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Bandslam (2009)

Aly Michalka , Vanessa Hudgens , Todd Graff  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Aly Michalka, Vanessa Hudgens, Gaelan Connell, Scott Porter, Ryan Donowho
  • Directors: Todd Graff
  • Writers: Todd Graff, Josh A. Cagan
  • Producers: Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Summit Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 16, 2010
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0021L8UT4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,015 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bandslam" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

A new kid in town assembles a fledgling rock band -- together, they achieve their dreams and compete against the best in the biggest event of the year, a battle of the bands.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dear David Bowie... March 25, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Take a chance on this unexpected gem, do, and never mind that you may have gone "Uh oh!" when you first noticed Vanessa Hudgens's name on the billing (although, okay, I did sneakily like the first HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL). I walked into BANDSLAM unawares, didn't really know what it was about, and I ended up pleased and tremendously entertained. I guess that's when the taste is sweetest, when you're not expecting too much. BANDSLAM has more in common with NICK & NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST than it does with HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL.

Gaelan Connell, I haven't seen him before, but he seems a natural at playing the nervous, ill-fitting-in, fumbly role and, somewhere, a threatened Michael Cera has to be biting his fingernails. This kid is also glib enough that he even reminds me of vintage young John Cusack. Connell plays iPod-attached misfit Will Burton who is newly moved to Lodi, New Jersey, and he's actually glad to be in the Garden State, so you get an idea of how miserable his past existence must have been. He now attends Van Buren High School, where he learns that the biggest event is the Bandslam, this annual Tri-State Battle of the Bands (winner gets a record deal).

Will loves Indie rock; he regularly writes to David Bowie in this thoroughly one-way correspondence relationship. Will also happens to be a walking encyclopedia of rock & roll knowledge, and this may or may not have something to do with his being befriended by the very cool and popular ex-cheerleader Charlotte (Aly Michalka, of the pop duo Aly & AJ). Charlotte fronts a lowly garage band, and she dreams of competing on Bandslam, although her band would have to contend with her school's own juggernaut rock group, Ben Wheatly & the Glory Dogs (Ben Wheatly, by the way, is Charlotte's ex).
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for Bandslam on DVD November 23, 2009
I seriously was hoping that this movie was going to be out on DVD for the holidays. Really this little gem of a movie got so overlooked and lost in the end of summer shuffle. Its greatest claim to fame is probably that you got your first glimpse of the Meet Jacob Black trailer for New Moon in the previews but that shouldn't be all it is known for.

I saw this with my two daughters and I seriously can say this was one of the best movies I had seen in a very long time. What a positive, uplifting message this movie provided in a way that wasn't preachy or dorky to kids. Good music, acting and storyline, no trash - which is such a refreshing concept for today's movies that are marketed to tweens and teens. I love the whole way it was filmed, it was just new and fun.

I would love to be able to watch it again and hope that it comes out on DVD soon! If you haven't seen this movie and are considering it when it does become available, don't hesitate. You won't be sorry. It is a feel good movie with a positive message that parents and their children can watch together with no worries or reservations.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The decision to rent Bandslam this week for a family movie night was based purely on the strength of my awareness of very good reviews last year in the face of Summit Entertainment's marketing controversy. My wife and I have four kids ranging from 14 to 9 so we try to cover a lot of bases on our movie nights.

The real story here is not that the movie is good (it is), but that the marketing is now famously referred to as possibly the worst for any film in recent memory. To wit: here is a movie that would appeal to a typical John Hughes audience (e.g. Farris Bueller's Day Off, etc.), which fell victim to such poor promotion -- from the trailers to the poster and even the title (changed by the studio against the director's wishes) -- that no one ever got close to the theater door. Worse, when looking to rent it we found it located in the Blockbuster store in the "Just for Kids" section between a kiddie cartoon movie and the new Barbie cgi release.

Bandslam is funny, poignant and edgy enough to appeal to everyone in the family, yet, sadly, the marketing campaign spun this film toward a pre-teen High School Musical audience which by release date was as fashionable as highway roadkill. The film was pulled from theaters before the ink was dry on the posters.

The final verdict: our kids want to buy both the DVD as well as the very good soundtrack which features the likes of Wilco, Bowie, the Velvet Underground, and Nick Drake -- and my wife and I will happily oblige!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth the watch May 2, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
We bought this for our 13 yr.old daughter. But, it is fun and interesting for the whole family- not your typical tween movie. Many references to late 70's & 80's music. Definitely worth the watch.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your Disney pre-teen movie January 26, 2010
Format:DVD
Absolutely one of the best teen movies written in a long time.What had to be a low budget film turned out to be a very well thought out , methodical movie .It was played very nicely with the very young cast who have shown that there is another side to them than being just another Disney brat.It was way to bad this movie never got the hype it deserved. People should buy the movie or rent , they will then know what they missed out on at the big screen.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rocks for all ages! April 29, 2011
Format:DVD
My 18-year old daughter has cerebral palsy, but she loves to ROCK! Her usual faves are High School Musical and Camp Rock, which are ok, but get a little bit tiresome for this 54-year old Mom. I took a chance on Bandslam, and we both LOVE it! The music is a joy, and we both rock out, much to her delight. Aly's cover of 'Amphetamine' is especially surprising and intense, and Vanessa and the band's ska rendition of a David Gates tune (yes, you read that right) is not be missed. A must have for all ages!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Arrived fast and this is a great movie!!
Published 9 days ago by dc
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It's a great feel good movie that the whole family can watch
Published 24 days ago by charlie broughton
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I really enjoyed it.
Published 1 month ago by Cheryl
5.0 out of 5 stars Ska fan? Like your movies to lift your spirits some? You will enjoy...
The movie was much more entertaining than what I was expecting. The story and characters were fun, with a touch of feels, and if you like ska, you'll like the musical direction of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by kingsquee
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sleeping Gem That Can Speak to Young and Old
My only regret with this movie is that I did not purchase it sooner when it first came out. When I first came across this movie in the department store, I quickly put it aside... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Hope this helps
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Nice movie.
Published 2 months ago by A. Starkovich
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great
Published 3 months ago by tarri
5.0 out of 5 stars great!!!!
I loved it!! From beginning to end! Its a really great story!! Very heartwormming, after seeing the movie for the first time it really got in to more indie rock and ska music!! Read more
Published 3 months ago by boobookitty
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the
This will be watched over and over, could never get tired of watching it . Love the music
Published 3 months ago by Reye Rodriguez
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie for young teens.
Cute movie. Watch it with a bunch of friends kids on a family day. They seemed to enjoy it a lot.
Published 3 months ago by J. Begg Jr.
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