|BANDSLAM (VANESSA HUDGENS) - WS & VF/VOSTFR *NEW*|
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|Bandslam (DVD 2009)|
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Fresno, CA, USA
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|Genre:||Musical & Performing Arts|
Average review score based on 11 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
Parents, relax: Although its advertising may suggest a kiddie movie about high school bands, or a vocal showcase for High School Musical starlet Vanessa Hudgens, director Todd Graff's Bandslam manages to be energetic, entertaining, and surprisingly mature. And while it sometimes bites off a bit more than it can chew, the very fact that it chooses to tackle serious issues -- such as death, loneliness, imprisonment, drunk driving -- instead of wallowing in cheesy teenage melodrama comes as a breath of fresh air: Teenagers who see the film will be forced to think, and adults who are dragged along will be engaged.
High school student Will Burton (Gaelan Connell) doesn't have many friends in Cincinnati. So when his mother (Lisa Kudrow) gets a job in the Northeast, Will gladly leaves his old life behind and starts over at Martin Van Buren High School in New Jersey. Right away, he notices the school's emphasis on Bandslam, an annual 'battle of the bands' event.
In human studies class, Will meets a quiet, reserved girl (Hudgens) who goes by the name of Sa5m (the five is silent). At first, she doesn't show much interest in Will. But after getting paired up for a class project, the two become friends. Then they become more than friends. Enter Charlotte (Alyson Michalka), the ex-girlfriend of Ben (Scott Porter), who is the lead singer of the biggest band at Van Buren. Charlotte has her own band and intends to beat Ben's band at Bandslam. Too bad her band sucks. Luckily, our hero Will is a music expert and lends a helping hand. Charlotte names Will the manager of her band. Then, these two become more than friends, too. Uh oh!
The young actors manage to avoid the afterschool special-level acting one might expect from the aforementioned setup. Hudgens, despite being the primary selling point of the film, knows when to hold back: She doesn't fight for attention or upstage her fellow actors. Michalka gives her character a breezy energy and dazzles in both dramatic and comedic scenes. But it's the charming and charismatic Connell who holds the film together.
Yet, despite solid performances from the cast and a screenplay that's not afraid to discuss life-and-death issues such as manslaughter and losing a parent to illness, Graff and co-screenwriter Josh A. Cagan can't quite nail the romantic interactions between their teen characters. At first, Will seems to like Charlotte more than Sa5m. Then the latter girl seems to be the better option. All of which could make for an interesting dilemma, but the film seems hesitant to examine this conflict in any meaningful way: We never really see Will actively struggling over the decision. Instead, Bandslam keeps everything casual -- a sop, perhaps, to its target demographic, but a disappointment given the film's admirable willingness to tackle other serious matters.
I watch just about any movie having to do with bands : The Commitments, Spinal Tap, Almost Famous, School of Rock (all good to great movies by the way), so I had to watch this one. I really wasn't expecting much, but the trailers looked funny.
Wow! Better than I expected in many ways - great script, overall quite good acting, music at least decent, and the two female leads, Aly Michalka and Vanessa Hudgens - both excellent! First time I saw these two ladies in a film and both wonderful.
It's a good movie for families too.. almost no foul language, just a bit of kissing.. so parents, certainly not much to worry about here.
I'm VERY glad I bought this movie!
What a nice surprise, this movie! Expecting the usual fare with teenage angst & tidy villians, good vs bad girls & boys, but characters are all well drawn with good portion of faults & forgiveness thrown in. Some so small yet still significant for the story. All well done....The last act is crazy whacko with twists, but makes an exciting ending with lots of payoffs, again unexpected...all done with a solid PG rating! Well done! Not perfect, as some things are a little too tidy, but we are buying a copy to have in the library! PS: The song selection & performances are fabulous & eclectic....LOVE "A Summer Place" as the mall muzak..(listen closely)
Teenager Will Burton lives in his head, and his head is filled with music. When his mother, Karen Burton, gets a new job in New Jersey, Will starts his junior year at a new school only to find the old cliques still apply, but rock-n-roll rules the scene. Perpetually a misfit, Will strikes up a friendship with like-minded outsider Sa5m. They are both surprised when the school's "it" girl, Charlotte recruits Will to help assemble a band to compete in "Bandslam," a battle of the bands that is Texas High School Football Big." Charlotte's ex-boyfriend Ben Wheatly is poised to win with his band Glory Dogs - Springsteen wannabes down to their hats. It's good to see a movie that while not setting it's sights very high, gives proper rounded characters. The story is predictable, it's very clichéd, and in places corny. The plot also has a number of plot holes in it. But despite all this, it is very enjoyable, and very well done.
THIS MOVIE HAS A SUPER PLOT, FANTASTIC MUSIC, BEAUTIFUL GIRLS, AND COMEDY, ROMANCE, AND REALISTIC CHARACTERS. IS ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE MOVIES.