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Real People Who Love Music With Some Very Real Problems
petesea7 January 2012
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?
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Ideal Hangover Sunday night time to call your mum film!
camparisafari21 January 2012
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!
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Charming, touching character study with great music!
VikyO6 December 2011
I caught this on 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.
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The Roadie is engaging, well written, directed and acted out. Along with a sound track that will not disappoint.
My_Opinion-245-92080124 December 2011
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.
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The Road Leading to Destinations Unknown
Urantia23 March 2012
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."
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Great thoughtful movie
Trussell189023 July 2011
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!
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BOC Fan and former Roadie
AZDomz18 December 2012
I watched this movie for two reasons. First, I am a huge fan of Blue Oyster Cult. Been listening to BOC since 1973 and have seen them about 60 times in concert. Second, I worked as a sound engineer, stage manager, production assistant and local crew stagehand at thousands of shows in Arizona. Though I only did a few "road" gigs and most of what I did was local work, I have many "roadie" friends that have been around the world with some pretty big named bands. So my love for BOC and my time spent working in the business is what drew me to this movie. While the story is a bit slow, I still liked it and could relate to many of the scenes. I remember going back to my old high school bedroom at my parent's house after moving away. It was pretty surreal just like in the movie when Jimmy comes home, puts on an old Robin Trower record and lays in his bed surrounded by posters of his rock heroes from the days of his youth and sings along at the top of his lungs. I can also relate to bumping into old friends after I had moved away and some of the dialog and reminiscing that takes place. Of course, I loved the soundtrack! Not many movies feature Buck's Boogie, Last Days Of May, See You in Black, Cities on Flames and The Red and The Black! Plus some Trower, Tull and of course Jackson Browne's tribute to roadies, The Load Out! One of my favorite parts is when they are in the bar and Jimmy is trying to describe BOC's music. Something that many have tried to do for years now and failed. Jimmy says "The Thinking Man's Metal" "That's how the critic's described them" and to me that best sums it up. Jimmy and Nicky are in the bar and Cities On Flame is playing on the juke box. Nicky says he never got BOC and Jimmy attempts to explain how good they were to him. The script goes something like this: "And the drumming, it would get all jazzy, but underneath all those f#@%ing heavy riffs!

I mean Buck Dharma, his solo on Dominance and Submission is without question the BEST hard rock guitar solo of the era, hands down! It sums up everything that came before it. I mean Hendrix, Zeppelin, Townshend. Dharma, he takes a little bit from all of them and mashes it all together into one f#@%in' brilliant solo that says, THIS! THIS is what it's all about! It was like science fiction poetry on a turntable. All these weird worlds. They were just so much smarter than everything else that was around. Naw man, BOC, they were better. And they should have been even bigger!" For me the movie was just what I expected, no blockbuster, no action packed car chases, just a movie about coming home to your roots to see your aging mom, your rusted out old car, your old neighborhood, some old high school friends and the collection of vinyl and rock posters in your bedroom that would allow you to escape reality for just a little while.
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Really Worth Watching
elf200023 December 2011
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.
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Can We Pretend He's a Manager?
Chris_Pandolfi6 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Jimmy (Ron Eldard) has been a roadie for the Blue Oyster Cult for the past twenty-six years. Now in his mid-forties, he has just been fired. Roadies can potentially make hundreds if not thousands of dollars a week, but he either wasn't very good at his job or he spent his money recklessly. Whatever the case, he's left penniless and with no place to stay. He will repeatedly try to contact an unseen man named Bobby over his cell phone, angrily demanding he be given another chance. In the meantime, he will return to his old neighborhood in Queens, where he will reunite with his ailing mother (Lois Smith). He will lie and tell her that he manages the BOC, that he has written several of their songs, and that in a week's time he'll be with them on their South American tour. He will also discover that his mother has kept his old room exactly as he left it as a teenager, the walls adorned with posters of rock idols, the shelves stocked with classic LP albums.

