Showing posts with label Sara Sugarman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sara Sugarman. Show all posts

12 March 2013

Vinyl Review

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Washed-up punk-rocker Johnny Jones (Phil Daniels) begs a record company head-honcho to re-sign his band Weapons of Happiness after decades on the scrap-heap, only to be refused on the grounds that listening to anyone over the age of 30 sing is like “watching your parents having sex”. Faced with rejection, and staring at an anonymous middle-age spent in various caravan parks, Johnny hatches a plan to re-launch his music career. Assemble a group of TV-friendly kids as a front for his band; the kids can mime and wave, while Johnny and his pals roll back the years and kick out the jams backstage.

Johnny and his bandmates’ auditions for likely teenyboppers unearth the talents of troubled youngster Drainpipe (Jamie Blackley), a kid with a reckless streak, a passion at odds with the plastic, wipe-clean façade of the pop group he should be a poster boy for, and showmanship similar to that of Johnny himself. The band is launched, and their first single becomes an unlikely success.

Sara Sugarman’s warm-hearted tale of men behaving badly, and musically maladroit youths is based on the real-life story of Welsh band The Alarm who pulled of a similar hoax of their own in 2004. Vinyl extolls the virtues of six strings, pub gigs and cramped tour buses, over the auto-tuned, pre-packaged pop of X-Factor and the like. But while it invokes the spirit of the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Great Rock n’ Roll Swindle, Vinyl lacks the element of unpredictability so integral to the punk music it worships. It feels safer, less anarchic even than School Of Rock, a film with which it shares a certain DNA.

That’s not to say it lacks heart or humour. Daniels makes a decent fist of injecting sympathy into the selfish, pig-headed, oldest swinger in town, Johnny Jones. As the bad-boy of the Welsh seaside, Blackley radiates the impulsiveness and sex-appeal so obvious in the best and most dangerous of rock stars. Weapons of Happiness guitarist turned nursing home impresario, Perry Benson reminds us just what a fine comic actor he is also.

It probably won’t have you dusting off the leathers, but it will make you chuckle as it gives Simon Cowell a gentle kick up the backside.

Chris Banks (@Chris_in_2D)

★★★☆☆

Rating: 15
Release Date:1st March 2013 (UK)
Directed by: Sara Sugarman
Cast: Keith Allen, Phil Daniels , Jamie Blackley 

28 September 2012

Raindance 2012:Vinyl Review

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★★★☆☆


Washed-up punk-rocker Johnny Jones (Phil Daniels) begs a record company head-honcho to re-sign his band Weapons of Happiness after decades on the scrap-heap, only to be refused on the grounds that listening to anyone over the age of 30 sing is like “watching your parents having sex”. Faced with rejection, and staring at an anonymous middle-age spent in various caravan parks, Johnny hatches a plan to re-launch his music career. Assemble a group of TV-friendly kids as a front for his band; the kids can mime and wave, while Johnny and his pals roll back the years and kick out the jams backstage.

Johnny and his bandmates’ auditions for likely teenyboppers unearth the talents of troubled youngster Drainpipe (Jamie Blackley), a kid with a reckless streak, a passion at odds with the plastic, wipe-clean façade of the pop group he should be a poster boy for, and showmanship similar to that of Johnny himself. The band is launched, and their first single becomes an unlikely success.

Sara Sugarman’s warm-hearted tale of men behaving badly, and musically maladroit youths is based on the real-life story of Welsh band The Alarm who pulled of a similar hoax of their own in 2004. Vinyl extolls the virtues of six strings, pub gigs and cramped tour buses, over the auto-tuned, pre-packaged pop of X-Factor and the like. But while it invokes the spirit of the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Great Rock n’ Roll Swindle, Vinyl lacks the element of unpredictability so integral to the punk music it worships. It feels safer, less anarchic even than School Of Rock, a film with which it shares a certain DNA.

That’s not to say it lacks heart or humour. Daniels makes a decent fist of injecting sympathy into the selfish, pig-headed, oldest swinger in town, Johnny Jones. As the bad-boy of the Welsh seaside, Blackley radiates the impulsiveness and sex-appeal so obvious in the best and most dangerous of rock stars. Weapons of Happiness guitarist turned nursing home impresario, Perry Benson reminds us just what a fine comic actor he is also.

It probably won’t have you dusting off the leathers, but it will make you chuckle as it gives Simon Cowell a gentle kick up the backside.

Chris Banks (@Chris_in_2D)

Rating: 15
Screening Dates: Thursday 27 September ,Monday 1 October (15:00), 1st March 2013 (UK)
Directed by: Sara Sugarman Cast: Keith Allen, Phil Daniels , Jamie Blackley