Will The 'CBGB' Movie Suck?
  • MONDAY, APRIL 01, 2013

  • Posted by: Matt Howard

Last week, the first official poster for the feature film CBGB was released and it made me a bit uncomfortable. I truly hate to judge a book by its cover, but this thing tickled me all wrong. After letting it sit over the weekend, I decided it would be best to vent about my premature contempt for another shitty rock fiction "biopic".

Let's start by talking about the director. Looking at Randall Miller's directorial resume, one title stuck out like a gangrenous thumb...



Fuckin' Sinbad. Granted, I thought this movie was the greatest when I was 10 years old, but I was also wearing swishy jumpsuits and would watch anything that had Ernest Goes To... in the title. Alright, and the guy also directed one of my childhood Nickelodeon favorites, Salute Your Shorts, as well as one episode of Northern Exposure. Taking a step back, looking at the poster, and Miller's career highlights, it becomes incredibly clear that he's trapped in the 90s. The raunchy zine look is something even Kevin Smith would poo-poo (and he made Jersey Girl).

And how about that cast...

J.P. from Grandma's Boy is playing Joey fucking Ramone?!



Harry Potter's red-headed Robin is playing Cheetah fucking Chrome?!



Totally cool with this...



Looking at the history of musical biopics, success seems to only come out of films focusing on the life/work of a single artist. Remember The Runaways? Neither do I. The partitcular actor chosen to portray said artist is undoubtedly the lifeblood of the entire picture (think Ray, The Doors, Walk The Line). I must admit that occasionally a doubted actor will surprise everyone with a terrific performance like Gary Busey in The Buddy Holly Story and Dennis Quaid in Great Balls Of Fire.

Perhaps I'm prizing the historic value of the film's true main character, the venue of CBGB itself. And maybe, just maybe, this was Randall Miller's intention all along - cast recognizable, but not award-winning actors who won't eclipse their peers or the story's focus. For now, I'm going to give CBGB the benefit of the doubt, but I'm not going to forget about this...

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