Thursday, April 22, 2010

What I Think Of: Bandslam (2009)

So Bandslam, yeah. Believe it or not, I've actually been eagerly waiting to watch this movie. Sure it looked perhaps a little to High School Musical for my tastes, but Vanessa Hudgens is hot and there are worst ways to spend the day than watching a non-threatening teenage rom-com. However, Bandslam shattered all my expectations. Thing is, this is not the fluffy coming-of-age story I was expecting, but rather an emotional drama with finely thought out characters. Sure it does deal with teenage love, but it feels real, rather then sugarcoated, touching without being preachy.

Basically the film is about introverted geek Will Burton (Gaelan Connell) who when not writing e-mails do David Bowie (who of course never responds), spends his days listening to "hipster" music and being an outcast because of his tastes. One day he meets and befriends Charlotte (Aly Michalka), a once popular girl who creates a band with some social misfits. Will soon becomes the bands manager, using all his music knowledge to propel the band forward with their sound, as they seek to enter the annual battle of the bands, Bandslam. Along the way Will befriends a weird loner named Sam (Vanessa Hudgens). Is love in the air for Will and does Sam have hidden talents that she is hiding? Here are some of my thoughts concerning Bandslam:

  • Seriously, this movie is nothing like I was expecting. It's actually really good and I think if they marketed it with the more indie styling that it has, the hipster heart that it beats, it would have done a lot better. Think a much more refined and honest look at young love than Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. It's just a shame the movie didn't even make its budget back.
  • Vanessa Hudgens is cute as all hell and she puts out quite the performance in this film which has made me look at her in a totally different light. She's more than just a cute face.
  • On that note: in what world is Vanessa Hudgens an outcast? Her character doesn't even dress differently like Rachel Leigh Cook in She's All That to hide her hotness. She dresses exactly like Hudgens always dresses. Oh my god she likes books and she used to stutter as a kid. Who cares!!! Look at her!! Come on. Why is the geekiest male outcast the only one interested her? I know this film is not real life but shes dating Zach Efron. She doesn't look different here. Where's the next movie where Megan Fox is the science geek that no one wants to date? Bandslam 2.
  • I love the fact that the main character Will is obsessed with David Bowie. Who can blame him. Even better, David Bowie does make an appearance in the film.
  • The music is quite good although I will say that the final song that the band performs at Bandslam was a bit week, especially after all the build up. But it was a great performance.
  • Lisa Kudrow as Will's mom also puts forth a great showing but she's like her fellow Friends actor Matthew Perry, always acting the same.
  • Lastly, I don't want to oversell this movie, but Bandslam is really much more than you think it's going to be. Great performances, Gaelan Connell is going to be a star, it's really a moving coming-of-age story that won't leave the viewer feeling old. In a great way, it just wasn't what I was expecting.

So there you have it. Check out Bandslam on dvd. I really think the film and Vanessa Hudgens will surprise you.

Here's my favorite scene from the movie.

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