on August 21, 2005
This was, hands-down, my favorite movie of the 1980's - nothing else could compare! The story line was great, and the music was awesome - in fact, I wore out several tapes of this soundtrack because I wouldn't stop playing them - over & over again!
Eddie & The Cruisers is about the disappearance of a rock star in an up & coming band, and a reporter who's trying to uncover a story about the missing tapes from their last recording together.
In the movie, Eddie is determined to change the direction of the music his band is playing, but not all of the members agree with his new style. Although there's dissention in the ranks, they decide to go to the studio to make a recording for their new album, and before they are completely finished, Eddies car is found having crashed over a bridge - his body is never found. Is he dead??? Then, the day after the crash, the master tapes from their last recording go missing. Who would take them? Why?
Years later, a reporter is doing a story on trying to uncover the mystery surrounding the missing tapes. She tracks down and speaks to all of the members of the old band - except Eddie who was never found. Will they have any information that will help solve this mystery? Will Eddie ever be found?
I won't answer any of these questions, because I don't want to ruin it for those who haven't seen this movie yet. Suffice it to say that this is an awesome movie, and is a "must see" for those who grew up in the 80's and/or love "Jersey rock-n-roll". I give it a 2 thumbs up!!!
on April 14, 2001
I have to totally disagree with Tom Keogh's review of this film. The worst comments I have ever heard or read were along the lines of, "It was all right." "Not bad." "It was an okay movie." But according to Tom: "...impossible to accept." "...Pare is far from suitable (for the character)." "An all around embarassment." Was this guy having a bad hair day when he wrote this? Here's my two cents: "Eddie and the Cruisers" is a beautiful little movie that combines friendship, mystery, drama, and good music, all wrapped with solid acting, good direction, and a literate script. It's not a 'Citizen Kane', but then again, it doesn't claim to be. I've seen the film at least a dozen times since its release in the early eighties, and it still cruises. If you have yet to watch it, treat yourself to a nice hour-and-a-half (and don't forget the popcorn).
on July 17, 2000
Mystery surrounds the death of a rising rock star in director Martin Davidson's "Eddie and the Cruisers," starring Tom Berenger and Michael Pare. With one successful album under their belts, lead singer and guitarist Eddie Wilson (Pare) takes his Cruisers into the recording studio to make an album he hopes will stand the world on its collective ear. Drawing the title from a work by Nineteenth Century poet Arthur Rimbaud, they begin to lay down tracks for "A Season In Hell." But all is not well with Eddie and the band; there is dissent, and at least one among them, bassist Sal Amato (Matthew Laurance) disagrees with the direction in which Eddie has taken their music. Early one morning, toward the end of the recording sessions, Eddie's car goes off a bridge into the river; his body is never found. Now, eighteen years later, a reporter, Maggie Foley (Ellen Barkin) is doing a story on the Cruisers, and attempting to uncover the mystery behind the disappearance of the master tapes from the recording sessions, which inexplicably vanished the day after Eddie's apparent death. Pare is perfectly cast as Eddie, the Bruce Springsteen-like rocker; he lip-synchs convincingly to John Cafferty's vocals and deftly captures the persona of an early sixties rock n' roll idol on the rise. Tom Berenger (who is actually the star of the movie) does an excellent job as lyricist Frank Ridgeway, the keyboard player known as "Word Man" by the band. Davidson tells the story by effectively using flashbacks, through which we get to know Eddie and his band, and which establishes the relationships so pertinent to the present day conflicts which emerge during Foley's investigation of Eddie and the missing tapes. The focus is mainly on Ridgeway, therefore as the story unfolds it is predominately from his perspective that we learn what really happened, especially on that last night in the recording studio. That there is a comparison being drawn between Eddie and Jim Morrison of The Doors is unmistakable; the plot draws heavily on the myth that Morrison (and Eddie) is still alive and may have "Pulled a Rimbaud." Poet Rimbaud (who is considered a genius, and to whom the creation of the form of modern poetry as we know it is attributed) committed "artistic suicide" at the age of nineteen, at which time he abruptly quit writing and disappeared for the next twenty years, only to reappear at last on his deathbed in France. That the title of Rimbaud's masterpiece is "A Season In Hell" is no coincidence. The parallels are drawn convincingly, which heightens the interest and adds to the credibility of the mystery. The supporting cast includes Joe Pantoliano (Doc), Helen Schneider (Joann), David Wilson (Kenny), Michael Antunes (Wendell) and Kenny Vance (Lew). An excellent soundtrack of original songs, written and performed by John Cafferty, provided Davidson with a solid base from which to launch his story. "Eddie and the Cruisers" is entertaining, if not entirely memorable, but the music and performances are good, and all in all this movie will do for a pleasant evening's viewing, with maybe a little popcorn thrown in for effect. If you haven't seen this one, try it out; I think you'll be glad you didn't let it pass you by.
