24 Apr 2016

Special Feature: Rock Movies Featured

Most of us like to relax by listening to music or watching movies. So, what better when these two are combined? In this article we recommend movies around our favorite music. First of all, we don’t mean movies that we see a band playing music or movies that have rock/metal soundtrack, because the list goes on and on. Also, not movies in which our favorite musicians appear. This list is personal and has to do with movies that show us musicians, fans, trends of the scene in the year that they are taking place or simply movies made for pure fun. Some of them are best watched with friends and cold beers. Enjoy responsibly! George Terzakis
Note: The list is in chronological order

 


I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978): From the title alone, which is one of the most irritating well known songs of The Beatles, this movie is one of the three in this article that takes place around the myth and the fans of a particular band. In here we see the paranoia that was created around the world by the British legends as their fans do everything just to manage to see them play live. Also, it’s the only one of the three where The Beatles don’t actually play in this movie. We only see them through archive footage because they were disbanded back in 1970.

Rock ‘N’ Roll High School (1979): Another movie that is centered around one band. There is a school that loves rock ‘n’ roll and The Ramones in particular. We listen to a lot of their music and they also appear many times. It could be better, but it loses the game with awkward humorous situations, bad actors and too much promotion for The Ramones.

Pink Floyd The Wall (1982): Not an easy movie to watch, but it couldn’t be absent. In here we see the concept that was created by Roger Waters in the historic album “The Wall”. Based partially to himself, rock star Floyd “Pink” Pinkerton lost his father in war while he was still a baby, he had to endure a school that he hated and suffered from his overprotective mother. When he became a rock star, he started isolating himself from everyone and as a result he built around him a metaphorical wall. Strange movie with many tough images and of course the aforementioned album as soundtrack. However, you should check it out.

This Is Spinal Tap (1984): Amazing movie like no other. This mockumentary (from the words mock and documentary) is super fun to watch. Starring the imaginary band Spinal Tap in the worst time of their career. They experience many crazy situations during a tour in which they try to regain part of their former glory. The hilarious situations that are described here made many musicians worship this movie due to many similarities in their long time career. Strange thing about this movie is that the three American actors that star as the British masterminds of Spinal Tap recorded and released music with that name after the huge success of this movie, thus making Spinal Tap the band to have both real and imaginary discography. A must-watch!

Airheads (1994): A delightful comedy. The band with the strange name The Lone Rangers is desperately searching for a contract but every record company refuse to give them a shot. Desperate as they are, they enter the town’s No1 rock station in order to play their song but things don’t go as they planned and before they realize it they are involved in a crazy hostage situation. Starring Brendan Fraser, Adam Sandler and Steve Buscemi as the musicians of the band while White Zombie and Lemmy (is God) make cameo appearances.

Detroit Rock City (1999): The third movie of this article around one particular band and one most famous rock movies of all times. It’s well known that Kiss always had die-hard fans and this is the story of some of them. Four high school kids play in the band Mystery, covering song of their heroes and their dream is to see them play live. Well, they are not the best musicians around, but that’s not the point. This movie has all the clichés it could take. The eternal fight between rock and disco fans, the sex/drugs/rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle of rock fans, the organization against the music of Kiss and of course the fanatic Christian mother who makes her child’s life a living hell because he listens to the devil’s music. After many setbacks, the trip to Detroit becomes a reality as these kids do whatever it may take to see live the hottest band in the world. Very nice soundtrack and of course a live appearance of Kiss for the grand finale.

Almost Famous (2000): A semi-biographic movie from the director Cameron Crow who was an editor for the famous magazine Rolling Stone. In this movie, a 15-year-old boy wants to be a rock editor (despite his mother’s wishes to become a lawyer) and so he follows the imaginary band Stillwater while on tour with historic bands. It takes place in the year 1973, the movie was nominated for four Oscars and won one for best screenplay. Starring Kate Hudson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jason Lee, Jimmy Fallon, Anna Paquin and Peter Frampton among others.

High Fidelity (2000): A movie that takes place in the favorite place of every music fan, a record store. Based on the novel of the same name by Nick Hornby, John Cusack moves the setting from London to Chicago and is starring as the owner of the music store. With Todd Louiso and Jack Black, all they do is talking about music and sorting everything in top-5 lists, as most of us do all the time. Very nice movie which also has the personal issues of the leading actor because he can’t figure out why all of his relationships fail.

Rock Star (2001): This excellent movie is dedicated to Tim “Ripper” Owens. We know him of course as the replacement of Rob Halford when he quit Judas Priest. Owens finally was lucky enough to sing for the band that he worshiped as a boy. This movie follows our hero, Chris “Izzy” Cole (portrayed by Mark Wahlberg), who loves the imaginary band Steel Dragon and sings in a tribute band called Blood Pollution. Soon Steel Dragon find out about him and they call him to replace their original singer, making his dream come true. Excellent movie with a very nice cast like Jennifer Aniston, Timothy Olyphant and Dominic West, lots of music and of course many musicians. Deep breath and here we go: in Steel Dragon we see Zakk Wylde on guitar, Jeff Pilson on bass (ex-Dokken, ex-Dio, ex-Foreigner) Jason Bonham on drums and Walberg’s vocals are performed by Miljenko Matijevic of Steelheart while Jeff Scott Soto gave his voice to the original Steel Dragon’s vocalist. Also, in Blood Pollution we see Nick Catanese (Black Label Society), Blas Elias (ex-Slaughter) and Brian Vander Ark (The Verve Pipe). Finally, Ralph Saenz (Steel Panther) and Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) make cameo appearances. Check also the movie’s fantastic soundtrack.

