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Jimmy was a roadie for Blue Oyster Cult all his adult life who has -
painfully and wrongfully according to him - been fired by the band and
left by them somewhere in the wilds of Michigan. With nowhere else to
go, he makes his way back home to Queens where he has not been since
his father's death many, many years before. He has barely spoken with
his mother in the interim and now he overstates his role with the band
to her - manager, writer, producer, etc. He tries to collect himself to
deal with this massive setback, but he is not making the situation any
better with angry calls to the band's actual manager.
I think that roadie is one of the coolest jobs in the world next to rock star and Jimmy does as well. I, too, would have major problems dealing with his rude awakening after so many years and the loss of his livelihood and dream.
Out for some butter for his Mom's famous tuna melts, Jimmy runs into a high school classmate who is and was quite a butt-head who is now married to Jimmy's first love, Nikki. Jimmy and Nikki wind up back in his boyhood room which is untouched by time and looks like a "rock and roll museum" according to Nikki.
Out of his vinyl record collection, Nikki pulls out Ratcity In Blue by, local 70s favorites, the Good Rats and they listen to a couple of tracks. This brings back memories of seeing the band every Saturday night with their friend Steph - who passed away unbeknownst to Jimmy.
This movie is about real people, with lots of issues, who love music and are dealing with some very real problems. If you enjoy music, have been on the road with a band or thought about doing so (one of my life's regrets is turning down an offer to be a roadie) you will really like this movie.
Full disclosure - I also own this "original" album with the cool pizza sleeve art, am a huge Good Rats fan and may have seen Steph, Nikki and Jimmy at one of those Saturday night shows back in the day. My heartfelt thanks go to Gerald and Michael Cuesta for a wonderful film and soundtrack including these New York music legends and a great version of Jackson Browne's Stay by Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows. Did they misspell "Peppi" Marchello in the closing thanks to him?
I caught this on Amazon.com before it hits the theaters in January.
This is one of the few movies I really wanted to like before I saw it,
and it did not let me down. I don't know what the nay-sayer movie
critics are talking about who didn't like this film. The script has
depth, there's great music, an engaging story-line, characters the
audience member will care about, and humor in most ordinary, unexpected
places. The actors bring their characters to life in unique ways that
only those with skill and knack can bring.
Ron Eldard and Lois Smith make such a great mother-son team. They had great chemistry. I hope both get Academy award nominations. They deserve it!
I've always liked Bobby Cannavale ever since "Will & Grace". He and Jill Hennessy do excellent jobs in their supporting roles.
The whole feel of the film is authenticity and spontaneity, as if we're truly eavesdropping on these characters' lives. There's nothing staged or "actorish" about this film.
Love the BOC music. Its great to hear some of their lesser played, but no less great "other" hits. And its nice that Ron's character gives the band and Buck Dharma's genius permanent celluloid recognition that is overdue.
I was really moved by this film , great performances from Lois Smith
and Ron Eldard - like the previous reviewer wrote there is great
chemistry between them and none of the performances are hackneyed or
overworked , its a perfectly practical plot and it allows for the cast
to put in some shining examples - the motel scene is particularly
effective, as are the kitchen scenes with the Lois Smith doing some
excellent pottering ! Don't know why the the reviews haven't been more
glowing for this its a little gem of a film , one for reflection and
not gushy or sentimental its pitch perfect , great soundtrack too even
though there's no 'Reaper from the blue oyster cult
I heartily recommend you watch this with a hangover and you phone your parents and tell them how great they are!
I really enjoyed the new movie Roadie starring Ron Eldard. Ron plays a roadie for Blue Oyster Cult who gets the ax after 25 years and has to return to his old life in a small town.He really knows no other way of life outside of rock and roll and finds it really hard to adjust. He doesn't even know how to make coffee. He has to get reacquainted with his mother who is bordering on dementia, his old girlfriend who is now a local singer and her husband the guy who bullied him in high school. The film is very good and very sad. The acting is great. Ron is perfect for the role of a burnt out roadie. And Lois Smith as his mom is always excellent. What I really loved about the movie was the great Blue Oyster Cult music in the soundtrack and not just the typical BOC you hear on the radio. There are some really classic Blue Oyster Cult tunes in the movie and lots of guitar genius by Buck Dharma. True BOC fans will love this, but you don't have to be one to enjoy this film.
