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HTF REVIEW: "Rock Star"


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#1 of 47 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 11 2002 - 10:27 PM

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ROCK STAR


All Rock. No Soul.


It's as if it came and went without much
notice. Rock Star is an easily
forgettable film that movie audiences didn't
seem to embrace and neither will DVD viewers.

The film takes place in the 1980s. Amateur
Rock Bands are fighting for attention on stage,
mimicking their favorite rock idols.

Chris Cole (Mark Wahlberg) worships the
rock group STEEL DRAGONS and its fiery lead singer,
Bobby Beers (Jason Flemyng). By day Chris works
as a photocopy repairman, but at night dons makeup and
leather and takes the stage as a lead singer of a
local heavy-metal STEEL DRAGONS tribute band.

One day, Chris receives a phone call that changes
his life forever. Bobby Beers invites Chris and
his girlfriend/manager Emily (Jennifer Aniston) to
Los Angeles to audition for lead singer of the band.

Chris quickly rises to stardom. Every night is a
party and there are plenty of women to choose from
(and I thought only HTF owners lived like this).
This naturally puts a strain on the relationship
with Emily, and Chris must make some heartfelt
decisions about his career's future.

Filled with a rockin' 80's soundtrack from the
likes of BON JOVI, INXS, TALKING HEADS and FRANKIE
GOES TO HOLLYWOOD, Rock Star tries to be the
ultimate 80's movie, but alas, never really becomes
hip. The story is too far-fetched, there are no
characters to care about, and the film never becomes
inspiring. Though the film is promoted as
"unbelievably exciting!", I found it to be one big yawn.

How does the DVD look and sound?

Once again Warner Brothers has put out an
exceptional anamorphic transfer. The print looks
stunning, preserving all the colors that spray
across the stage from gorgeous blues to hot reds.

The 5.1 Dolby Digital Mix puts you right in the
center of Steel Dragon's rock concerts. From
screeching guitars to booming drums, my front
speakers pounded to the metal music as the rears
came alive with the sound of a roaring crowd.

Extra Features

In addition to a full length audio commentary
by Director Stephen Herek....

Backstage Pass is an extremely short
promotional piece that is as bland as the film
itself. Basically, Director Stephen Herek, Mark
Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston talk about the film
and the big-haired era that it represents. There
isn't much behind-the-scenes material here.

The film's music video, Rockstar, sung
by Everclear is included.


Final Thoughts


I am getting tired of Mark Wahlberg movies.
I never felt he was a credible lead actor as
he lacks charm and charisma. His performances
are easily forgettable and I often feel that a
movie would have succeeded far better if someone
else was playing the lead.

Out of all of Wahlberg's films, Rock Star
will be the easiest to forget. From start to
finish it's a rather dull, lackluster film that
really never rises to the occasion.

Rent it before even considering a purchase.

Release Date: January 22, 2002

 

Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 47 OFFLINE   Bergan Peters

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Posted January 11 2002 - 11:01 PM

How could you POSSIBLY give a positive review to Fast and the Furious AND The Grinch, and not like Rock Star? This movie is worth it SOLELY for the fact that during the credits they play some Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and Mark Wahlberg gets PISSED.

Also, not a credible actor? Mark Wahlburgs performance in Boogie Nights is better than EVERY actor in the Fast and the Furious combined.

#3 of 47 OFFLINE   Mitty

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Posted January 11 2002 - 11:32 PM

While I wouldn't presume to speak for Ron on this, any attempt to cross-compare reviews of films like this is a bit of a ridiculous enterprise.

A good reviewer will look at each movie on its own merits, whether it reasonably attains the goals it sets for itself. One certainly wouldn't try to compare Rock Star to The Fast and the Furious or The Grinch.

Imagine if every critic had to stand up against such obscure scrutiny? "Excuse me, Mr. Ebert, how is that you can give a thumbs up to 'Kate and Leopold' and a thumbs down to 'Fight Club?'"

And, really, what shines brighter in 'Boogie Nights?' Wahlberg's performance, or the material itself? Is it not possible that Ron's statement ("...I often feel that a movie would have succeeded far better if someone else was playing the lead.") still holds true for him, even in that instance?

#4 of 47 OFFLINE   AaronJB

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Posted January 12 2002 - 12:23 AM

I sat through "Rock Star" when it was in theaters late last year and - it's really not awful, but it's not great, either. Totally forgettable. What I really was displeased with is the part that Jennifer Aniston had. While people will always see her as part of "Friends", I think she has really matured as an actress over those years. To have her as some sort of half-developed "girlfriend" character was really one of the biggest wastes of talent in the film.

Just my two cents.
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#5 of 47 OFFLINE   cafink

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Posted January 12 2002 - 12:25 AM

Quote:
The story is too far-fetched

I'm not so sure Tim Owens would agree!
 

 


#6 of 47 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 12 2002 - 12:26 AM

Aaron,

I wanted to write more about the Jennifer
Aniston role in my review, but decided not to
because I felt I had written enough already.

I felt exactly as you had in that
Jennifer Aniston is such a fine actress and
her presence in this film was reduced to a
backseat role.

 

Ronald J Epstein
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#7 of 47 OFFLINE   Adam Tyner

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Posted January 12 2002 - 01:45 AM

Quote:
The story is too far-fetched
So no mention was made on the commentary track or any of the other supplemental material that Rock Star was based heavily on Tim Owens, a copy repair tech who sang in a Judas Priest cover band and found himself fronting one of the most popular metal bands of all time?