"Roadie" is a sad, reflective portrait of a desperate man clinging to his own delusions. It's not enough that he has spent much of his adult life as a roadie; he must pass himself off as someone he never was in the naïve belief that it will make him look more important. All he's doing is feeding into his own broken dreams of rock 'n' roll stardom, and in the process keeping himself hopelessly stuck in the past. And yet it's obvious that time has long since caught up with him. He's not a kid anymore; he can't hop around from city to city and country to country with the same stamina he once had. He has put on some weight, and while others will freely speculate on the number of women he has slept with on the road, it's highly unlikely he has taken part in anything like that.

Apart from his mother, Jimmy also reunites with his ex-girlfriend, Nikki (Jill Hennessy), who gets by singing in a local lounge. She's married to Jimmy's former nemesis, Randy (Bobby Cannavale), who even now insists on referring to Jimmy as Testicles, an intentional mispronunciation of his last name. In many ways, Nikki and Randy are just as stuck in the past as Jimmy is. They will, for example, arrange to relive their high school days with Jimmy by checking into a motel room and indulging in booze, cocaine, and rock music. But it runs deeper than that. As a teenager, Randy was essentially a bully; he now channels his hostility into subtler forms of obnoxious behavior, like making contrarian statements about the BOC. The cruel irony is that the meanest person in Jimmy's life is the only one to see right through him.

As for Nikki, she puts up a good front, but it's obvious that within is a person who longs for more than a weekly gig in a barroom lounge. Her love for Randy is perhaps more complicated than it need be; while she doesn't appreciate his latent immaturity, and while she certainly doesn't approve of his mistreatment of Jimmy, she will always make excuses for his behavior. Does she truly see past his character flaws, or is she desperately trying to put a positive spin on the man she settled for? I'm not really sure. What I do know is that her feelings for Jimmy are evident, even as early as their very first scene together. Those old feelings haven't subsided. She will occasionally suggest to Jimmy that he introduce her to people in the music industry, or at the very least pass along her demo CD. Knowing what we know about Jimmy, you can't help but feel sorry for her in those moments.

For a subplot that comprises the bulk of the movie, it's a shame it had to be the most contrived and routine. Of course Jimmy would run into his old flame upon returning home. Of course she has gotten married to his enemy, who's little more than a one-note caricature. Of course Jimmy would stir within his old flame a long-dormant desire to be something greater. Having said this, it's handled about as well as can be expected. I certainly don't mind the fact that it features the single best line of the film, and the reason I say it's the best is because it's simultaneously hilarious and depressingly telling. It has been reserved for Eldard; as Jimmy and Nikki listen to a record in his old room, he looks at her and says with a straight face, "I don't focus on the past, Nikki. That's a waste of time."

The subplot involving Jimmy and his mother is far more compelling, although I must admit, I had a hard time reading the latter character. Her mind drifts very easily. In one fell swoop, she will tell Jimmy how nice it is to have him home, lament about the life he never shared with her, express disappointment that he hasn't made more of himself, encourage him to get reacquainted with the neighbors, and offer to make him lunch before becoming distracted by her backyard garden, which she spends a lot of time in. Are the filmmakers hinting at something serious, such as the early stages of Alzheimer's or dementia? It's possible, although I can't say for sure. Regardless, I found the relationship between mother and son fascinating. Their scenes add an extra dimension to "Roadie," one that prevents it from becoming too conventional.

-- Chris Pandolfi (
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Good movie, but not great
specvman20036 January 2012
Could this movie have been better??? Probably; but as it stands the movie is still very good. Don't know that I would rate it an 8, but it was a very solid 7 and borderline 8 or a very high 7. The acting was good and all the characters play their roles perfectly. There are some scenes that seem a tad out of place and a scene or two that are inserted for no apparent reason other than to come up with a reason to try and tie in the end of the movie (you'll understand when you watch it) hence my 7 rating. The soundtrack is great at times and debatable during others. Its not a "must see" movie but it is definitely one to check out if your in the mood for a good flick.
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Fantastic Lead Performance, Bland Overall Product
bdgill1222 January 2012
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.

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Didn't Catch Fire
rayok17 February 2012
OK the good news is as there are only 12 reviews on this film so there is a chance someone will actually read mine, woohoo. The bad news is I'm not sure many people will watch the film, especially to the end and be bothered to come here.

