Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

When the holidays roll around, it’s movie time for me.  While others watch Christmas classics, I prefer popping something from the past into the DVD player—usually one of my faves I can watch over and over.  This year is no different.  The other night I plunked down in the recliner and watched The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.  So I thought I’d do a post about movies that rock, starting with Ford, naturally.

I Wanna Rock

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.

Blurb:  The fast-paced and often seamy world of rock ‘n’ roll is his beat, but even detective Ford Fairlane (Andrew Dice Clay) is stunned when the king of shock-jocks, Johnny Crunch (Gilbert Gottfried), is electrocuted on the air. After all, Crunch was his only paying client! Crunch had hired Ford to track down a mysterious teenage groupie named ZuZu Petals – a search which quickly finds Ford tangled up, and trading insults, with a ruthless record executive (Wayne Newton) and merciless hit man (Robert Englund).

This movie was released during the early nineties.  It’s been called sexist, silly and dumb, but I love it.  It’s funny.  Doesn’t take itself too seriously.  Plus, Vince Neil plays Bobby Black!  Do you know my young heart was aflutter when I popped this movie into the VCR for the first time?  Woot.  Vince Neil!  Keep in mind we didn’t have the Internet in the Jurassic days.  If you wanted to watch your fave rocker, you tuned in to The Power Hour (or Headbangers Ball for the US folks), read rock magazines, or saw your fave band giving a cameo in movies.

P.S.  I adore ZuZu Petals, Bobby Black’s silly groupie girlfriend.

Almost Famous

Almost Famous.

Blurb:  The guys of Stillwater have the sound, they have the look and Rolling Stone Magazine wants their story. For young reporter William Miller, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime as he hits the road with his favorite band and discovers the price of fame, the value of family and the limits of friendship.   

I rented this a few years after the movie came out.  Kate Hudson gives a real, honest portrayal of a star-struck groupie.  Cameron Crowe takes you back to the free-spirited seventies.  Some trivia?  The rock star Russell Hammond was based on Glenn Frey of the Eagles.

I adore groupies, so of course this was a must-see for me.

Rock Star

Rock Star.

Blurb:  By day Chris Cole repairs photocopiers. By night he takes the stage as frontman for a tribute band emulating Steel Dragon, the world’s hottest heavy-metal band. Then, suddenly, opportunity rocks: Chris is tapped to become Steel Dragon’s new lead singer. Just like that, he goes from small-town nobody to megastar – and just like that, he and his manager/girlfriend Emily enter a world crazier than either imagined.

Metal Sludge, this forum I lurk at, was abuzz when the movie first made its appearance because it takes place in 1986.  It’s a who’s who of rock, with Zakk Wylde, Blas Elias, Jeff Pilson, and Jason Bonham, to name a few, playing rock stars.  I really liked Jennifer Aniston’s performance as Emily.  She came across as an independent, strong woman who refuses to let herself get sucked into the lifestyle.

P.S.  The movie is loosely based on Judas Priest and Tim “Ripper” Owens.

Still Crazy

Still Crazy.

Blurb:  This gently satirical British comedy chronicles the quixotic reunion of a late, arguably not-so-great, and unlamented ’70s rock band, Strange Fruit, with a winning mix of humor and poignancy. The “Fruits,” as the survivors call themselves without irony, had disbanded after the tragic loss of one member, the mysterious disappearance of another, and the aftershocks of internal rivalries, but 20 years later they warily reassemble for a Dutch club tour, a warm-up for a proposed festival appearance.

I rented this from the video store in the mid-00s.  Was I ever in for a treat.  I’d class this as one of my fave rock movies, evah–probably because the acting is superb.  You really do believe Stephen Rea and the gang are has-been rock stars attempting to make a come-back.  It’s funny, dark and sad all rolled into one.

Eddie and the Cruisers

Eddie and the Cruisers.

Blurb:  A reporter (Ellen Barkin) tracks down rumours of an unreleased album by a band whose charismatic leader (Michael Paré) allegedly died years before. As she approaches surviving members–who have since gone on to other things–she gets different points of view on Eddie’s life and artistic drive, and the mystery about that album deepens.

Although released in ’83, I don’t recall seeing this until the mid-80s.  Being an 80s teenager, of course I was a bit “hmmm” about watching a movie with a band from the sixties LOL.  Hey, I was a kid!  You know how kids won’t listen to their folks’ music.  Anyway, was I ever wrong.  Me and my sisters played the hell out of the soundtrack.  Everyone in town did!  As for the movie, it was teh awesome.  A great cast of actors doing a bang up job of  a Jersey-based rock band.  I can still sit back and enjoy Eddie and his Cruisers as much as I did as a young girl.

Get Him to the Greek.

Get Him to the Greek

Blurb:  The man who put the rock in raucous, Aldous Snow, returns to new levels of debauchery in Get Him to the Greek, something of a spinoff of the character’s first appearance in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. As played by the equally naughty Russell Brand, Aldous has fallen off the wagon and is more obnoxious than ever, a condition that will make Aaron Green’s job more difficult. Poor Aaron (Jonah Hill) is the goggle-eyed record-company stooge whose job it is to transport Aldous from London to Los Angeles in the course of 72 vodka-saturated hours–specifically to the Greek Theatre, where Aldous is supposed to revive his stumbling career with a comeback show.

This came on one Sunday morning when I was relaxing around the house.  I decided to give it a chance.  Mind you I was skeptical about Russell Brand playing a rock star.  Did he ever win me over, though.  This guy is too funny.  So funny I want to see the Sarah Marshall movie.  Give Greek a chance.  Brand serves up a great performance as a fallen rock star trying to climb back on top.

Now how about you?  Which rock movies do you enjoy?

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