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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There's a scene in this very episodic movie (divided into 'tracks')
where the girl bass player is trying to show her art portfolio to a
plainly uninterested man in a suit. I know how he feels.
There's always room for another movie about urban rock'n'roll, and 1234 (also the name of the band) isn't a terrible addition to the genre, it's just that the characters are much too shallow. There's a complete presumption from the start that you will care about the band and the characters' lives, without question. The characters are no deeper than the nerdy one, the moody one, the arty girl and her immature boyfriend and the really thick one, who's the drummer. Things happen that anyone who's ever been in a band will recognise, but they happen in the way that things happen in a bad soap opera: because the script says so. For example, Stevie is walking down a street, and we're supposed to believe that it's a surprise that he comes across Emily; but look - there's Emily's house. There's no indication, and she doesn't question, whether Steve is stalking her or anything, which might have been interesting; it just happens because - that's what the script says happens.
*HERE BE SPOILERS*
Again, the ending leaves you guessing not only why Steve does what he does, but what might happen afterwards, which is a major copout. By this time in the movie you ought to be identifying with his decisions, not trying to second guess them. In a nutshell: Steve was in a band because he wanted a girlfriend. Otherwise, he would have bought a decent amplifier. It's a movie about somebody who's not very ambitious. Ho hum.
The script fails to raise the stakes high enough, or draw the characters deep enough; they're just middle-class people struggling with boredom and there's zero development. It's not the fault of the actors, and the music is mercifully kept to a minimum, because that isn't going to win any Grammys either.
Keep you expectations low if you rent this one.
It's a comedy about 3 guys and a gal setting up their own rock group.
Ed O'Brien of that happy group Radiohead has an executive producer's
credit, so you would expect it to have some authenticity. Thing is
though, the tried-and-tested recipe for this plot (They start off
playing gigs in front of only a few people, rejected by every record
label they send CDs to, tensions rise as to where to put the guitar
solo in a song etc.) have already been done to death, and whatever
input our good friend Ed might have had, he doesn't imbue it with the
freshness you'd hope for.
There are some funny lines, and a banging soundtrack to boot. A few of the jokes about obscure (to me at least) bands and their material might fly over your head, but that isn't the major problem here. No, my contention is with the 'bad boy' of the group... As played by Billy Nixon, he is a complete idiot who throws his weight about from the minute he joins. And yet, no-one confronts him about his disruptive behaviour... they just meekly give in to all of his stupid requests. When the otherwise solidly written characters do this, I felt like banging my head against the nearest table. Why don't they ever say no?! It's all very frustrating, and takes away some of the enjoyment when you hate one of the cast so much, and then the others for being so spineless.
Oh, and what was that ending all about? Did the editor leave the footage on the floor of his local karzai? I've heard of abruptness, but this is ridiculous. And no, there is no extra bit after the credits... Believe me, I checked.
NEARLY earns a passing grade, but with the above factors, I just can't give it. Never mind Ed, do keep trying. Remember, The Beatles were once rejected by Decca... 5/10
this movie offers some deep beneath the surface views of just living.
we have four characters that come together to create a rock band. it's sort of a half backed mutual idea in each one; and they find one another to pursue this 'idea'. it's not really a passion.
stevie seems the most driven but i believe he represents those notions we get and start working on it - then loose interest because other internal needs distract us.
emily is like stevie only she has her idea of her art and a not so interesting boy friend that leaves and makes her happy.
billy will never amount to anything because he thinks he's got 'it' right before he starts and will be forever complaining when things don't go his way.
neil is just along for the ride and will go-with-the-flow where ever he is or whatever he does.
in each case their plans to live are redirected by life's other plan. stevie & emily will get together. billy will forever be more interested in his cigarette's. and neil will be 'ok' !!
a delightful indie flick for those that enjoy budget movies.
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