#8 of 47 OFFLINE   Vince Maskeeper

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Posted January 12 2002 - 03:42 AM

I just wanted to say that I, too, agree with Ron's assessment. I saw this film at Mann's in LA during the HTF meet in Sept, and thought it to be the worst big budget movie I've seen in years!

I think the idea of Tim Owen's story is really a great start for a movie- but I don't know if it could really support 90-100 minutes of film without a very capable screenwriter and more subtle actors.

The sad part about the film was that the absolute best take on the character would have been to play him more like the naive but cocky Dirk Diggler that Markey Mark played in Boogie Nights. Unfortunately, he already played that character.

I would certainly say rent before you buy- and if you don't ever get around to renting it-- no huge loss. But if you do suffer through it, make sure to stick around for the credits- the best part of the whole film happens after it ends.

Quote:
I'm not so sure Tim Owens would agree!

But to be fair, much of what happened to Tim was very Hollywood-ized for this film. The ides of the singer in the front row upstaging the real singer on stage (over 100,000 watts of PA) was a bit silly-- and much of the stuff that happened POST joining the band was silly and far fetched as well.

To be honest, I haven't talked to Tim in a while, but even he probably didn't like this movie.

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#9 of 47 OFFLINE   Dave H

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Posted January 12 2002 - 05:53 AM

I agree with most of the comments already made. There are no strong characters in this movie and I don't think this is the kind of movie that's going to be "remembered." I'm not sure if I would buy this movie, but I think it's worth a rental. Prior to seeing this movie I was hoping it was going to be another "Boogie Nights-type" film. It was far from it.

With all that being said, I wouldn't call this a bad movie and do think it's worth a rental. I just had a bit higher expectations.

#10 of 47 OFFLINE   Sean Conklin

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Posted January 12 2002 - 06:27 AM

I haven't seen this film, but as usual I will take Ron's review to heart(He's usually right), I have made several purchases and held off on some because of Ron's reviews(I haven't rented in 8 month's) and he hasn't missed with me yet.

BTW Ron, I know your busy, but have you acquired that taste for Bill and Ted yetPosted Image

Thanks for the review Ron!

#11 of 47 OFFLINE   Scott Weinberg

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Posted January 12 2002 - 06:44 AM

I'm with Ron on this one. I wouldn't classify Rock Star as an atrocious movie, simply a bland and forgettable one.

Good review.


#12 of 47 Guest_Darrin B_*

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Posted January 12 2002 - 07:23 AM

I think I will also take Ron's word on this one. We do pretty much have total opposite taste (Fast & Furious, Grinch...oh and that horrible Moulin Rouge come to mind) but
he makes some pretty good points about why it would be a
forgetable film. I disagree (somewhat) with Ron's opinion about Mark though. I thought he did an excellent job in
The Perfect Storm.

#13 of 47 OFFLINE   Gavin_L

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Posted January 12 2002 - 08:29 AM

thanks ron for the review, i was on edge of buying this dvd, but i think I'll have to think a little bit longer about Posted Image

#14 of 47 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted January 12 2002 - 09:34 AM

I sorta liked this film. I'm definitely buying this on release date.

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#15 of 47 OFFLINE   AndrewW

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Posted January 12 2002 - 02:37 PM

I don't know, for some reason I really enjoy Marky Mark; Basketball Diaries and Boogie Nights were great. I also thought this was an excellent movie, as did my wife...no Almost Famous, but still entertaining. I found the music to be quite ammusing. I'll be buying this one.

#16 of 47 OFFLINE   Sutjahjo Ngaserin

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Posted January 12 2002 - 02:52 PM

I agree with Ron that this is a forgettable movie, if you like the music however, it is worth a viewing.

"Fast and Furious" however is really a bad movie Posted Image and unless you enjoy the car race scenes (which is heavily criticised by street car racers) this one has no redeeming value.

Jaw

#17 of 47 OFFLINE   Tom Bley

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Posted January 12 2002 - 02:55 PM

Saw it in the theater....I'm buyin' this one!

#18 of 47 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted January 12 2002 - 06:13 PM

I loved this movie. No, it's not a great film, but I'm a sucker for hair metal, and I thought the concert scenes were kickin

Yes, and the Marky Mark blooper had me rolling Posted Image

#19 of 47 OFFLINE   John Thomas

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Posted January 12 2002 - 08:57 PM

That is what's great about opinions: yours isn't wrong. I enjoyed the movie, personally. Worth the price of admission and entertaining but after you leave the theater, it fades quickly.

#20 of 47 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted January 19 2002 - 03:57 PM

My feelings are much the same as Jeff's- although I wouldn't say I *loved* it.

You definitely need some knowledge of Judas Priest and of 80's metal in general to appreciate a lot of the material in Rock Star.

In fact, the movie was originally entitled "Metal God", after the Priest song "Metal Gods". My guess is that over the course of the development of the film, the portrayal of the main character and the band became more and more negative, and they disassociated themselves from it. I found the movie to be more condescending than nostalgic towards its subject matter, which bothered me a bit. (I wonder how much Marky Mark had to do with that- he was very public about how he doesn't like or respect heavy metal at all!)
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