For a start I doubt if anyone under the age of 30 could understand the situation the lead finds himself in, let alone sympathise with him. For a second not a lot happens.

The film seems like a play, scenes in the house and the bar with 2 or 3 people talking take up a large part of the footage, feelings and emotions are aired but there is no moving on or culmination, let alone redemption.

The movie only steps up a gear in the motel but then you are left frustrated and more disheartened with the characters. The film has a downbeat, melancholic feel and lacks complexity, there are no surprises. The characters enter the film with nothing and leave with less.

I watched it for the culture links and the expectation of the big man returns to small town play out but it never really happened. Fine acting, interesting concept but failed to catch fire.
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Good movie
p_imdb-238-92638010 April 2012
This is a good film.

It has everything to entertain you on an easy Sunday, way better than something you can catch on TV by that hour.

The acting was good, the story was not deep but still touching.

I gave it a 10/10 cause I think this is underrated film. People may have false expectations. But that's not the films fault. Reading the other reviews here, people in general seem to agree that is quite a good movie and worth watching.

I'd choose this film over the Hunger Games any time, just to give you an idea.
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Ron Eldard makes it worth the watch.
Matthew Stechel17 January 2012
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 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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A Beautifully Nuanced Show
gbmcleod-292377 May 2016
Roadie is a very well photographed - and acted - show. In the world of show business, all that counts is appearances, and all Jimmy has left for himself is keeping up appearances. And at the same time that he appears back home, his mother is herself DIS-appearing, seemingly to Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia. He can no longer even count on coming home to the "womb," because the womb is itself disappearing into nothingness in the form of a terrible disease. Poignant, moving and real. The dialogue is well enough done that you actually listen TO it, instead of just hearing it, a la "The Sounds of Silence": "People hearing/without listening." The dialogue makes you want to not miss anything. And "Jimmy" himself could be anyone who reached for - and missed - the brass ring. And, just like his mother's slow loss of touch with reality, Jimmy is disappearing too, in a world that barely noticed him even during his "roadie" days. One recognizes a decay that is all too prevalent in today's society: the invisibility of the individual who walks to the beat of a different drummer.
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Dear lord NOT a comedy. But a really good film
rooprect25 February 2018
IMDb currently has this movie top listed as "Comedy". That plus its eponymous association with the 1980 B-movie classic "Roadie" starring Meat Loaf, not to mention this movie's deceptive DVD tagline ("Sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll. It was fun while it lasted") might lead you to expect... I dunno... a comedy?

It's not. If we're ok with that, then let's move on to what this movie really is.

"Roadie" (2011) is a brutally honest, sometimes bizarre but mostly lucid look at returning to an ordinary life after living on the road for 20 years. The movie doesn't focus on the rockstar life (and in fact the only references we get are a few hazy flashbacks in the beginning) but instead plants us squarely in the real world, Queens NY to be exact, where our protagonist Jimmy is forced to confront reality for perhaps the first time in his life.

The entire story occupies the space of about 24 hours from Jimmy's arrival at his estranged mother's house to his chance encounter with the old high school douchebag who coincidentally married Jimmy's high school sweetheart. The high school sweetheart herself is an amateur musician, and this (plus Jimmy's refusal to accept his failure in life) leads him to claim he's the manager for Blue Oyster Cult. The plot certainly sounds like it could be a raucous rib tickler, but the material is played straight, dramatic rather than farcical, even a bit on the disturbing/dark side.

This came as a big surprise, but once I realized how well everything was presented--the excellent and I mean EXCELLENT acting by all 3 leads plus the mother, the appropriate pace giving things time to breathe, the subtle brooding vibe of cinematography, and of course the great script with believable dialogue--I was sucked in and riveted until the very end.

This film has a slow, careful buildup to an explosive climactic scene and a thoughtful aftermath which will stick in your mind for a long time. The main question being: Whose reality is more valid, those who accept their mediocrity but hang on to dreams of a better future, or those who fall from success but hang onto dreams/fantasies of their past? If that last sentence didn't make a lotta sense, just watch the movie and you'll see what I mean.