School Of Rock (2003): Jack Black strikes back. A total failure as a musician (and human being in general) gets fired from his band and has to deal with his roommates’ nagging because he is months behind on his share of the rent. One phone call changes everything, as he impersonates his roommate in order to take a job as a sub teacher in a school. There he finds out that his class has a lot of talent in music, so he decides to form a rock band secretly in order to participate in Battle Of The Bands and win against his former bandmates. Non-stop music, lessons of rock history and lots of funny moments in a Jack Black classic film.

Tenacious D In The Pick Of Destiny (2006): The third movie from this article starring Jack Black. Teenage JB rebels against his religious family by listening to rock music until his father (portrayed by Meat Loaf) beats him and tears apart all of his posters. Grounded and crying, he seeks help from Ronnie James Dio’s remaining poster. The poster comes to life and Ronnie urges him to leave his home in order to form the world’s most awesome band. JB listens to his advice and after many years he arrives to LA, where he meets KG (Kyle Gass). Together they will form Tenacious D and will start a quest in order to acquire the guitar pick that will allow them to wright awesome music. Filled with hilarious moments, music and fantastic guests (Ben Stiller, Tim Robbins, John C. Reilly and Dave Grohl as Satan) these guys will do anything to reach their goal. An ideal movie for every fan of this crazy duet.

The Rocker (2008): It’s the 80’s and heavy metal band Vesuvius tries to make it to the top. A record company offers them a contract and a tour as an opening act of Whitesnake with only one term, that they will fire their drummer Fish (Rainn Wilson). The years go by, Vesuvius becomes the best heavy metal act in the world and Fish is a boring guy with a boring life and a boring day job. But all this is about to change. Somehow he will participate in his nephew’s alternative rock band in an attempt to live all the things that he missed with Vesuvius. The conflict between the old and new generation is amazing with Fish denying to grow up because he is finally living the dream. Starring Christina Applegate, Emma Stone and Jason Sudeikis.

The Boat That Rocked (2009): Finally, a movie about DJs. In 1966’s England, a pirate rock station is opposed to the government’s will to shut it down because it produces noise and corrupts the youth. Radio Rock station is in a permanently anchored boat and all its DJs live inside it. The only contact with the land is when boats arrive to bring them supplies and…girls. Very nice movie with an excellent cast, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh, Chris O’Dowd and Katherine Parkinson.

The Runaways (2010): A movie dedicated to the story of the legendary Runaways, as it’s obvious from the title. Based on the book “Neon Angel: A Memoir By A Runaway” written by their original vocalist Cherrie Currie, the story evolves from her meeting with Joan Jett and afterwards the producer Kim Fowley. The rest of The Runaways don’t appear that much because the events have to do between the relationship among Currie and Jett until Currie’s departure. Starring Dakota Fanning (Currie), the worst female actor at this time Kristen Stewart (Jett) and Michael Shannon (Fowley). They could have done it much better, but it’s worth of watching just for the history of this band.

Rock Of Ages (2012): The 80’s are coming to an end and the notorious Sunset Strip is slowly starting to decline. The Bourbon Room is the most famous rock club and its owner is trying to avoid bankruptcy. In order to do so, we will arrange a final concert of the best heavy metal band, the Arsenal, before their vocalist Stacee Jaxx starts a solo career. Lots of laughter, non-stop music (after all it’s a musical) from classic 80’s hard rock/glam rock songs and a parade of great actors such as Brian Cranston, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin and the one and only Tom Cruise in an excellent performance portraying Stacee Jaxx. This movie didn’t take the best reviews (who gives a damn) but it’s at least very enjoyable.

Metalhead (Original Title: Malmhaus, 2013): The only non-English speaking movie, so you will need subtitles on this one. Filmed in Iceland, the year is 1983 and young Hera is a sweet and happy girl until one day that her brother gets killed and her whole life changes. She takes his guitar, clothes and music and becomes a metalhead. Fast-forward to her adult life and her day activities include reading magazines, listening to music and working on her father’s cow farm. Antisocial, reactive and troubled she is the center of malign looks and comments from the small community that she lives. Her life will change again when she sees a report on television about the black metal scene in Norway and the burning of churches. She becomes more evil than before and records a black metal demo that sends away to magazines. This movie has some great scenes (which I will not reveal in case you want to see it) and despite my predisposition that it will suck it was very pleasant to watch after all. In occasion it reminded me of my youth (not in the most extreme situations of course) and how strange it was for everyone in my village that I had long hair and wore black clothes. It has also very nice soundtrack and the cold place that our hero lives makes you get into her psychology. It’s worth noting that despite its content, it received some excellent reviews.

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Last modified on Sunday, 24 April 2016 11:00

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