Monday, June 29, 2015

Junesploitation Day 29: Rock and Roll!

Hey ho, let's go!

51 comments:

  1. NEVER TOO YOUNG TO ROCK (1976, 99 min.) in 35mm at NYC Anthology Film Archives' 'This is Celluloid: 35mm' Retrospective for the first time. Also available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhLOMPk-uW8

    If Bob Rafelson's "Head" had a bastard offspring with Richard Lester's Beatles movies it would look/sound like this, a mid-70's British glam rock version of "The Apple" that benefits from (a) having little-to-no budget and (b) some of the musicians/tunes being actually good. In the looks-like-'76 future the UK government plans to outlaw rock music, which makes 'Hero' (Peter Denyer) and his tormented sidekick Mr. Rockbottom (Freddie Jones) spring into action. They drive an ice cream van equipped with talent-scouting equipment throughout the countryside looking for glam rock talent to participate in a TV concert that will get such a huge audience the authorities will have to change their minds about the rock ban.

    The first two thirds of "NTYTR" is basically The Glitter Band, Mud and The Rubettes (who?) putting our duo through some "hi"-larious tomfoolery before accepting their invite, and then it's concert time for the last third of the movie. And by concert I mean each band playing sequentially in the same indoor stage in front of an empty auditorium, then a super mix of all musicians coming together for the "rousing" theme song. As a time capsule of a British music fad that produced some decent tunes (not great or classic, but not bad either) and yet another musicians-goofing-off concert movie "NTYTR" 'is fine.'™ :-P

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  2. Voyage of the Rock aliens (1984)

    "The spaciest comedy ever launched!"
    Well, not really.

    Aliens arrive at earth with their guitar-shaped (!!) spacecraft and land in the town of "Speelburgh, U.S.A" (ha ha) searching for the source of rock & roll and causing lot´s of trouble.

    Does anyone remember Pia Zadora, the pint-sized singer/actress/dancer who got some movies financed by her billionaire husband back in the eighties? Well, here she can be seen in something that wants to be a funny sci-fi-tinged musical-spoof….or whatever the makers of this piece of crap ever thought they are making. This is one of those movies where you can´t decide if you`re going to laugh or to cry.

    I saw this once 30 years ago. I re-wachted it yesterday and I barely got through this mess, with it´s dumb story, bad costumes, cheesy effects, horrible music and atrocious acting. Even the lip-syncing of the songs doesn´t work properly.

    Directed by James Fargo, who never has been a remarkable director, but at least made some competent movies like the Dirty Harry sequel "The enforcer" or the Chuck Norris vehicle “Forced vengeance”, in this movie he didn´t even seem to know what to do with his poor actors, including Craig (Nightbreed) Sheffer, Ruth (Harold & Maude) Gordon and Michael (The hills have eyes) Berryman, here wielding a chainsaw for whatever reason.

    This movie is cheese at it´s worst, clearly not so bad it´s good. I must admit I laughed a few times at the sheer craziness but I recommend to stay away from this one.
    Otherwise, if you like something like “Xanadu”, maybe you will also like “Rock Aliens”....

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  3. Roadie (1980)

    This movie is very, very stupid, but in that stupidity it's actually quite watchable and entertaining. Meatloaf plays as a young Texan with a knack for being able to fix electronics. This talent gets him unwittingly hired as a roadie on a rock and roll tour. Wanting only to go back home, Loaf's character stays on the tour to pursue a young aspiring groupie who wants to meet Alice Cooper so he can be her first lover.

    There are no words for me to express how stupid this movie is, but it boasts a decent roster of musical icons like the already mentioned Alice Cooper, Blondie, Roy Orbison, Don Cornelius, and Hank Williams Jr. I found this entertaining mainly because it knows what it is and doesn't try to be anything more than a silly story full of cartoon characters. I wouldn't go so far as to recommend anyone put a lot of effort into seeking this out, but there are worse movies out there.

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  4. That "Vicious" Lips poster is incredible!

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  5. This Is Spinal Tap (1984) - Gazillionth viewing

    Didn't feel like challenging myself with anything weird or obscure, so I landed on one of those movies I can watch any time and thoroughly enjoy. It's f'ing funny, the performances are hilarious, it's endlessly quotable and the songs are great. Seen it a million times and have never been less than entertained.