on September 10, 2001
'Eddie and the Cruisers' has been my all-time favorite movie since I first watched it back in '83. I've seen it dozens of times since then and have worn out two VHS copies. That's why I was delighted to learn that it was finally being released on DVD, which meant, obviously, a few extras and surprises that the format affords (widescreen, theatrical trailers, deleted scenes, etc.) Boy, was I disappointed. First and foremost, it is NOT in the widescreen format, despite what the packaging says. I repeat, THIS IS NOT IN THE WIDESCREEN FORMAT. This is the pan and scan, or full-screen version, with black bars superimposed over it. I ran the DVD simultaneously with the VHS version, freezing frames and comparing. Call me obsessive, but I had to make sure. It was so obvious. Things at the top and bottom of the screen on the VHS version were covered by the bars on the DVD, while the sides of the screen yielded very little extra, if anything, on this so-called widescreen version. As far as the picture itself, the DVD does produce a better quality of this movie than I've ever seen before. However, that's the only plus. Since it is not in widescreen, the only extra is one theatrical trailer. No wonder MGM is selling this at below cost. A disgrace and a scam. Unless you just absolutely, positively have to have this movie on DVD, don't waste your money.
on March 19, 2004
I do think something is lacking here. The sequel is not available. Uh, would you by Star Wars and forget about the Empire Stricke Back, I think not. To the distributors, get II on the street, it will sell especially to those of us that not only like it, but also belive a set should be complete. Get the DVD to the fans.
Having read all the reviews I agree this is a great movie and I think some modern so-called musicians should take a hard look. Eddie was all about the music and the way it was created and played (even in the sequel). He wrote it and performed it as a real musician should. It had nothing to do with the show and everything to do with the quality and message the music was relaying. It may only be a movie, but it realys music of its time. Modern singers (most at least)--not musicians-- have lost sight of the meaning of musical creativity. Now it is all about putting on the show. I may be out of touch, hey I have seen STYX 5 times since they regrouped--they still get large crowds and still make music. Bands like that don't take their clothes off, don't have dance numbers, don't kiss on stage, don't have plastic surgery to attract a crowd, and don't hide behind someone elses skill. Bands like that write, create, and perform their own music. They don't hire bands and writers, they are the bands, they are the writers/creators of their own music. Maybe that is why we still listening to the Beatles and Led Zeplin and for the most part forgotten about performers like Britney and Christina. Once the get older and the appearance/persona has gone so have they.
on December 29, 2004
While I love this movie, the sequel is even better! For any of you who lived the rock-and-roll 70's and 80's, this movie will speak to you. The music takes on a life of it's own as well, and you'll find yourself searching out all the various CD's which support these cult classics. Now, we just need Eddie Lives on DVD to complete the experience....my tapes are wearing out!
on June 10, 2003
Sure, the acting may not be Oscar quality, but who cares? The characters have been perfectly cast, with Michael Pare BELIEVABLE when he expertly lip synchs the fantastic music. With apologies to Mr. Springsteen, John Cafferty is, in his own right, a terrific artist, who measures up quite well to The Boss musically...as a matter of fact, just listen to the saxophone playing of Michael "Tunes"--the "big man" Clemons is great, but "Tunes" is, in my opinion, a tad better. You are in for a treat as you see and listen to the solid rock n roll songs in this movie as well as in the sequel (Eddie Lives). The supporting actors, Ellen Barkin, Tom Berenger, Joe Pantoliano, Matthew Laurance and especially the delicious Helen Schneider have been well cast, and fun to watch. The ending of the movie is exceptional..it will leave you wanting more.
on May 28, 2004
This film is a fantasy!! Pretend! And.. wonderful! Have seen it countless times and it always manages to evoke so many positive feelings, it's impossible to list. The "Editor's Review" says the story is impossible to accept- I disagree!! It's fun and I love it..again and again! No problem here!
