Massawyrm takes in ROCK STAR
Hey folks, Harry here with Massawyrm's look at ROCK STAR... Some of you have been wondering what is going on with me. Well, I've been healing up. My back injury sucks ass, it's keeping me from my first love... going to movies, which blows pasty chunks of shit everywhere. Luckily for us though we have folks like Massawyrm that are going out there taking a lay of the cinematic land for us... and giving his 2 cents on this and that. To tell you how bad it is... I haven't seen GHOSTS OF MARS yet. Not because I don't want to. I'm dying to see the fucking thing, but that's about how bad I need to rest up to heal this back. And yes, I do have CABIN FEVER in the worst way. And yes I am still on the diet, (about 25 lbs lighter, thanks for asking, but that's sort of like losing 2 lbs for a Super Model ya can't really tell.) Hopefully, I'll get better soon... till then, here ya go....
Although I grew up a military BRAT, I spent the largest portion of my life growing up in San Antonio, TX., the eight largest city in the country. Now I live in Austin, just 73 short miles north on Interstate 35, the "Live Music Capital of the World"; or so our city slogan goes. And yet, while there is a constant supply of bands flowing in and out of this town, most of the huge rock shows play venues in San Antonio, quite simply because San Antonio is the Butt Rock Capital of the World. The city doesn't call it that, but many of it's residents do.
San Antonio has always been home to some of the biggest metal and rock fans the planet has ever known. Some of you might think Detroit knows how to rock. Or Pittsburgh. Or maybe even Chicago. Nope. None of them hold a candle to S.A., the town where the largest and most well established radio stations still blast AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osborne, while drawing in the younger crowds with a smattering of the harder "alternative rock" that most towns have adopted for their most popular stations.
No, San Antonio has been and always will be a hair band town. Yes, the town that banned OZZY for 10 years just for pissing on the Alamo eventually decided to forgive and forget just to appease his huge fan base that sold out his show so quickly he had to offer two more dates. And he tore the roof off the place all three nights.
I saw my first rock concert in San Antonio. It was a Sunday night and I was 15. My parents were staunch Christians and never let me go to one of those insidious gatherings, but a last minute phone call changed that. It was a girl, Beth, the girl of my dreams at that point: Senior, honors student, brilliant, witty and gorgeous. And friends with a good friend of mine who lived just up the street. The show started at 8 and she called me at 6:45. My friend had bailed on her. Her mom had yanked her ticket from her at the last minute and Beth was frantic; her parents wouldn't let her go unaccompanied. So she called me. We went to the same church and my parents knew her as a "good Christian girl", understood her plight and finally felt I was old enough to be trusted at a concert.
I asked her how the seats were and she replied only "They're pretty good, you'll see when you get there." And I did. We were ushered to the front row, through four different check points where our tickets were scrutinized by burly security guards with sweaty armpit stains and plastic badges. Each time they smiled nodded and said the same thing "Front row, huh? Lucky you." It was like a strange Zen like mantra they were forced to memorize before the show, to make us feel special, like we were someone important.
And thus I sat front row, at my first concert ever, with the girl of my dreams, anxiously awaiting the double bill of Anthrax and Iron Maiden. And Anthrax took the stage and ripped the place apart. I was entranced, hypnotized. Power chords and aggression. Hairspray and smoke. Baselines that tore through your gut and vibrated in your teeth. Yeah, it was something special, something amazing. I had discovered heavy metal and my life, and hairstyle, was forever changed.
When Anthrax left the stage, and the roadies raced out to prep for Iron Maiden, Scott Ian, Anthrax's lead guitarist tossed me his pick and winked. It was like he knew, somehow on some level he knew, he was adding to one of the greatest and best nights of my life.
Now this is the point in the story where ill tempered talkbackers begin planning their tirade against me for telling my life story in my review and asking what any of this has to do with a movie. Well, I'll tell you what this has to do with a movie. Tonight I saw "Rock Star" and it took me back to that night, transported me back to an age where leather pants, make up and perms on men were not only accepted, they were idolized. An age of angry young men, sucking down Budweiser in parking lots while beating the crap out of the guy who showed up in the Winger t-shirt. An age where rock was king.