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  6. THE ADVENTURES OF FORD FAIRLAINE (1990)
    Part of me just wants to lay out about 50 of my favorite 100 quotes from this flick, but instead I'll simply say...

    Unbelievable.

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  7. Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006)

    There are times where I find Jack Black an energising screen presence. There are other times where I find him completely insufferable. I experienced both ends of the spectrum in The Pick of Destiny – the Jack Black’s shtick ran out after half an hour for me. It’s a shame because “Tribute” is such a great piece of musical comedy.

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  8. Rock 'n Roll High School Forever (1991)

    There are two kinds of days, days when you miss The Ramones and says when you REALLY FUCKING MISS The Ramones. Today, like most days, is the latter.

    Corey Feldman's coke habit stars as a troublemaking student at Ronald Reagan High School who wants to hold a rock 'n roll rally but clashes with disciplinarian Mary Woronov. This shitpile's idea of cleverness is to name the villain Doctor Vadar (yes, that's how they spell it, because lawyers). The original Ramones were all still alive when this sequel came out (13 years after the original) and they were spinning in their graves even then. This has absolutely none of the charm, fun, or terrific music of the first movie. Disgraceful.

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  9. HEAD (1968)

    Watch the Monkees try to be all counter-culture, except that they’re the least counter-culture four guys you could imagine. I wasn’t sure about this one at first, but once the psychedelic mermaids showed up, I knew I was in good hands. More movies should have psychedelic mermaids. The movie is hugely meta, with the Monkees constantly trying to comment on their image, with references to them made out of plastic or tin, and always wanting to escape from a box they keep getting trapped in. Also, Jack Nicholson wrote this? Glad he stuck with acting. I can’t say I liked the movie, yet I couldn’t look away.

    Accompanying short film: First episode of THE MONKEES (1966). Yeesh. With jokes this bad, I can see why they wanted to go nuts in something like HEAD.

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  10. Rock star (2001). Tribute glammetal band singer Mark Wahlberg gets a shot at the real thing. Dominic West is great in this kind of parody movie. Also with Timothy Olyphant who doesn't 'feel the squeel'.

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  11. The Beatniks (1958)

    Up and coming rocker has a tough time parting ways with his gang of petty thugs after being discovered singing along with the jukebox in a diner. This movie commits the sin of having hokey ballads stand in for rock n roll. It's all tepid strip club swing jive. Funny even when mst3k isn't providing the jokes.

    Wild Guitar (1962)

    Arch Hall Jr. play naive teen swept up into the music biz. Looks like a serial killer every time he looks in the direction of the camera.

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  12. I picked today to finally watch a movie I know is near and dear to our friend Patrick's heart, Phantom of the Paradise, and I ended up loving it so much that I'll be trying to find time later today to watch it again. Never thought I'd fall this hard for a musical, but after learning that it's Faustian tragedy played out as a farcical rock opera I shouldn't really have been surprised. Such an incredible orchestration of different tones that somehow always stays light on its feet. So much fun.

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    1. Nice! So glad you liked it. ONE OF US. ONE OF US.

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    2. Awesome.

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  13. Metallica: Through the Never
    (2013)

    Concert film with a little something extra.

    Intercut with the concert footage is the story of a roadie named Trip. He is sent out into the city during the concert to retrieve an item for the band. What Trip doesn't know is he is walking into a riot that may be the start of the apocalypse.

    The story sections don't really flow into a cohesive story but that may be by design. They are somewhat fantastical because Trip may be "tripping". That, or he has wandered the biblical apocalypse with one the Four Horsemen riding around stringing people up and reality makes no sense anymore.
    Don't expect a complete, cohesive story as there are gaps in logic and reality. The imagery is here to serve the music and it does that very well.

    The visuals mixed with the live music are great. Trip walking through the aftermath of The Horseman of the Apocalypse while the opening notes of "Wherever I May Roam" play over scene is a great chilling moment.
    Scenes of rioting, The Horseman, Trip on abandoned streets, and other scenes of chaos meld well with Metallica's music.

    The concert footage is shot very well with a bunch of interesting stage effects and captures the energy of the band.

    If you are a fan of Metallica's music, this is a must see.
    If you like apocalyptic imagery set to metal music, this is also one for you to check out.