"Roadie" has a distinctly indie vibe (as much as I hate to use that term) which means it's not glossy, snappy paced and glamorous like most Hollywood blockbusters. The style reminded me of some of Vincent Gallo's work ("Buffalo 66", "The Brown Bunny") in the same way Gallo weaves a surreal story within the confines of a very real world. If you're not familiar with Gallo, think of maybe "Leaving Las Vegas" where the main character comes from a questionable past and refuses to accept a new future.

Again, this is NOT a rock 'n' roll movie, though it does have some great classic rock tunes on the soundtrack (Blue Oyster Cult, Robin Trower, Jethro Tull, The Ramones). So don't expect Spinal Tap! "Roadie" might be closer to the excellent washed-up-musician flicks "Crazy Heart" or "Searching for an Echo".
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"Roadie": All Good Things must come to an end...dude.
jtncsmistad10 June 2016
You don't know me (most likely). But this guy Jimmy (Ron Eldard, in an affectingly understated performance) in "Roadie" is me. Not in every aspect of his life, certainly. But in essence.

Jimmy cherishes, and largely lives in, the past. It is an intimate history, though fraught with it's share of painful memories, that inspires intensely felt emotions of a carefree youth. And much of this joy is generated by a deep, abiding love of an intoxicating (both viscerally and literally) siren sound. It is the powerful, so often times overpowering, beautiful noise of Rock 'n Roll. It permeates not just the atmosphere, but also the soul, with it's rapturous allure.

The only problem is, ya gotta grow up. Or not. Jimmy has decided to pursue a path based on the latter. His is a personal resolution which has perpetuated an adolescent sensibility well into his '40's. And now maturation and responsibility may finally not be just be knocking on his door. They're kicking the son-of-a-bitch down.

Some of what we get with "Roadie" may be considered overly small, petty and sophomoric against the backdrop of this mostly serious character study. The grown-up and now married to each other versions of the principal high school bullies and belittlers who tormented a teenage Jimmy played by Bobby Cannavale and Jill Hennessy comprise the collective case in point. They serve their purpose in terms of the "you can leave high school, but high school never leaves you" plot device. But perhaps that function is a bit overserved here.

In the end, "Roadie" leaves us with the sense that maybe you can go home after all. And loved ones may actually be damn proud of you and what you've done with your life. Even if such sentiment is never expressly spoken.

And, ultimately, we witness touching confirmation that a son always loves his Mother. And vice versa.

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Great Character Study!
MovieHoliks3 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Ron Eldard stars in this terrific character study about a middle-aged roadie who is recently fired from his job working with the has-been band "The Blue Oyster Cult", and so returns to his home town and hangs out at his mom's place, and with some old friends- Bobby Cannavale and Jill Hennessy. Eldard is great in the titular role playing a character not unlike most of us, who wanted to achieve great things in life but had to settle (like most of us do) for second best, sorta living out his fantasies through his next chain of command.

I thought it was interesting they chose an actual real band for him to work for (even though we never see them in the film), and they say in the movie he started working for them twenty years ago-?? -so they were already a "has-been" group when he started with them-?? LOL And *possible SPOILER*- for those who have already seen this-->> did you guess that he was making it all up about him managing and writing songs for them-?? I pretty much did, and thought that was actually a great added touch for the character-?? -really made him more pathetic, but at the same time made you empathize with him to a greater degree-?? Well, I really enjoyed this piece- good performances all around, good music, good dialogue, etc..- now streaming on Showtime!
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I liked the idea of this movie more than the actual movie.
Mike Kiker3 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
It's not the best movie ever, and it is flawed in some respects. That's not to say it was a bad film, far from it. Although, I'm nowhere near the age of the central characters (I'm 26 at the time of writing this, I'm assuming they're all late 40's-early 50's?), as an aspiring musician who has worked as a roadie, this film really struck a chord with me, as a reference point for where I'd want to end up or not end up by the time I'm that age.

