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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Teens > High School > Music > Drama > Rock Music > Documentary > Industry > History > Girls Just Want To Have Fun (1985/Image Blu-ray)/Roadie (2011/Magnolia Blu-ray)/Teen A Go Go (2012/Cinema Libre DVD)

Girls Just Want To Have Fun (1985/Image Blu-ray)/Roadie (2011/Magnolia Blu-ray)/Teen A Go Go (2012/Cinema Libre DVD)

 

Picture: B-/B-/C†††† Sound: B-/B-/C+†††† Extras: C-/C/C+†††† Features: C-/C/B-

 

 

Music-affiliated titles continue to arrive and here are three dealing with the Rock and Pop genres.

 

 

Best known as a big early hit for Cyndi Lauper, Girls Just Want To Have Fun (1985) also became one of the dozens of bad 1980s films that though licensing a film title and throwing a film around it would make for a brainless hit.This failed almost every time, even when up and coming talent like future Academy Award Winner Helen Hunt was cast.Joined by Sarah Jessica Parker (then known only for Square Pegs) as best friends in high school of the time, the script focuses way too much on Parkerís character instead of giving equal time to both.

 

The Lauper record never appears in the film, but a horrid remake by someone else does, as does Shannen Doherty, Lee Montgomery and Johnathan Silverman.Director Alan Metter (who did a little better with Rodney Dangerfieldís Back To School and some Olivia Newton-John Music Videos) is just going through the motions here no matter what the actors do (Parker looks particularly lost through no fault of her own) and Writer Amy Spies (who quickly moved on to the trash TV of the original 90210 and Melrose Place) comes up with tired situations and bad dialogue.

 

It is also amazing how this is a bit more implicitly sexist and even racist than you might expect, but it is pointless most of all and a very lame curio.Not surprisingly, there are no extras.

 

 

Michael Cuestaís Roadie (2011) has nothing to do with an older film of the same name that Meatloaf appeared in, but instead is a so-so tale of an older man (Ron Eldard here with mixed results) being stuck in the a life he thought would never end and now heading to middle age does not know what to do with his life next.He get quickly angry with the lack of response from his old friends, many of whom he has not contacted for longer periods of time than he realizes.Much of this is about not knowing what time he is in and sometimes that works, but other times it does not.

 

Unfortunately, the screenplay is hit and miss as well so despite the efforts of all, this does not fully work as a character study or Rock Music reflection because it has very little to say about the later and vague music references are not enough.Bobby Carnavale, Jill Hennessy and Lois Smith also star.

 

Extras include an HD Net piece on this and Photo Gallery and hey, it is still better than Girls Just Want To Have Fun.

 

 

The best choice on the list is a documentary, Melissa Kirkendalís Teen A Go Go (2012) which is about a little-known past music scene out of Fort Worth, Texas that has produced many people who moved on to become famous, even if it meant they left the town.Even more interesting is the fact that a large group of bands, many with record contracts, formed, played and recorded often in the mid-to-late 1960s before their scene faded in the early 1970s.With records that now sell quiet a bit, we get to see rare footage of them on film and tape (including TV appearances) and a solid series of interviews with many members of those bands.

 

In yet another one of those great untold stories of Rock, there were even tours and contests between them and a few even toured with big names, even leaving the U.S. for touring.I had never heard of the likes of The Kandy Kanes, Larry & The Blue Notes, The Cynics or Jack & The Rippers (what a name from a more innocent time), but you get to learn all about them and it becomes a microcosm of the many scenes at the time that reflect more untold stories.

 

Industry people are interviewed, as is Ira Robbins, the great Trouser Press writer who tends to be scholarly and encyclopedic on the subject of the Music Industry (grab any of his Trouser Press Record Guides if you donít believe me) and this becomes a remarkable independent effort when all is said and done.Hope we get some kind of sequel, follow-up or series.Extras include a Making Of featurette, the making of a CD series of the music featured, Lenny Kay & The Nuggets on-camera interview and truly rare full color Beatles footage worth catching.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Girls and 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Roadie are about even as the former has a print that shows its age as well as the limits of how the film was shot, while the newer entry has motion blur and detail limit issues.The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Teen is softer overall, but has some nice footage, good editing and a really good use of still material.

 

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Roadie should be the best sounding title on this list, but it is instead dialogue-based and lacks a consistent soundfield.Girls is listed on the case as lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, but is actually slightly better PCM 2.0 Stereo with Pro Logic surrounds from its Dolby A-type analog theatrical release.Too bad the mix is on the weak side and like the image, maybe a generation down.Lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Teen is simple and fairly good for a documentary with some good moments, but some older audio shows its age, as does some location audio issues.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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