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    1. I really want to see this.
      \m/ \m/

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    2. I watched it on disc, but It should still be on Netflix Streaming.

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  14. The Beatles 1962 Love me do, BBC Documentary

    The Four lads who shook the World!

    This band was before my time but my Dad was the biggest fan and after hearing the songs played all the time its hard not to get the bug, Watching this documentary and seeing the Streets fulls of Screaming women all going wild is amazing,
    More than 50 yrs ago those four lads from Liverpool started there journey and BeatleMania was in full swing, I still listen to there music now and it just never gets old, seeing streets full of screaming women sounds like Rock and Roll to me ;)

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  15. Stunt Rock (1980)
    Legendary stuntman Grant Page moves to LA and hangs out with his cousin's rock band. The band also does magic. That is all.
    This is basically a highlight reel of Page's work interspersed with the most gloriously goofy and in no way self aware band ever, Sorcery. They would have made a perfect double bill with Spinal Tap. There's no plot, but there are a couple of nice moments when Page talks about stuntwork or the band talks about performing, and you can tell it's improvised because they actually sound like humans instead of caricatures. This is my first Brian Trenchard-Smith film, and it just made me happy.
    On a final note, Grant Page is a fucking mad man.

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  16. Hated: G.G. Allin and the Murder Junkies (1993, dir. Todd Phillips) (First Time Viewing): Documentary about G.G. Allin by Todd Phillips. The footage of his performances is pretty electrifying. He was like a dangerous animal, attacking his “fans”, eating his own excrement, etc. You wanna see someone do some pretty deplorable things onstage? This is the movie for you. Don’t think I’ll want a hot dog anytime soon after this one…

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  17. I threw on "Airheads" with Brendan Fraser, Steven Buscemi, Adam Sandler, Harold Ramis, Chris Farley, Michael Richards...among many others.

    One of my favourite comedy to date, I just love this movie because it was before many of these actors were big and you could tell they all had so much fun and kicked ass. AND Fraser sings the song during the credits... may not be a positive, but there it is haha

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  18. Trick or Treat (1986) Dir. Charles Martin Smith (Air Bud, Dolphin Tale 1 an 2)

    Eddie (Marc Price; "Skippy" from Family Ties) is your average teenage "metal head". When his Heavy Metal idol dies, a radio DJ (Gene Simmons) gives him the only copy of the last record he recorded. When he plays the record backwards (Yes!), the dead rocker gives him messages (YES!) and he ultimately summons him back into existence (Whoa!) which was a bad idea as the rocker is out for revenge because the town banned his music.

    This movie was awesome and not entirely in a "so bad it's good" way, it's actually pretty good and represents the "Heavy Metal" horror genre of the 80's perfectly. I would even say that it's one of the most overlooked horror films of the 80's as I never hear it discussed. Had I seen this as a kid I would have freaked out! Highly recommended.

    Btw - Ozzy makes a "special appearance" in the opening as a reverend (ha!)

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    1. Never even heard of this, probably because the more recent "Trick 'r Treat" anthology film has taken over the name. Sounds like a keeper.

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    2. It's awesome. An immediate buy after I watched it. Come to think of it, I've bought more good shit during this month than I have all year! :)

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    3. I'm really wishing it can get the Scream Factory treatment.

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    4. I wouldn't doubt it. The version I saw was in HD and looked great. The Blu Ray is out in Italy (?) so I could see this happening in the near future.

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  19. Cannibal! The Musical (1993)

    After seeing Cannibal Holocaust, this one also had Cannibal in the title.

    I have to tell you guys something. I thought about eating someone today. Just the thought of human flesh really made me hungry. This is going to sound crazy but I think I'm going to do it. I'll let you know how my next door neighbor tastes. What's the best way to cook a person? I wish there was a book I could read on the subject. I wonder if I'll sing about it...

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  20. Quadrophenia (1979)

    I've liked the Quadrophenia album for a long time, and just never had an opportunity to see the movie. Being made by The Who, I figured it would be a great example of complete creative control coming together to make a really focused project. In practice, though, it's kind of a mess. I found myself bored through most of it, which almost never happens to me. There just isn't enough plot to keep you caring. It fits pretty well with the image the album conjures in my head, but it's just about as vague and formless too. I also found myself wishing for more Who music, as a great deal of the movie plays out in silence. It just wasn't for me.