This movie was so dead on to the times, that it's hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. Not in the way that "The Wedding Singer" was, where every 80's reference was a tongue in cheek jab at the era, but more in the way that it takes you back and embarrasses the hell out of you for ever having been there like your mom pulling out the baby pictures to show your date on prom night. And yet, there is even more humor than that. This has the same kind of great character humor that really shines in pieces like this, really makes you laugh from your gut because it's so damned honest about who the people are and what they represent.
Everything works in this movie; the music selection, the right-on original metal tunes, the wardrobe. Everything serves to drop you right back into 1985, an age that while you watch this, you kind of wish you never left.
Now before I go any further, I have to address the Boogie Nights issue. From the time this film first was trailered, it appeared very much like Boogie Nights Part Duex. Or Redux even. Many of the early reports have compared it to Boogie Nights and have come up disappointed, pointing out what it lacks in comparison. Let me say this now: This film is not, nor will it ever be Boogie Nights. Not because it fails to be, but because it's not trying to be. Yes, it has Mark Wahlberg. Yes it's a story about a boy plucked from obscurity to become a star. Yes, it has a certain gritty reality to it showing the seedy underbelly of a pop culture era. But the comparisons end there. The lows aren't as low as Boogie Nights and the highs aren't quite as frenetic. In fact, this is the film that people who hated Boogie Nights (and yes, they do exist) wish Boogie Nights would have been. It's lighter, funnier and not quite as depressing. Don't get me wrong, I love PTA films through and through, but this is nothing at all like a PTA film. This is more like an "R" Rated version of "That Thing You Do", with that same kind of magic and chemistry that made that film so entertaining.
Mark Wahlberg turns in another great performance in the role he dominates in. You know the role, he's the young idealistic kid with aspirations that gets in way over his head and toughs it out when the chips are down. And yet, while he keeps being cast in that role, he manages to make each kid different and unique in their own way, giving each of his similar characters their own voice and mannerisms. He never falters in this for a bit. I really think Wahlberg is a talent that will be around for some time ("I'm going to get my monkey" be damned), as he really is starting to illustrate his range, even when put in such similar roles.
This really feels like a very personal film for Wahlberg. You see, there's this moment, at the tail end of the gag reel in the credits, where while on stage for the shoot, the music keys up for the lip synch, and rather than the films band's music, it's "Good Vibrations" by none other than Wahlberg himself back in his Marky Mark days. The crew goofs on him by imitating some of his old dance moves and he really seems to be giving everyone the finger for it. Then they cut to a clip in which Wahlberg is talking in his Marky Mark persona (a persona many of us have been remise to let him live down) and in that moment, after have seen this film and watched Wahlberg's character's personal journey into artistic integrity, you realize, you come to grips, you understand. Marky Mark was an act, an act by a terrifically brilliant actor who was giving the audience of that era what they wanted to get where he wanted to be. And then he walked away to become an actor. And we laughed at him, because for all we knew, he was that guy running around with his shorts around his ankles, whitey tighteys exposed to the world. He was that guy with the lingo. He wasn't an actor, he was a rapper. Mark Wahlberg fooled us all. And now he's winking at us, pulling back the curtain to reveal the wizard. He is a tremendous actor indeed, and now he's showing us just how good he really is.
And backing up Wahlberg is a terrific cast of character actors who really deliver, even with their small amount of screen time. The one that really grabbed me was Timothy Olyphant, a great young actor who you might remember as Todd Gaines, the drug dealer from "Go", or the main character from "Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy". Well, here he apologizes for his poor showing as Delroy Lindo's partner in "Gone in 60 Seconds" by turning a great, but miniscule role as Wahlbergs early bandmate in their Tribute band. Every moment he's on the screen is just laced with this layer of pure cool.
Then there's Timothy Spall, who you might remember as the whacked out drummer for the Strange Fruits in the great British comedy "Still Crazy", as Rosencrantz in the 1996 version of Hamlet, or as the voice of Nick the Rat in "Chicken Run". Well, he's gone from quirky drummer to quirky roadie as the bands doorway to the backstage. Again he shines, turning in a funny as hell performance worthy of a man with such a long and great career (some 41 different films in 22 years).
And of course I couldn't get away with reviewing this without talking about Jennifer Aniston. She's good, as she most often is, but her character really is never totally fleshed out. She simply is the romantic lead, without ever really becoming three dimensional. Not that she's not trying, their just isn't enough of the right amount of screen time to develop her into a full on performance. But it's not really lacking because of that either. She just doesn't have much to do.
