Bandslam

Bandslam

4.5 4
Director: Todd Graff

Cast: Alyson Michalka, Gaelen Connell

     
 

A gifted young singer-songwriter recruits the new kid in town to manage her fledgling rock band in this music-driven comedy starring Vanessa Anne Hudgens and Gaelan Connell. Charlotte Banks (Aly Michalka) has what it takes to be a true rock star, and with the battle of the bands approaching she's determined to win. Her chief opponent inSee more details below

Overview

A gifted young singer-songwriter recruits the new kid in town to manage her fledgling rock band in this music-driven comedy starring Vanessa Anne Hudgens and Gaelan Connell. Charlotte Banks (Aly Michalka) has what it takes to be a true rock star, and with the battle of the bands approaching she's determined to win. Her chief opponent in the upcoming competition is none other than her egotistical ex-boyfriend Ben (Scott Porter). Ben may be cocky, but there's no denying his charisma when he takes the stage. With a little help from new arrival Will Burton (Connell), Charlotte's band begins to develop a unique sound and starts writing some original songs. Meanwhile, as Will and singer/guitarist Sa5m (Hudgeons) start to make a love connection, disaster strikes, and the band is forced to choose between conceding the competition or standing tall and finally living up to their true potential.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Most anybody who was a teenager after 1955 can relate completely to the idea of rock & roll as the path of deliverance from adolescent angst. Director Todd Graff takes full advantage of this in Bandslam. The story centers on teenage music lover Will Burton (Gaelan Connell), a social misfit who shuts out the classmates he hates with the help of his omnipresent iPod. He wants nothing more than to leave his Cleveland school, and one day that dream unexpectedly comes true when his single mother (Lisa Kudrow) lands a job in New Jersey. At his new school, Will is just happy to be anonymous, but he eventually starts a tentative friendship with a fellow misfit (Vanessa Hudgens) whose name, Sa5m, has a silent "5." And when the most popular girl in school (Aly Michalka) realizes (thanks to their shared appreciation for the Velvet Underground) that Will has spectacular taste in music, she gets him to manage her rock group so they can defeat her ex-boyfriend's band in Bandslam, an annual battle of the bands contest. With a premise like that, it's hard not to draw comparisons to School of Rock. But where Richard Linklater's movie offered a ceaselessly enjoyable lesson in kiddie rebellion, Bandslam seems more enamored with the idea of rock -- and music in general -- as a source of comfort. It turns out that Will has a secret that explains why he's socially awkward, and also elucidates why he's so passionate about music. And Bandslam works in large part because they get the tunes right. None of the teen bands are life-changingly amazing, but they do sound both modern and good -- and the Rock Snob 101 name-dropping (from the Velvet Underground to David Bowie to the Ramones) feels right for 17-year-olds. The actors are uniformly solid. Connell is thoroughly winning as the kind of geeky charmer who would rather see a great concert than go on a date because being around a girl is far too nerve-racking. Michalka has a decent rock voice, and more than plausibly passes as the queen bee -- a role that could just as easily have gone to her co-star Hudgens, who is just too cute and appealing to pull off playing the kind of girl nobody would talk to. The main trio gets superb support from the other young actors, as well as from Kudrow, who once again proves she can make ordinary dialogue entertaining with her off-kilter delivery. Bandslam might be missing the kind of edge a movie about rock & roll should have -- there isn't anything remotely dangerous about it. But it's undeniably earnest and honest about how much music can mean to people struggling through hard emotional times, and that's a welcome idea for kids to learn and for adults to remember.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/16/2010
UPC:
0025192044762
Original Release:
2009
Rating:
PG
Source:
Summit Inc/Lionsgate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:51:00
Sales rank:
28,581

Special Features

Bandslam: Making the band; Audio commentary with director and cast; Deleted scenes with director's introduction; Honor sciety - music video; Vanessa Hudgens - musical performance

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alyson Michalka Charlotte Banks
Vanessa Hudgens Sa5m,Sam
Gaelen Connell Will Burton
Lisa Kudrow Actor,Karen
David Bowie Actor,Himself
Scott Porter Ben Wheatly
Ryan Donawho Basher
Charlie Saxton Bug
Tim Jo Omar
Elvy Yost Irene (Cello)
Lisa Chung Kim Lee (Keyboards)
J.W. Wright Dylan Dyer (Glory Dogs Guitar)
Blair Bomar Megan
Maggie Maye Kyra 17-1
Jennifer Blair Kyra's Friend
Casey Williams Ms. Wittenberg
Michael Cuomo Mr. Berry
Landon Henninger Rory
Farah White Sa5m's Mom
Jonathan Rice Stage Manager

Technical Credits
Todd Graff Director,Screenwriter
Nancy Nayor Battino Casting
Josh A. Cagan Original Story,Screenwriter
Linda Cohen Musical Direction/Supervision
Lindsay Fellows Musical Direction/Supervision
John Frick Art Director
John Gilbert Editor
Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas Producer
K.C. Hodenfield Asst. Director,Co-producer
Jeff Knipp Production Designer
Ernesto Martinez Costumes/Costume Designer
Ron Schmidt Executive Producer
Eric Steelberg Cinematographer
Junkie XL Score Composer
Marisa Yeres Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Bandslam
1. Dear David Bowie [4:47]
2. The 5 Is Silent [5:23]
3. I Don't Do "Whys" [7:06]
4. A Bodyguard for His Riff [5:09]
5. My New Least Favorite Memory [4:51]
6. Don't You Feel Like Clark Kent [5:09]
7. Finding a Groove [8:00]
8. Favorite Place [7:57]
9. The Overlook [6:08]
10. I'm not in Love with Charlotte [6:02]
11. The Real Will Burton [5:02]
12. Phil's Song [3:47]
13. That Is the Song [4:29]
14. I Quit [1:34]
15. It Was Real for Me [4:47]
16. Not My Finest Hour [6:07]
17. Do-We-Wanna-Rock [4:51]
18. All the Best. David Bowie [8:39]

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