Music-lover Clint Eastwood adapts the long-running stage musical for the big screen with mixed results: it recounts a terrific true story but has an uneven pace. It also fails to put the events into any kind of context in the period, which leaves the achievements of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons feeling isolated from the rest of the music industry of the time. So it's difficult to engage in much of what happens.
In 1951 Newark, Frankie (John Lloyd Young) works as a barber's assistant, hangs out with a mafioso (Christopher Walken) and sings in a band with his pals Tommy and Nick (Vincent Piazza and Michael Lomenda), troublemakers up to all kinds of scams. But it's when they added songwriter Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen) to the band that things begin to take off. Working with ace producer Bob Crewe (Mike Doyle), they release three No 1 singles in a row: Sherry, Big Girls Don't Cry and Walk Like a Man. And their fame grows from there. But Tommy's money problems eat away at the band's unity, and Nick begins to think that he's had enough.
Oddly, there the story of the Four Seasons feels dragged out to sustain a two-hour 15-minute film. The narrative is fractured and episodic, with long stretches in which nothing happens that hasn't been portrayed in every other musician biopic. Eastwood directs the film like a serious period epic, draining much of the colour from the screen while concentrating on shades of grey and brown. But the real problem is the script, which never manages to build up any momentum. Big events pale in interest next to the fantastic music, while a confusing flashback jumbles the timeline unnecessarily. And occasional scenes are narrated by the actors straight to camera, which is extremely distracting on a film screen, especially when Nick stops singing and starts chatting to us in the middle of the band's iconic performance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Continue reading: Jersey Boys Review
Clint Eastwood's adaptation of the hit Broadway show probably won't be called for an encore.
On the eve of the premiere of Clint Eastwood's movie adaptation of the Broadway hot musical, Jersey Boys, we thought we'd do a little snooping around to see what critics are saying and whether we should be adjusting our diaries this weekend to make way for a trip to the cinema.
Starring Christopher Walken, Boardwalk Empire's Vincent Piazza, Mike & Molly actor Billy Gardell and Jersey Boys stage star, actress Erica Piccininni, the movie tells the story of four young men who came together to form popular sixties rock group The Four Seasons. Eastwood frames one of the most adored band of the '60s with their early career struggles and gritty dealings with mobsters.
Describing the movie as a "likable and not overly romanticized portrait of the Four Seasons," SF Gate's Mick LaSalle praises the movie's songs, saying "Even if you have never particularly liked these songs, you will like them here [...] There's something about witnessing the birth of a sound - specifically "Sherry," their breakthrough - that makes that sound more beautiful."
Continue reading: Eastwood's 'Jersey Boys' Is Fun But Fails To Upstage Broadway
'22 Jump Street' reached first place at the US Weekend Box Office. The comedy starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill gained $60 million in its opening weekend and is likely to stay at the top of the Box Office this weekend, if the new competition is anything to go by.
22 Jump Street and How To Train Your Dragon 2 have topped the US weekend box office. The two newcomers gained, respectively, first and second position knocking, The Fault In Our Stars off the top spot. The latter film has plummeted to fifth two weeks after its release. Maleficent remains in the top three, having being pushed out of second position by HTTYD2. But after two weeks, the Disney re-envisioning of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale is doing fairly well.
22 Jump Street, which stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as two undercover cops in college, has received positive reviews from critics and has evidently won over audiences with the reprisal of childish antics and easy laughs we encountered in the original, 21 Jump Street. It's the perfect film for the summer months and with the new competition released this weekend (20th June), may not be out of the box office top ten for some time. So what is on offer for this weekend?
The musical stage-to-screen adaptation has had its premiere screening.
Jersey Boys received its premiere screening in New York City on Monday where director Clint Eastwood and the musical adaptation's cast were present and correct in sharp suits. Based on the musical of the same name, the biopic tells the story of four young men who came together to form popular sixties rock group The Four Seasons.
Eastwood may be better known for his hard-man action films but the 84 year-old film legend and music fan revealed that Jersey Boys was a passion project: "What was fun for me is that it's about musicians [...] The Four Seasons had all these hit songs, but they were juvenile delinquents! They were just guys from the neighborhood, a place where, if you were a singer, you were looked down upon as strange, unless you were Sinatra," Eastwood revealed, via The Daily Mail.
Starring Christopher Walken, Boardwalk Empire's Vincent Piazza, Mike & Molly actor Billy Gardell and Jersey Boys stage star, actress Erica Piccininni, the movie is fairly unique in that the actors were required to sing live.
Continue reading: 'Jersey Boys' Musical Given Hollywood Makeover By Clint Eastwood
The Four Seasons was one of the most adored rock bands of the sixties with its charismatic partnership of four singers led by the infamous Frankie Valli, whose powerful falsetto took the world by storm. But like any chart sensations, they started from the bottom living a difficult life in New Jersey. Despite achieving the fame they so desperately yearned for as young musicians, with success brought a lot of struggles; the band members' relationships became frequently tested, particularly as both fans and producers became interested in bringing Frankie's voice out more and more. Meanwhile, they had their personal lives to worry about with family troubles and problems involving the Mob - but in the end, the successes of tunes such as 'Sherry', 'Big Girls Don't Cry' and 'Walk Like a Man' would make them the one of the most iconic acts of the decade.
Continue: Jersey Boys Trailer
Hal Hefner (Reece Thompson) really can't help but be humiliated; he stutters like it was going out of style. How would this lead him to his high school debate team? Well, the debate team happens to be led by silver-tongued Ginny (Anna Kendrick), an all-business upperclassman who thinks she can mold Hal into a thorough debater. As you might not expect, Ginny's efforts go to spit and she leaves the school for the higher-ranking debate team. But Hal is relentless, determined to both kick the habit and impress Ginny. Ben (Nicholas D'Agosto), a mythical debater who quit debating to work at a city laundry, seems to be his only hope. Ben's got one idea: teaching Hal to debate by singing his argument along to "The Battle of the Republic" and showing everyone up at the state competition.
Continue reading: Rocket Science Review
Music-lover Clint Eastwood adapts the long-running stage musical for the big screen with mixed results:...