The overall message I got from this film was, it's far better to work your a$$ off doing what you love and to be thought of as a "loser" or a "fool" by the ones who only appear to be "normal", than to settle for stability, normalcy and mediocrity, if it's only going to make you miserable. However, the narrative of this film makes that particular lesson a hard-learned one, as it should be in real life.

There are 3 central characters: Jimmy (Ron Eldard, sporting the exact same hairstyle he had in "Super 8", I'm assuming he worked on this film right before or after that one), Randy (Bobby Cannavale) & Nikki (Jill Hennessey), and all 3 seem to represent different paths in life.

I found myself hating Randy from the second he entered the film. From the word "Testicles", he reminded me of all the bullies from days of yore, and the fact that he was, in fact, Jimmy's school bully, only proves my point more.

Nikki, on the other hand, while I didn't end up despising her character, there was a two-faced-ness about her that rubbed me the wrong way. Her overall story arc and character traits remind me of the typical middle-aged "singer/songwriter" who hasn't gone beyond corner pubs and open mic nights, due to a cocky attitude, a lack of ambition and an alternate career path. But even Nikki says, in no uncertain terms, that while she doesn't quite appear to be completely content, she's happy with settling for what she has. "He's Queens, I'm Queens."

The main flaw of the movie is that it pretty much trots along pretty aimlessly for most of it, until the real lesson of the movie comes out near the end when all 3 of the characters ensconce themselves in a run- down motel with mountains of cocaine. It's here that we really get a glimpse of everyone's true nature. The tense dialogue and atmosphere here (which is also hinted at in other parts of the film) almost tries to pin Jimmy (and roadies in general) as the bad guy for their particular job choice. Meanwhile, Jimmy turns the tables and shines a bright light on Randy and Nikki's pitiful existence, by stating that he may have only been a roadie, but he got to do what he loved and really got to live the "rock star partying lifestyle" that Randy and Nikki only pretend to do on their weekends. Jimmy may not be established in a "sensible career path", but he certainly has lived a far more fulfilling life with probably some amazing stories to tell.

For me, that's where the true heart of the narrative lies, and I would far more prefer to be that guy in life than to end up a miserable coke- addicted car salesman or a wannabe singer/songwriter, but that's only my experience, and my ambition in life. I'm not here to say that settling down is wrong. Some people are just meant for that path in life for myriad reasons, and that's OK. Not everybody can be a musician or a roadie, but for those with ambitions in that field, I would say, be an original, but be humble, yet work hard for your dream, and screw any setbacks that may bring, because it will only make the end result that much sweeter.
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Good Acting, Good music if you Like Blue Oyster Cult, very weak and boring story, if you like action movies this isn't for you.
Bruce Lee11 March 2012
Warning: 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.
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It's OK. Just wish it was a bit more compelling or at least more interesting.
Boba_Fett11389 January 2012
It's not like this is a bad movie in any way but it's still one that will probably make you go 'so what!'. It's a redundant, little movie to watch really, that won't leave an awfully big impression on you afterward, though while watching it you also won't ever got bored or annoyed by any of it.

You feel that the movie should had either gone for a completely dramatic and heavy approach or a fully comedic one. Now instead the movie feels somewhere stuck in the middle. It's a bit of both really, which makes neither work out as great or powerful as it could have. The movie never hits hard with any of its drama and it the characters and situations aren't quite quirky or entertaining enough to make you laugh. You could say that the movie plays things very safe and chooses the middle road.

But having said all this, it's still a good enough, little movie, that's just lacking a certain edge. It's certainly good looking and well directed though. Movies like this are of course not every expensive to make but you could tell lots of time and care got put into this movie, along with a bit of love. You could tell the film-makers and actors all believed in the project and gave it all they got.

Yes, I think it's foremost its acting that still makes this a maintaining movie to watch. The movie doesn't has the biggest stars but all are capable actors, who suit their roles well. It gives the movie its heart and still make this a pleasant watch.

As far as these sort of realistic, little drama's go, that are being like a random slice of life, this is one of the more bland ones but it's definitely not an horrible movie. It's quite watchable really but it just doesn't leave a big, lasting impression on you.