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  21. The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990)

    Yeah, me and Ford didn't really get a long on this one.

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  22. Stray Cat Rock: Delinquent Girl Boss (1970, Yasuharu Hasebe)

    I think I've seen this before, but I honestly can't be certain. I know I've seen Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter and I think I went back and watched this first entry in the series.

    In any event these raucous '70s Japanese films I've been watching lately give me the impression that most of the interesting work has already come and gone. Unlike the United States, where directors seemed galvanized by the success of more experimental narrative works in the 1960s and began to push the boundaries even further in 1970s, it looks like a lot of these studio films took what was politically, formally, and narratively experimental about the Japanese New Wave and reduced it to a bland, empty formula.

    This movie is only 80 minutes long, but I felt every one of those minutes. A motorcycle chase through subway platforms, up and down flights of stairs, through tunnels, should be exciting but instead is repetitious and tedious. More like a game of follow the leader than a genuine chase. The whole movie is like that. Even the vague political commentary, where the corporate villains speak in old-world Japanese fascism rhetoric, feels like an echo of an echo of an echo.

    The only real pleasure comes in seeing Meiko Kaji before she'd fully adopted the hard-edged, laconic persona she's famous for in the Prisoner Scorpion and Lady Snowblood series. I think she actually smiles a couple times here.

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  23. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

    It's the classic tale of a female rock band who head to Hollywood to pursue money and fame, get lost in a world of parties and drugs, and then doesn't really go anywhere that you might expect it to. Really baffled by this one...but in a good way? There was a lot about it that I liked - it's pretty funny throughout, there are some great shots, and one or two really good performances - but the rest is all over the place. Directed by Russ Meyer and written by Roger Ebert, I guess this is what comes out when you combine those two.

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  24. Still Crazy: Bill Nighy is proof British people swear better than most nations!

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  25. This is Spinal Tap (1984)

    This was a nice discovery for me as I had seen the movie once about 15 or so years ago in order to understand a Simpsons episode (Its the episode The Otto Show from season 3), and at the time I truly didn't get what they were doing. I thought it was all nonsensical rambling. Oh how wrong I was.
    There's so many beautiful awkward moments in this movie along with some great funny yet legitimately good songs. I really wish other movies could do this kind of mockumentary styles that's funny but at the same time feels like a legitimate documentary. What I also loved about this movie is that while a lot of dialogue is improvised it never feels overly so - especially in the way that the Anchorman movies are at times, its all in service of the story. Next stop for me is starting my own tribute band.

    8 Word Review (In Preparation for SMM)

    "Imagine if eggs from Alien had same problem"

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  26. A Hard Day's Night (1964)

    I've been a pretty hardcore Beatles fan for 20 years, but have never cared much for the movies. This was only the third time I've seen this and something finally clicked - for the first time I really loved it. The movie could pretty much coast on the boys' charisma alone but it's actually pretty well-written, beautifully (and I understand for the time innovatively) shot and the musical interludes well-placed. The criterion blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic.

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  27. A Hard Day's Night (1964)

    I've been a pretty hardcore Beatles fan for 20 years, but have never cared much for the movies. This was only the third time I've seen this and something finally clicked - for the first time I really loved it. The movie could pretty much coast on the boys' charisma alone but it's actually pretty well-written, beautifully (and I understand for the time innovatively) shot and the musical interludes well-placed. The criterion blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic.

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  28. Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)

    This is a movie that desperately wants to be The Rocky Horror Picture Show 2.0 but lacks basically everything that made RHPS decent (mainly: good songs and campy, fun performances). The tone of the movie is all over the place and this makes some of the performances feel out of place. Paris Hilton is actually a bright spot for me here -- she is having alot of fun.
    I have a number of friends that really like this movie and are convinced it is a brilliant cult classic/midnight movie. I'm convinced that I need friends with better taste.

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  29. Punk Vacation (1990, dir. Stanley Lewis)

    I'm so tired. I can't figure this movie out. It's sort of a revenge movie, in which a girl wants to punish a group of VERY '80s movie punks for hurting her sister? Or her father? I don't know. Sometimes it seems like the punks are the heroes being hunted by the redneck townsfolk. Sometimes it's supposed to be funny, other times a serious thriller. It's such a weird movie that I feel like I dreamed it. I think it's just been a long month.

