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Rock Star

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Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Flemyng,Timothy Olyphant, Timpthy Spall, Jason Bonham, Stephen Jenkins, Zakk Wylde, Brian Vander Ark, Dominic West and George Clooney helped produce.

Directed by: Stephen Herek

 

So you wanna be a rock star? Who doesn't? Cool clothes, hot babes (or mansteaks depending upon your preference) and world travel. These days one barely needs talent...

The cast within Rock Star, both the musicians and the actors playing musicians, just don't have any oomph. It's hard for me not to love Mark Wahlberg, though.

Marky Wahlberg is not only one of the cutest croissants in the bakery of man, but he's a wonderful actor. His soft-spoken, near bookish demeanor and hard crusty bits mix in a large portion of talent perfection cocktail. Sure, I'm smitten, but it's the truth. This is one of his most humorous roles yet.

Rock Star is a comedy, not a brilliant comedy, that follows the rise of Chris Cole (MM-call Emily Blunt at 1-866-362-5868- Wahlberg). He's a lead singer for a cover/tribute band, Blood Pollution that drives the locals into frenzy while they emulate a real, famous, rock band Steel Dragon ; like all those tribute bands of the Grateful Dead or the Doors do even now at local dive venues to a screaming B class groupies yellin' over a quazi-karaoke night.

The year is 1985, big hair, tacky clothes and cucumber bulges rule, and so does metal. Chris is very much a part of the scene. He's a semi loser during the day, drives a beat up Dart, and lives at home- 'nough said?

When Christopher's unceremoniously booted from the band he lives for he's thinking life's pretty much a big old bag of rag weed you paid a premium for. That is until his phone rings and fate steps up to his microphone. He's asked to step-in for the Steel Dragon's singer, Bobby Beers (Jason Flemyng), ala the real life switch-a-roo Judas Priest pulled with leather boy, Rob Halford...

Chris has suddenly become the icon people in bands around the world look to be. Neat huh? But he wants more. Snore. Chris, now known as Izzy, does the whole Mick Jagger-Bowie-Poison gig and is livin the generic rock star life of legends...all while as his gal, who was always his strongest supporter, (sniff) Emily (Jennifer " I see Brad Pitt naked -anytime I want" Aniston) is starting to be lost in the fog machine of life.

He's rude, crude, whoring around and into drug food. She's gotta dump the creep. Oh, how quickly people forget who was there when they were beggin' for change to fill up their gas tank...He gets his ego bruised a little to though... hehehe (<-evil cackle)

Rock Star's problem? There's a lack of edge, no real energy of the "time" is present, and few belly laughs await you, dare I say it's a Spinal Tap lite? Granted Rock Star has some great scenes, some decent acting and lots of young hot bucks in tight clothing wriggling about a stage and scantly clad felines for all the audience to enjoy.

Remember Mark "the actor" Wahlberg was once an underwear exposing hip-hop artist ricocheting around a stage in his Calvins, grabbing his crotch to sound of screaming girls simultaneously in prayer that his stylin' oversized jeans would plummet to the floor and reveal his winky. While Rock Star's music is other end of the jukebox different, Wahlberg's had the rock star experience and he does a great (I just think it could have been even better) job of bring Chris up to a quazi-believable star. Mark did provide less of a lypsyncing-local-talent-show impersonation and managed to capture an essence of what schmoo turned icon would be reacting like. The movie itself just didn't grab you.

The band Steel Dragons actually boasts real musicians with a bit of a name for themselves; the drummer is the real Jason Bonham (son of Led Zeppelin's John Bonham -second only to Moon in talent), the bassist is Dokken's guitarist Jeff Pilson, and Third Eye Blind's lead singer, Stephan Jenkins plays a rival bands lead singer. So there's tasty treats for the diehard music folks sprinkled in the audience.

Often I thought of Spinal Tap, the quintessential rock star mock and wished for Nigel (Christopher Guest) to pop up backstage arguing about finger sandwiches and the evils of bread crust...it never happened.

Jennifer Aniston is still trying to break out of her Friend's mold. She hasn't done it here, unfortunately. Her role, as Chris (Izzy)'s girlfriend Emily, could have been played by just about any starlet wandering the lot. Maybe next time she'll get some meat and dumplings to sink her perfectly shaped teeth into? It's hard to get out of the whole must see TV stuff.

In the end , Rock Star is a big old metaphor for how important it is to be yourself. To find your own voice. Sure Chris/Izzy's made it big, filling the shoes of Steel Dragon's ex-singer. Somebody who already paved the road, so the fans aren't really gushing over Chris at all. That's gonna effect your psyche eventually huh? He's an artist after all...

Rock Star is also a chance for some rock and roll nostalgia. Not just for the fond memory of the ridiculously made-up boys of the eighties, but for those shapely men in their super tight custom leather performing a kind of bare chested ballet to screaming guitars and half hour long drum riffs. If your one of them rush and see this...if not wait for rental.

Snack recommendation: Beer and donuts, while reviewing Boogie Nights just one more time...


Official site
Steel Dragon's site
Blood Pollution's site


 

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