Another thing I loved about this film was the pacing. This baby moves and never stalls, not for a minute. The jokes are well placed, the serious moments are progressed into without jarring sudden turns that break the mood, and here's a little perk that only anal retentive bastards like me can appreciate: The reels actually change during pauses in the story. Now I know that's a silly little thing, but hey, what can I say? A pet peeve of mine is when theirs a reel change right in the middle of an intense scene. The cigarette burns pop up, but the scene's not over. Then you have a sudden quality change in the middle of the sequence where there is a noticeable change in the stock quality for a moment and you are totally taken out of the film for a second. Not here, not in "Rock Star". No, each reel serves as it's own act, falling into a fade to black as the reel changes and we are ushered into a whole new part of the story. Not just a new scene, but a new act. The players have left the stage and returned to start the next phase of the show. And it really works. I found it a very nice touch to an already stellar comedy.
This film is just simply wonderful; a funny, touching piece of film that I can't wait to see again. As I left the theatre, I felt 15 again, having been put in the front row one more. While waiting in line in the bathroom, a couple of well dressed guys and myself started reminiscing about the old hair days, and about the great music brought to us loud and proud once more. And we were there again. In line for the man trough between acts, waiting for Iron Maiden to take the stage. What a great fun movie.
With index finger and pinky extended, this is Massawyrm saying:
Smoke 'em if ya got 'em. I know I will.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
+ Expand All
Sept. 5, 2001, 12:03 a.m. CST
needn't have the review, just the medical update on Harry. Still 25lbs is a lot, keep it up my good man.
Sept. 5, 2001, 12:17 a.m. CST
I just got the greatest image of Steward from Beavis and Butthead getting the crap kicked outta him by Todd... (and recalling a time when MTV not only played metal, but ALL SORTS of music and non-music programming.)
Sept. 5, 2001, 12:21 a.m. CST
these things used to be a surprise and quite a treat.. now they seem to be given away quite easily, and no, not by this aicn story.. i read this in the associated press as well, and i'm sure it'll show up on nbc extra or something.. of course the scene isn't explicitly given away, but i dunno.. maybe it'll appear on tv like they did with the bit from rush hour 2? .. hmm, as for rock star, i dunno.. nowadays, seems like movies about music are more centered for the female demographic.. just my opinon tho..
Sept. 5, 2001, 1:05 a.m. CST
Twenty five pounds and you cant even tell? How can you even go to the movies? Can you fit in da seats? Sorry...Id heard you were reall fat but I guess I didnt realize that you were full blown oompa loompa.
Sept. 5, 2001, 1:13 a.m. CST
I don't really understand why so many of you middle America types yearn for the days of big hair and shit rock. For years we had to put up with dumb shits who never had the talent of "Zeppelin" or "the Who" but acted like they were just as musically important. Everyone I knew was listening to Classic Rock stations back then because it was the only thing out there worth listening to since we didn't have alternative stations yet. I laugh my ass off when Lita Ford or some other washed up hair band member whines about being kicked to the curb when Nirvana came on the scene on one of those VH1 looking back shows are on. What they don't understand is, they were thrown away because people realized there were actual talented people out there with integrity and good music. Sadly, we are going through another crap phase with boy bands and the return of Bon Jovi. Hopefully soon, the people will revolt again and realize there is good music out there before we have a full come back of big hair and inane songs from pseudo bad boys like "She's my cherry pie". Honestly people, if you must look back, look back at some talented rock bands. (This rant does not include Ozzy, Judas Priest, or their types. I am not a fan of their stuff but I can admit that it's not shit).
Sept. 5, 2001, 1:33 a.m. CST
Now I'm remember a time when VH1 used to play The Who, Queen, and the Beatles... (Before it became MTV-Light. Only thing saving VH1 for me anymore is the R&R Picture Show and Behind the Music)
Sept. 5, 2001, 1:47 a.m. CST
by Cash Bailey
Or you can just fly to France again to see it. Get better, Mate, we need more QT5 reports.
Sept. 5, 2001, 1:56 a.m. CST
Yeah, some of them sure did. However, Anthrax and Iron Maiden di not, Massawyrm. Were you really there?