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    1. It has been a long month. I'm going to take a 3 month nap. Wake me up in October...

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  30. STREETS OF FIRE
    Took a little warming up to, understanding the tone of this movie took me around 25 minutes or so, but once I got on it's wavelength it was a lot of fun. All the music is great, the action is cool, and the performances are of the piece. The acting isn't necessarily traditionally good, but I think everyone kind of understands the movie they are making. Had a really good time with it.

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    1. Love this movie. Even 30 years later, Jim Steinman´s "Tonight is what it means to be young" is still high on my playlist.

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    2. I watched this for 80's action day. This is my favorite discovery of the month. I loved it!

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  31. Jailhouse Rock (1957)
    So, let me thank F! This Movie and #Junesploitation once again for kicking me in my complacency, and making me tend to my nearly full DVR of unwatched movies. I've seen the actual Jailhouse Rock performance excerpt from this film many times, but I'd never seen the film until now. Eh. It's fine. Not amazing, not terrible. It's okay.

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  32. Shake Rattle and Rock (1994)
    I found this movie kind of charming. It debuted on Showtime as part of a series of remakes of AIP teensploitation/JD films. This was one of the better ones they made, directed by Allan Arkush, and starring Rene Zellweger, Howie Mandel, and a slew of Corman repertory players like Mary Woronov, PJ Soles, and Dick Miller as "Lieutenant Paisley." Rene loves this American Bandstand type show and wants her band to play on the show, while her mother and many of the adults in the town spearhead a group vying to cancel the show and make a statement against rock and roll music and "racial mixing." I had a good time with this movie. If I had any gripe, it's with its wide open, anticlimactic ending. The only way I would've liked it more is if it were shot in black and white.

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  33. Tommy (1975) (first time viewing)

    I thought I'd be a bigger fan of this because I'm a fan of The Who's music. The music in this didn't work that well for me (other than the now classic "Pinball Wizard"). Maybe it's because it was mostly sung by Oliver Reed and Ann-Margret...both of whom can't sing. Crazy movie in which we get the church of Marilyn Monroe, Ann-Margret rolling around in beans and chocolate, Jack Nicholson sings!, and much much more. Even with all that though, I didn't really dig it, sadly.

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  34. Rock Odyssey (1987, dir. Robert Taylor)

    This was a big bust for Hanna-Barbera. They handed an assignment to make an animated primetime special for ABC about the history of rock n roll to the director of The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat; they got back an incomprehensible, psychedelic short feature about an immortal goddess falling in love with four reincarnated versions of the same man, one for each decade: a greaser, a hippie, an arctic fisherman(?), and a yuppie. ABC passed, and it's only been publicly screened once. It's all about crazy imagery: guitars and saxophones turn into dragons with syringes for tongues, the heroine rides a giant housefly into space and gets eaten by the moon, and on and on and on for an hour. Eventually Hanna-Barbera took the project away from Taylor, so five minutes near the end are of Yogi Bear and Fred Flintstone dancing to "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go." You can watch the whole thing at double speed starting here.

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  35. In case anyone is interested, I'd just like to say that Rock and Roll! day had one of the most epic conclusions imaginable in another universe. At about 3 am this morning, around the time the 80's Horror article went up, AC/DC's entire discography became available on Spotify and Apple Music. Thank you F-heads for rocking so hard it forced the Young brothers to give in to streaming services.

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  36. Saturday Night Fever (1977): is this a rock 'n' roll movie? Because this is what I watched. It's ... crazy. Like a parody of a disco movie. Complete with [SPOILERS] racism, rape and suicide. Makes me want to watch both Airplane and Boogie Nights.

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  37. Love & Mercy (2014)

    It's not often that a Junesploitation day will fit in perfectly with something that is at the cinema, so I took the opportunity with this. I'm not much of a Beach Boys fan and after watching this, I'm mildly more curious to listen to more of their stuff. More importantly though I thoroughly enjoyed the performances of Dano and Cusack in particular. Has he been this emotionally invested in a characters since High Fidelity? The guy clearly loves music and stories involving music.
    An engrossing, well made bio pic that somehow makes the two actors playing the same character a working and seamless plot device rather than just a novelty.
    Check out the F This Movie piece on it for a much more eloquent discussion.

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