I must confess up to the point of actually watching the Roadie, I had no idea what a roadie was or did. This is not my usual type of movie, however we should strive to challenge and expose ourselves to different movies. Just as you would a different language or cultural in order to grow and mature as an all around individual. The movie was interesting and I thought the plot, made a point in trying to relate to the viewer the regret of decisions that we make as youth, that do not pan out or other wise never manifest themselves. The characters were very likable and came across genuine and authentic in the Roadie, which must be stressed is a very necessary thing in a film like this. There was a feel that that the movies' main character could have been anyone of us: in regards to decision or choices that were made in our lives that never quite pan out. Perhaps you could take it a bit further and say that everyone in there life at least once or twice has not let go of an idea or notion until: well it was to late. Atlas, I would be remiss, if I did not mention that the sound track for the Roadie is excellent.
Thinking that men have sincere regrets at mid life makes this movie rock. Real interpretation of what happens to people. Life happens! Did not think the whole theme would work for me, yet it really did. It was a look at real life, with regrets and why we make the decisions we do. Going with the flow, as most youths do and the fun it brings depicts this movie. Letting yourself listen to the music and see things happen in the movie just because things happen keeps you thinking. Now what would I have done. Do we go with what feels good or do we set goals. The memory of times past and our life today depends on our past. Our path can change if we let it. I never review movies but if you are a baby boomer you should she this. Then be grateful for who you are today. And realize you can change things if you want. Makes you think. Sometimes thinking is the problem and not the solution but in this case it isn't.See this film if you are forty or older! Never mind everyone should see it. Cheers or maybe not after this one!
Is this movie a musical tribute to roadies who vicariously act out
their rock-n-roll fantasies through the live performances of their
employers or is it a musical rebuke of all forms of career mediocrity
that settle for a greasy hamburger without even looking at the gourmet
steak menu? For me, it was both.
Many scenes had the realistic look and feel of a low-budget documentary that exposes the dreary monotony of people talking a lot but saying very little. But other scenes played out more like attention-captivating music videos where the classic-rock song playing in the background was perfectly synchronized with the fleeting frames of film it was linked to in such a way as to reveal more in a few musical measures than even the most eloquently constructed lines of dialog could ever hope to express using the medium of the written-to-spoken word.
Thematic elements of Roadie dealt with connecting to people and places from one's past but despite being portrayed under the center-stage spotlight of honesty, these themes are never totally submerged in a bottomless pool of pessimism where hopelessness and despair become deadly poisons to those who dare to dream and dream to dare. Instead, I found a few rays of sunny optimism shining through the dark clouds of experiential adversity and disappointment as though to subtly suggest that just as wisdom is gained from taking an honest look at the many seeds of mistakes (erroneous judgment) sown in the gardens of the past so can wisdom be applied to improving the blossoming realization of the future by making better (wiser) choices in the decision-sprouting reality of the present moment!
Led Zeppelin said it better than I ever could in a line from the lyrics from their 1971 hit, Stairway to Heaven: "There's still time to change the road you're on."
After 20 years of lugging gear and setting up equipment for the Blue
Oyster Cult, Jimmy (Ron Eldard) is unceremoniously fired and abandoned
by the band members he considered to be friends. With no identity
outside of his status as a roadie and no life plans, Jimmy ends up
heading back home for the first time in a decade. After crashing in his
old bedroom, Jimmy comes into contact with Randy (Bobby Cannavale), his
high-school nemesis who happens to be married to Nikki (Jill
Hennessey), an old flame he never really got over. With nothing to show
for his time away from home, Jimmy begins making up stories and
eventually draws Randy's ire, creating an uncomfortable situation that
further messes with Jimmy's already fragile mental state.
Roadie is like a conflict between two mountain goats (I know that "bighorn sheep" would be a more scientifically correct title but "mountain goat" just sounds better): one goat represents the acting in this film, chiefly that of Eldard, and the other represents the storyline and general exposition of said storyline. The Acting Goat is an outstanding specimen. Eldard is one of my very favorite character actors, a guy who always draws my attention no matter how big or small his role in a given movie may be. (This makes him a member of the "Barry Pepper All-Stars", a list of actors I really need to write a piece about one of these days.) This is a rare leading role for Eldard and he shines brilliantly. Jimmy is easy to root for despite not really showing many qualities that usually make one likable and that is due to Eldard's ability to convey a measure of truthfulness, or perhaps relevance, to his character. The lack of purpose and the search for meaning in his life work make Jimmy an appealing protagonist in this sort of slow- paced, character-driven drama. There is also an edge of genuine desperation to Jimmy and through this trait Eldard gives real weight to a character which otherwise might have been pointless. The supporting players around Eldard are all solid as well, though none quite measure up to the work of the leading man.