Sept. 5, 2001, 2:22 a.m. CST
they play commercials. They are so caught up in how hip and trendy they are that they have bypassed the middle man (music videos) and gone directly to the crux. See me drink my soft/sports drink. See me wear my fashionable clothes. Don't you want to be me? Or see me...I am experiencing life with cameras capturing my every move. I will be natural and totally honest. Or, the worst of the abominations...I am always outrageous and it is always witty and amusing. No one ever gets hurt. Whatever. I AM a night person and that is the only way I actually get to see MUSIC VIDEOS!____Harry, congrats on the weight loss. Yes, Harry is obese, but, guess what, LaBallatician, losing 25 pounds takes a lot of effort and the starting point isn't nearly as important as the end result. I'm not a KS fan, but, in this case, a certain line comes to mind...something about fornication and anal cavities. Try it, you just might like it. I would like to see you try it. Flame away, baby. I might give Harry hell for being a hypocrite but that is a heckuva lot more pertinent than some jackassed comment on his weight.____Regarding Rock Star...hmmm...regardless of Mark Wahlberg's acting capabilities, good or nonexistent, I'll pass on this one. Just my opinion.____A Bee Wearing Asbestos Sunglasses
Sept. 5, 2001, 2:27 a.m. CST
Hank is dead. Bababooey to y'all. Oh yeah, Rockstar looks like a made-for-VH-1 movie. They should have gotten Shannen Doherty to play Jennifer Aniston's part.
Sept. 5, 2001, 2:35 a.m. CST
by Toby O Notoby
Placed the movie in context of your personal experiences juxtaposed with that of the lead actor. Seriously, man, keep it up. As for the whole Marky Mark thing, I say leave the guy alone. It's the equivalent of having your entire high school experience, all the way from the D&D days through to the senior year mullet, as a matter of public record. If i was 17 and you offered me as much money and as much babes as he got, hell yeah I'd wear my shorts around my ankles.
Sept. 5, 2001, 5 a.m. CST
not of the movie, but of San Antonio and the concert. I too grew up in SA, live in Austin, and my first concert was that very same Anthrax/Iron Maiden show. Sadly, my seats were far up to left stage where I could see the singer for IM doing blow behind the amps. Amusing view, but still crappy seats. You win on every count, I went with my brother. Greedy Dwarf PS - Anthrax kicked ass. Iron Maiden should have never bothered to come on stage after that performance.
Sept. 5, 2001, 7:40 a.m. CST
I have to say, this review was amazing. I could relate to it. Thank you Massawyrm. And Harry, keep up the good work.
Sept. 5, 2001, 8 a.m. CST
Jesus, this sure is a textbook AICN rave, isn't it? It begins with 58 paragraphs about our reviewer's personal life, as if we are supposed to care. Sure, Ebert sometimes waxes poetic about the good ol' days, but he does it in a few sentences. Massawyrm takes so long, it's a wonder why anyone even bothered to read until he started talking about the movie, which is what this site is supposedly about even though I've always found it to be more about 15-year-old boys waving their pricks around by using the F-word as many times as possible when talking about "AI" or "Tomb Raider." But anyway, "Rock Star" does look like a fun time at the movies, especially for those of us who have actually watched an Iron Maiden video in the past year (or twice, in my case). But now I have to thank Massawyrm if I don't like it because I'm comparing it to "Boogie Nights," something I hadn't even thought of until now. But oh well.
Sept. 5, 2001, 8:58 a.m. CST
ala "Detroit Rock City" (by Kiss)and not merely name-checked ala "What Am I doing hangin' round?" (by The Monkees)
Sept. 5, 2001, 10:48 a.m. CST
Can I review a film? I'll learn to write a really long piece that has more to do with the author than the film. I'll try and try and try.
Sept. 5, 2001, 10:53 a.m. CST
Enough about the concert, review, and movie, did he hook up w/ the good christian girl or not? Enquiring minds want to know.
Sept. 5, 2001, 1:30 p.m. CST
by Toby O Notoby
By percentage you pretty much talked about your own feelings towards the review and the site (as compared to the movie under discussion) as Massawyrm did. Not trying to flame, just funny is all.
