "a little bored girl put it on You Tube and got zillions of hits" it did that exact same thing. That undoubtedly is the scary "naked truth" on the Fish following. Consequentially, fame and fortune follow for A.D.D. as they land a recording contract and tour gigs all over the country. Rainn Wilson's breakthrough performance as Fish was a comedic vivacious delight that should rain him in some more starring comedic roles. I also loved Jeff Garlin's role as the rocker-fantasy suburban dad. Screenwriters Maya Forbes & Wallace Wolodarsky scripted a trendy and modern narrative that symbolized the present youth obsessions & dilemmas in combination with the 80's retro fixations of the forty-year old generation. It was also quite damn hilarious for those young and older. And Director Peter Cattaneo brought the script to cinematic life by orchestrating a fine-tuned comedic machine. "The Rocker" might not be nominated for any Oscars, Golden Globes, or even Grammys, but it's a flick that simply (well you know…) ROCKS in the comedic entertainment "hysterically laugh out-loud" record category. ***** Excellent

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Pure Enjoyment!

8/10
Author: (sylviastel@aol.com) from United States
3 July 2010

Peter Cattaneo MBE is probably best known for his hit film, "The Full Monty." But here, he really utilizes top character actors and actresses to create some memorable and humorous moments. Rainn Wilson maybe the star but he's not alone. Jeff Garlin and Jane Lynch plays his brother-in-law and sister. Christina Applegate plays the mom of one of the musicians. The story isn't as sweet or vulgar as one would think of today's comedies. The only questionable scene is Rainn's character is naked for the rehearsal which lands him better known as the naked drummer. The beginning is humorous with Fred Armesen and Will Arnett as members of Vesuvius who ditched the drummer, Robert Fishman (Rain's character) right on the verge of stardom. Fish retrieves to having a somewhat normal life even has a normal girlfriend played for a few minutes by Jane Krakowski. Jason Sudekis plays the band's manager. Howard Hesseman plays their RV driver. I loved the casting of this film because of all the familiar faces. Jane Lynch is one of my favorite actresses because she can be both dramatic and comedic at once. This film is rated PG-13 and I think it has to do with that one nude scene but apart from that. They really have a message about working together as a team. This film wouldn't have been made without the teamwork of the cast and crew itself.

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18 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

A lot better than expected

8/10
Author: metallipowerman5000 from United States
7 February 2009

Saw the movie with very low expectations...but was surprised.

I mean seriously, i thought this movie was going to be completely lame, and i was just waiting for that one "stupid" moment that defined the movie as a complete Flop,etc. But to my surprise, the movie just seemed to keep getting better! (especially the beginning, with Rain Wilson chasing after his ex-band mates in the van, WOW, i literally almost fell out of my chair! I love unpredictable crazy moments like that...and this movie was full of them.....)

Im a huge fan of Rain Wilson, and I KNOW he's an underdog actor who is not being used to his full potential.

I just LOVE how his character is throughout the movie, he's just got this whole Jack-Black meets Dwight(from the Office) thing going on! He does a very good job of portraying a kind of washed up crazy rock star, yet still very sharp and witty at times....he just seems to be able to switch them on and off during the movie.

Overall this movie was A lot better than i thought, had a very good rock flow to it, yet positive mood.

If you see this movie, go into it NOT expecting much!(just like the trailers make you think) You'll be most likely surprised by all the witty funny moments that just flare out of nowhere!

-----

THE GOOD -

-Rain Wilson is VERY funny -He does a good job acting, "The Office" fans will like it -Movie has a decent positive storyline IMO -The costumes were PRICELESS -The faces Rain makes, and his quotes were excellent..(not quite as weird/good as the Office, but definitely good enough.) -Alot of unpredictable little quick moments and quotes!

THE BAD -

-I couldn't stand the borderline EMO sounding songs the band played thru-out the movie sometimes!(although Rain was still his hardcore self and never missed a friggin beat!) -The storyline just suddenly moves REAL FAST...then all of a sudden slows back down to normal speed....like how they suddenly get a record contract,etc....