The Story Goat, however, is an equally impressive beast but one that works for evil instead of good. Simply put, the events of Roadie are about as bland as you can get. It isn't what I would call "boring" necessarily and yet nothing much happens. Jimmy comes into town, Jimmy pals around with some old friends, and then Jimmy threatens to leave town once more. That's about it. The settings that Roadie inhabits are uninteresting and the dialogue within is unimpressive. As a result, the story undermines Eldard's work and leaves him virtually trapped in a dull and somewhat meaningless world that serves as a stark contrast to the appealing lead character. In the end, neither the Acting Goat nor the Story Goat really win; instead, the two tire out and settle in for a nice nap, a genuine shame considering all that this film had going for it.
Check out my reviews at ieatfilms.com and thesoapboxoffice.blogspot.com
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There are a zillion reviewers out there who tell you almost any and all details about the movie; so I try not to do that. Also I try not to give out to much information or spoilers because that will kill the enjoyment of the movie for you. Basically I try to sum up the movie in a simple way and give you an idea if you would like it or not. I gave the movie 5/10 because it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good either. The main character in this movie was really good, and the acting in general was pretty good, but to me the story wasn't all that interesting. You can have the best actors in the world but if the story isn't that compelling it usually isn't a good movie to watch. The joke about the T.V. show Seinfeld being a "show about nothing" is funny, but it's not really true. I love Seinfeld and the writing in that show was just simply amazing, even though every episode is about the everyday lives of the crazy characters, you are almost always engrossed in the show and wondering what is going to happen next, or what zany character will be developed, such as the Soup Nazi, The bubble boy, etc. etc. (way to many to name here, but you get the point). This movie may make some people reflect on their lives, and how can they make them better etc. but the basic story is really, really, boring. If you like Blue Oyster Cult, or slow movies with good acting that this is probably worth 2 bucks at a Red Box. I saw the movie for free so I can't complain. Is it a must see movie, absolutely not, but if you are bored and have nothing to do, this movie is better than sitting around and watching paint dry.
Roadie is a pretty good movie that's only about so-so while you're
watching it, however the movie really resonated with me in the days
after watching it. I appreciated the effort to make Ron Eldard's
character more then just a one dimensional lump of regret...i also like
his constant flip flopping between "what have i got to be regretful of?
i did what i wanted to!" and "i've totally wasted my life" throughout,
as i think that's exactly what a guy in his situation in real life
would think upon coming home after twenty five years on the road only
to realize he's right back where he was when he first left. While the
interactions between Ron Eldard and the rest of the cast kind of go
back and fourth on the believable scale (Bobby Cannavale and Jill
Hennessey are merely so-so as respectively a guy who used to taunt him
in high school and his wife who was a long ago crush for Ron Eldard's
character..it probably doesn't help that neither of these characters
are likable in the least.) Its Ron Eldard himself who keeps this movie
going forward...there are a lot of little moments throughout where his
reaction to what's going on in front of him is perfect. Eldard really
captures both the self-centeredness and the basic good heartedness of
this guy...and while the director and the writer deserve all the credit
for keeping this character from veering too far into either
direction--it really falls to Eldard to keep him from appearing to be
both a selfish jerk and a mopey sad sack punching bag for the rest of
the clearly unhappy people in the film to abuse. It really is a good
performance that makes the whole film really seem a lot better then it
prob would be with somebody else in the lead. Again as a whole the film
is only all right--but as a character study of this guy trying to
figure out the rest of his life while burdened with guilt about how he
led the majority of his life so far--it was quite well done.
Also as someone who lives here--i did love the full on location shooting that's happening here, while i could do without Jill Hennesey's condescending attitude towards "never leaving queens" i did love seeing certain locations on screen--enough to wanna shout "that's near my house" to anyone who was in the theater with me (of course seeing as how there were only about two other people there--i wisely did not.)
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