Genres: Comedy and Musical/Performing Arts
Running Time: 1 hr. 42 min.
Release Date: August 20th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for drug and sexual references, nudity and language.
Distributors: 20th Century Fox Distribution
Directed by: Peter Cattaneo
JJ Rating: B
Fish (Rainn Wilson) use to be in an 80’s band. Then they got signed. Then they sold him out. Then he got a job after job and held on to the bitter for a really long time. Then his nephew, Matt (Josh Gad), had a band that lost a drummer, and they had that great idea to ask him to be their drummer. It sort of worked and didn’t. The Rocker.
Another movie with a musician in the film and this time it’s a film that actually deals with music. Teddy Geiger plays Curtis who is the main singer of the band A.D.D. (meaning, of course, Attention Deficit Disorder – not add. One of the jokes in the film.). I did not know of this kid prior to this film. So I guess this works in a lot of respects. He gets publicity that has those that like “the Office” actor to hear his music and then the possibility in liking his music. Apparently he wrote some music for the film that the band sings. He was a brooding character that suffered from being overly serious with his career in music. Good thing Fish comes along to loosen him up.
Wilson does a good job as a stuck in the 80’s band uncle. He has the right kind of eyes to pull that aloof rocker fun drummer guy thing. He also has great comedic chemistry with the cast. Gad did a good job as the unsure nephew who just wanted to play music and be accepted. His interaction with Wilson is amusing and fun. Amelia is the girl of the band and she is played by Emma Stone. She’s pretty. She’s a pretty lady, as was Christina Applegate who plays Kim, Geiger’s mother. Applegate’s character was witty and clever and she was a great choice. Stone and Geiger have a very subtle relationship that sort of simmering throughout the entire film and that was handled so well. It could be noticed but it wasn’t over the top nor was it made the main part of the story. It was just there.
Demetri Martin is in this film for about five or so minutes. What a pleasant surprise. When I saw this there were a couple of people in the audience and there were these girls that were laughing at the jokes throughout, but when he came on the screen there wasn't so much laughing. I think he's hilarious on stage and in this film he's pretty funny because of his deadpan nature. Love it. My kind of funny going on there and it's great to see him have a roll even if it was minor.
Making a movie about a band that wasn’t real is one of the difficult things to do, I think. That is probably whey they picked a musician to play the main singer so that they had someone that knew how to write songs and music, it makes it easier on the screen writers and other people who are creating the film. So not only do I think Teddy Geiger did a good job on acting (as one who isn’t an actor as a main profession), he also did a good job on the writing because I actually really like one of the songs enough to buy the soundtrack off of Itunes (first time using that even though I’ve had an Ipod for a little over half a year). He was worth whatever amount of money they paid him.
Now the storyline for The Rocker was pretty decent. There were a several good funny moments and a few touching moments; nothing that really yanked on the heartstrings, though. The way they handled the love interest in the film between Stone and Geiger was perfect. The silent looks and the sheepish grins was one of the best things about this film. I do not like the title, it’s far too generic and since there’s no one overly famous in it the title needs to be a bit more on the catchy side than the background side. Like The Rockstar could be named that because they had Marky Mark Walberg playing the main character and he’s well known so the title could be mediocre and generic. But this movie didn’t have anyone like that and it needed the extra attention.
Though there are some bad things in it when it’s compared to other movies it’s not nearly as bad. It does have nudity, as the PG-13 suggests, but that is humor nudity that is mostly a butt shot. This has to deal with the use of Youtube and a viral video that the band has accidently made. That’s one of the best scenes of the entire film, pretty funny stuff.
I liked it alright. Of course it could have been better but based on who was involved and what was produced without there being disgusting moments of grotesque humor, foul language, teen angst that’s deadly or hateful speech it was pretty good. Entertainment doesn’t need to be Roman like in Gladiator violence that pleases those that are sick in the head…even with humor. Like the movie that is opening this weekend called College with Drake Bell who is from that Nickelodeon show “Drake and Josh”, it’s following in the footsteps of movies before it such as Superbad and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I like those movies, but there’s only so much one can take the same concept and beat it like a dead horse before it’s no longer fun even from a mocking the dead horse prospective. For a good decent time at the movies The Rocker makes a great effort.
Buying this film will be a maybe on my list. It’s good and I enjoyed it because it mocks the music industry in a way with A.D.D.’s manager and those that are uppity band like personas that go from being themselves to someone totally not themselves. The Rocker is just a movie that is like the good old boy from the country; simple, fun and old fashion polite.