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Some Strong Moments but the Story Isn't All Together
Michael_Elliott8 January 2012
Roadie (2011)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Decent character story of a man named Jimmy (Ron Eldard) who returns home to his mother (Lois Smith) after being fired as a roadie for Blue Oyster Cult. Even though Jimmy's only back home for one, day he strikes up a relationship with an old girlfriend (Jill Hennessy) and her husband (Bobby Cannavale) who used to pick on him back in high school. The story of a fired roadie should have made for a great movie and while there are hints of a strong story here the end result is pretty disappointing even with the great music and lead performance. The first thirty-minutes of this movie almost kills it before it can take off and I'm sure many people are going to reach this point and start to grab for the remote to turn it off but they should certainly stick with it because the film does get better during the final hour. These first thirty-minutes are rather shallow because we just see Jimmy on the phone leaving messages or cussing in front of a window with kids watching him. Once he gets home we start to see his relationship with him mother and I found this to be rather dull as well. The film finally kicks into high gear when Jimmy meets up with his ex and her husband. I thought some interesting ideas started to come out here including the lies that Jimmy is trying to give off about his life. At this point in the film you actually start to care about the guy and what's going to happen to him next. There are some very good moments between he and the husband but of course there's a downfall towards the end of film and it's quite powerful. Eldard certainly looks the part of a roadie and I thought he really did a fine job bringing this character to life even when the screenplay wasn't giving him much to work with. He certainly adds a lot of depth to the role. Both Hennessy and Cannavale are very good in their parts as is Smith, although I'd say the screenplay really doesn't spell her character out all that well. ROADIE contains some good rock tunes but there's no question that the screenplay needed a re-write. As it is, the film will appeal to fans of rock but it's doubtful to find a large audience.
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A tale of arrested development with no compelling arc
thepooles-122 June 2016
I feel the script failed to make the subject matter meaningful to mainstream viewers. One cannot expect the director, writer or actors to worry about the commercial viability of the project. Producers and backers should have a say and they perhaps failed to warn that the story would not be compelling to regular folk. One is free to make any movie one can imagine but just don't assume that it will make a profit for those who put up the funds.

The character of Jimmy had no redeeming aspects. He was a teenage slacker and continued that pose for his entire life. A father breaking his guitar would have not made most rebellious teenagers totally quit. The viewer is left wondering what will become of such a callow male. Living with his mom for a few years? Maybe getting a job stacking cans at the local market? His mother's unconditional love won't save Jimmy. A compelling film just doesn't portray human failure. It must offer an uplifting epiphany or catharsis. Jimmy confessing to his mother about his mundane duties with BOC is hardly a notable catharsis that might lead to viable adult goals. Again, one can have skilled actors but if the story can't truly resonate with regular folk then expect to lose your investor's money. One DOES have an obligation to think of them as well as your own "artistic" ethos.
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Interesting movie...
stevekour-843-56588322 April 2012
This is a character driven film about a man who is a fan of music and couldn't be a rock star but as a fan of BOC, became on of their roadies and traveled with them all over the world for two decades... probably about a decade and a few years too long. He's not in the best health. He probably should have given up his roadie job a long time ago and taken his parents advice to become a teacher. He's had fun, but the the lifestyle and years have taken a toll on him. His mother is elderly, living by herself with some aging friends next door and she clearly needs help. She loves her son and kept his room as almost a shrine to him, just as he left it in the 1980's. His old rusted out Firebird sits in the driveway.

I'm a fan of music and Ron Eldard and Jill Hennessy. It was cool hearing Jill perform in the film. She sounded great and she's nice to look at also. The BOC songs were great and I especially liked the perfect closing track by Jackson Brown.

In the end I wanted to see Jimmy stay at home and take care of his mother. Maybe get in shape and go back to school. Maybe he could be a teacher. I wondered if Jimmy really could play guitar? Could he pick it back up and maybe he and Nikkie could perform together? This movie almost seemed like a pilot for a television series. If it were a series, it would be one that I would watch.

I see people are watching this one on Netflix... hopefully this will be a money maker in the end.
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