Sept. 5, 2001, 8:27 p.m. CST
Poison, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Guns N' Roses, Warrant, Skid Row, Cinderella, ect. Those were some great times and some great music...I don't care what anyone says. Rock is supposed to be loud and FUN...a fact lost on the geeks who think R.E.M and Dave Mathews Band are really cool. Boring. Give me Warrant singing "she's my f*&king cherry pie" anyday of the week! Most of these bands are still making music, just not getting mtv or radio support, so really it's truly today's "alternative" music...the past 3 summers Poison has toured and played to crowds of 10,000+ on many nights. I can't wait to see this movie. If I see or hear anymore pansy "rock" bands like Dave Mathews or this "Nu" metal rap crap like Limp Bizshit I'll puke. I just feel sorry for the kids growing up today that are forced to listen to "today's" music. And Nirvana was the most overrated piece of crap I've ever seen...at least Cobain thankfully put the public (and himself) out of the misery.
Sept. 5, 2001, 9:55 p.m. CST
Why must you bring Kurt into this. Smells like a teen-spirit killer. Harry you are in my dreams, fat or no-fat, with you 100%, get better baby! Kisses!
Sept. 6, 2001, 6:30 a.m. CST
Someone alluded to this earlier but the best episodes of VH1:Behind the Music are the ones where the featured artist looks ruefully at the camera and the narrator says "..and then Nirvana arrived." Classic. Rock music is supposed to be fun? No, it's supposed to piss people off. It's all about rebellion. Heavy Metal may have it's fans, but so does Freddie Prinze Jr.
Sept. 6, 2001, 10:12 a.m. CST
by Siskels Ghost
"25 pounds is like 2 pounds for a super model"? Interesting turn of phrase there big guy. I'd say it's more like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic, or peeing in the ocean. How much difference could that really make?
Sept. 6, 2001, 12:53 p.m. CST
Excellent and well written! I just hope the film plays out as well as you have described, as my expectation level has just jumped a few notches. I hope it DOES bring me back as well to my first concert: Judas Priest in 1984 prior to the Flash Gordon era and prior to Rob getting all pupae-like. No matter, Judas Priest (with Ripper) will be in town with Anthrax Oct 1, so even if the film sucks I have that to look forward to... (You know, in some ways these days are better than the 80's since you can see your favorite bands for $10 in a large club where you can actually see whats going on rather than in the enormodome with 20,000 drunk posers.)
Sept. 15, 2001, 3:27 p.m. CST
Don't know why I care really, must be bored... but Flash Gordon was Queen, not Judas Priest. I was a huge Priest fan back in the day, and remained a Halford fan through Fight and saw him with Queensryche and Iron Maiden (go Bruce!) last year. Here's hoping that the "Three Tremors" work out the red tape and release that CD they were talking about! Now, just to make this post on topic... I really enjoyed Rock Star, because the concert sequences really did make you feel like you were there. Makes you sorta wish that Steel Dragon was touring. Horns Up!
- Sony has hired a writer for BAD BOYS 3, plus updates on the MEN IN BLACK and GHOSTBUSTERS franchises!! -- 107 total posts 27 posts
- Trailer for LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY'S RETURN! -- 91 total posts 17 posts
- Ohmygod Ohmygod, you guys! The Godzilla trailer! -- 568 total posts 11 posts
- WORLD WAR Z 2 is a go and Paramount has found a director to helm the sequel. -- 81 total posts 10 posts
- Jason Momoa to potentially play Doomsday in the upcoming BATMAN/SUPERMAN film!?!? -- 543 total posts 9 posts
- The Trailer For The Wachowskis' JUPITER ASCENDING! -- 317 total posts 7 posts
- ‘That Seat Is Taken!!’ The Return Of AGENTS OF SHIELD!! ANARCHY, MOONSHINERS & INCOME Finales!! Galactic Pioneers On FUTURESCAPE!! New TROPHY, AWKWARD, STORAGE, NCIS, LOSER, VOICE, FIRE, TOSH!! Tom Hanks On KIMMEL!! Michelle Dockery On FALLON!! Lizzy Caplan On CHELSEA!! Herc’s Tuesday TV Talkback!! -- 47 total posts 6 posts
- Nordling Recaps BNAT 15! -- 194 total posts 5 posts
- A sequel to JACK REACHER is on the way! -- 198 total posts 5 posts
- Images From Matt Smith's Final DOCTOR WHO Episode - 'The Time of the Doctor'!! -- 122 total posts 4 posts