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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).Read more ›
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.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bandslam is a great family movie that I recommend to everybody. The characters have flaws, they fall, and they redeem themselves. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Dean Harvison
Thus to me is a great movie. I, as my kids are music lovers of lots of different genres. The music in this movie is great. And it's a movie I can watch with my younger kids tooPublished 2 months ago by James Coatney
There has to be a bully for the good guy to play off of, but thankfully it's sort of minimal in this film. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Steven Abercrombie
Very cute and clean with no DisneyChannel-esque over-acting. My tween daughters loved it and so did their parents.Published 5 months ago by TinaM