Also have to put in my vote to those who are holding up the release of Eddie and the Cruiser's 2...what's in the way of this release? Work it out!!
on December 25, 2006
Along with 1984's pop-rock opera cult classic STREETS OF FIRE, EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS (1983) marks the high-water mark of Michael Pare's less-than-stellar acting career. Pare, a late-blooming denizen of the Clenched Jaw School of Acting, is Eddie, the iconoclastic leader of a North Jersey 1950s Doo-Wop band, a one-hit wonder, The Cruisers, whose 1963 hit, "On The Dark Side" has been rediscovered, circa 1983, and is leading to a popular Cruisers revival.
Two decades later, Maggie (Ellen Barkin) is a music reporter who is indefatigable in hunting down the surviving band members, most of whom are leading exceptionally colorless lives. She is driven by rumors of a "lost" Cruisers album, "A Season In Hell," which is reputedly earth-shattering.
As the story unfolds through a series of flashbacks, we meet Eddie, an egotistical greaser, the archetypal Leader of The Pack. His band is rounded out by his eye-candy girlfriend, Joanne (singing vocals), his Clarence Clemons-inspired jazz-sax friend Wendell, Sal Amato, a marginally talented guitarist from the old neighborhood, Kenny the drummer, Doc the manager, and Frank Ridgway (Tom Berenger), the lyricist "Word Man." While the rest of the band trails far behind Eddie's talent and vision, for his part, Word Man introduces Eddie to Verlaine and Rimbaud the disappeared nineteen year old Romantic Poet who committed "artistic suicide" and who serves as the direct inspiration for "A Season In Hell." The obvious connection to Rimbaud aside, Eddie "On The Dark Side" is also a clear fictionalization of The Doors' Jim Morrison, who found his inspiration in Celine's "Journey To The End of The Night."
Although Eddie refers to Wendell as his "best friend" he has a much deeper sibling-like relationship with Word Man, whom he alternately ignores, embraces, and disparages as the mood takes him. Despite Eddie's rough edges, he has the soul of an artist, and respects Word Man as he respects no one else.
After the avant-garde musical montage that is "A Season In Hell" is bluntly rejected by the Cruisers' label, Eddie, Rimbaud-cum-Morrison-like, suffers a mysterious death. The "A Season In Hell" tapes vanish. Eddie's body is, unsurprisingly, never found.
Despite the transparency of the plot, EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS is an engaging film that has acheived cult status in the twenty-some years since its release. The music, provided by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, is stylistically essentially reworked Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, but it holds up well. Although EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS was a critical flop dismissed as having an "impossible" storyline (no such thing), it was a popular, if minor, success that spawned a sequel, the predictably titled EDDIE LIVES. A far better effort than it sounds, EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS is a great Sunday afternoon popcorn-and-soda flick that you will want to watch from time to time.
on June 22, 2004
I'm guessing that this was a B-Movie which grew into a cult film, and I'm glad that it did!
This movie really manages to pull you into a fantasy- where Eddie Wilson was 15 years ahead of his time...and nobody can find the missing tapes, of what WOULD have been his next album- had he lived.
A news woman interviews the remaining members of Eddie's old band, to try and shine some light on the mis-understood stories, the blurred memories and complex ideas.
To enjoy this film, you have to ignore the REAL history of rock n'roll and pretend that THIS is how it went. It was well paced, the acting was good and the music fits!
As for DVD extras...you don't get very much, but that doesn't ruin this classic movie, now does it?
ROCK ON, EDDIE!!!!!