Bandslam

"OK"

Bandslam Review


With its squeaky-clean characters and simplistic plotting, this film is clearly targeting the High School Musical audience. It even has the same lead actress.

And it's just bright and sunny enough to work.Will (Connell) is a nerdy music obsessive who is thrilled when his mother (Kudrow) announces that they're moving from Cincinnati to New Jersey. He plans to reinvent himself at his new high school, and quickly gets caught up in the upcoming BandSlam competition, helping hot girl Charlotte (Michalka) turn her talented but scruffy bandmates (Saxton and Jo) into a first-rate band with the addition of a few more members (including Donowho, Yost and Chung). Meanwhile, Will is falling for his moody study partner Sa5m (Hudgens). The 5 is silent.The formula dictates the plot, as we know things will fall apart before they come together in the end. And where this film surprises us is in the way it approaches teen life with a blast of intelligence. The characters are recognisably complex, with some pretty serious issues in their lives and relationships that feel relatively organic and real. And the conflicts feel vaguely authentic as well, even though we know the smiles will be back before too long.

These teens are all overachievers with a lot of talent, and it's clear that the same can be said about the cast, although the rampant overacting may grate on older audience members. It's mainly Michalka's show; Charlotte is by far the most interesting, magnetic character. But everyone else gets a chance to cut loose as well, including Porter as Charlotte's cool-kid ex. Meanwhile, Kudrow adds class, and some fine comic timing, to the whole thing.Of course, this is a Disneyfied fantasy version of high school, where everyone is virginal and straight, and even the geeks are cute. And this blanding-down makes the whole thing feel less like a proper film than a pilot for a TV series that combines harmless adolescence with an introduction to rock history. But the music is terrific, and director-cowriter Graff resists the temptation to indulge in the usual hackneyed moralising. He also stirs in some terrific moments along the way that subvert the genre just a little bit.



Bandslam

Facts and Figures

Run time: 111 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th August 2009

Box Office USA: $5.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $5.2M

Budget: $20M

Distributed by: Summit Entertainment

Production compaines: Summit Entertainment, Walden Media, Goldsmith-Thomas Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Fresh: 79 Rotten: 19

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Marisa Yeres

Starring: as Sam, as Charlotte Banks, as Will Burton, as Karen Burton, as Ben Wheatly, as Basher Martin, as Bug, Tim Jo as Omar, as Irene Lerman (Cello), Lisa Chung as Kim Lee (Keyboards), J.W. Wright as Dylan Dyer (Glory Dogs Guitar), Blair Bomar as Megan, Casey Williams as Ms. Wittenberg, Maggie Maye as Kyra 17-1, Zach Thatcher as Kid Talking About Miles, Derek Cox-Berg as Rapping Boy #1, Matt Hensarling as Rapping Boy #2, Cassidy Johnson as Slapping Girl, Landon Henninger as Rory, Nathan McCray as Glue Boy, Kai Roach as Glory Dogs Bass, Chris Copeland as Glory Dogs Drummer, James Hairston as Glory Dogs Saxophone, Chance Morgan as The Burning Hotels Guitar / Vocals, Matt Moody as The Burning Hotels Guitar / Vocals, Marley Whistler as The Burning Hotels Bass / Vocals, Wyatt Adams as The Burning Hotels Drummer, Farah White as Sa5m's Mom, Nikka Graff Lanzarone as New Art Teacher, Bobby Bones as Bandslam MC, Jonathan Rice as Stage Manager, Ryan Ciardo as Bully at the Bus Stop, Will Johnson as Scott Donnelly, Bryan Chafin as 1st Kid, Rebecca Petro as 2nd Kid, as Himself, Valin Zamarron as Hip Hop Group 'Zeale', Candice Jackson as Hip Hop Group 'Candice', Manjeri Krishna as Hip Hop Group 'DJ', Benjamin Kessler as ICGO Saxophone, Andrew Glen Rector as ICGO Trombone, Juan Lopez as ICGO Trumpet, Evan Butts as The Daze Guitar / Vocals, Chris Ritchie as The Daze Bass, Aaron Lemke as The Daze Drummer, Krystal Morton as Art Class Girl, as Screaming Teacher, Julian Riano as Dewey Kid, Joey Olivares as Rock-N-Roller, Nadia Sahari as Charlotte's Aunt, Joshua Montoya as Screaming Fan, Michael Cuomo as Mr. Berry


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