Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Bandslam Post.

Bandslam was the second time I've ever seen Aly Michalka in a non-Disney context; the first time was when she was on London Tonight promoting Bandslam. The film itself, despite coming with a trailer for New Moon attached, has turned out to be something of a box office dud on both sides of the Atlantic (a fate doomed to be shared by I Love You, Beth Cooper thanks partly to the reviews - most of which, mercifully, didn't go after my girl Hayden (though woe betide Chris Tookey and Nicholas Barber if I meet them) - but mostly to it not being on many screens in London... and thanks to my unwillingness to see anything in its first week of release I'll have to wait until next weekend!); for which some have blamed the marketing. Others blamed the casting of Vanessa Hudgens.

I blame the marketing - for a start, you know the poster art featuring Aly, Vanessa and Gaelan Connell proudly on stage? Doesn't really happen in the movie. Plus the movie's official UK website doesn't help reduce any High School Musical connotations, although the movie itself is overall better written (by Josh A. Cagan and director Todd Graff, from the former's story) and more filled with what's called "real" music in some corners. The trouble with the movie is that it's more interesting with its story and characters than with... you know... the music. Relationship between Aly and Gaelan's characters? Yes. Vanessa's edgy persona (a nice change of pace for her, really)? Yes. The whole "Dewey" thing? Yes. The actual musical numbers? Not really that rousing - even in the climax. (Also, when they're in CBGB's and the hero says there wouldn't have been U2 or The Killers without it... so it was them!)

Can't fault the singing, though, or most of the acting. And it passes the time well enough - too bad David Bowie still can't act. And too bad Aly's character is ultimately more interesting than Vanessa's. And too bad it had to come in the wake of the passing of John Hughes... but it still deserved to do a little better than it did.

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