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34 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Highly Recommended

7/10
Author: crimsonmnd from United States
5 July 2008

I was lucky enough to see The Rocker at a free screening and laughed all the way through the movie. Very funny. I enjoyed the movie so much, I saw it again at another screening, and it was just as funny the second time. Rainn Wilson turns in a very good performance as Robert "Fish" Fishman in his movie debut, however the part could have just as easily been played by Jack Black. Wilson plays a rock drummer who is kicked out of his band just before they make it big. Fast forward 20 years and he has a chance to live the rock-n-roll dream again with a new band. If you liked "Almost Famous" or "School of Rock," then you will like this movie more. While rated PG13, the movie contains no F-bombs or sex scenes and is a movie parents can feel safe letting their teen and pre-teen children go see. Parents will want to see this movie as well.

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31 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

Wilson is not Will Ferrell

5/10
Author: C-Younkin from United States
20 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Late August used to be a dumping ground for crappy movies, but now look at how "The 40 Year Old Virgin" has changed all that. The "sleeper hit" genre has become a key part of August, so much so that it's hard to tell the difference anymore. Take "The Rocker" for example, the first starring role for Rainn "Dwight" Wilson from "The Office", a seemingly crappy movie that is already bouncing around the title of "The Summers Sleeper hit." Now usually the "sleeper hit" genre has been attached to Judd Apatow-related flicks like "Virgin" and last summers "Superbad", and its really hard to picture Wilson in a lead role at all so this all seems like a pretty hefty claim, but the question remains, is "The Rocker" a crappy movie or is it a sleeper hit?

Wilson plays Fish, the drummer for up and coming 80's metal band Vesuvius. Just when the band is about to make it big, Fish is cut out of it, leading to 20 years of working dull, soul-crushing jobs while Vesuvius quickly becomes one of the biggest bands ever. Some salvation comes his way in the form of his nephew's High School band, A.D.D. The band has just lost its drummer to a High School prank and is in desperate need of a replacement, leaving them with no one else to turn to except Fish. The band, which includes nephew Matt (Josh Gad), brooding lead singer Curtis (Teddy Geiger), and lone girl bassist Amelia (Emily Stone) is at first reluctant to accept the nearly forty year old drummer but in a plot twist that can only happen in movies, a Youtube video they make leads to big time fame. Soon A.D.D is playing the clubs and Fish is even romancing Curts' young mom (Christina Applegate). Just like all bands, they are not without their conflicts.

Wilson comes from the Will Ferrell school of comedy, in that he goes for cheap and sophomoric material. The movie relies on vomit, sweating, Wilsons flabby body jiggling in the wind, and when all else fails, him getting hit with something or a pratfall. Sure the shock value from these things is worth a chuckle sometimes but he doesn't have the same sort of buffoonish innocence that Ferrell does and a lot of what makes this kind of material hilarious is the sort of personality doing the delivery. Wilson doesn't seem to have it and so a lot of the jokes just look like what they are, cheap and sophomoric. And the story doesn't help either. It follows "School of Rock's" storyline pretty closely of build a band, learn life lessons, encounter a problem, and finally rock out in front of a huge crowd. Just "Rock" had an infectious enthusiasm for music as well as a sweet side but this is more a generic retread of most stories about the successes and perils of starting a band. No real surprises here.

The cast does OK. I'm not saying Wilson is a bad comic actor but this material doesn't seem suited for him at all. All the 80's headbands and weird outfits can't disguise the fact that he's better playing a much weirder character like Dwight from "The Office". Christina Applegate seems to light up any film she's in and I wish she was given more screen time here. Emma Stone, Josh Gadd, and Teddy Geiger each get do their best in throwaway roles as musicians dealing with teenage angst. Will Arnett and Fred Armisen are both pretty funny as Fish's old band mates and Jeff Garlin and Jane Lynch are pretty much wasted in unfunny roles. There is one person who makes out like a bandit in this movie though and that is Jason Sudeikis as the A.D.D's asshole manager. Known to me only for a recurring role on "30 Rock", he gets the best lines and when he gets them he knocks them out of the park.

"The Rocker" itself just doesn't rock though. It just felt too cheap and sophomoric, too conventional, too much of a waste of talented actors, and above all, a completely wrong type of vehicle for Rainn Wilson.

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