Monday, March 23, 2009

The Rocker (2008)

Directed by Peter Cattaneo. Rainn Wilson plays the original drummer of Vesuvius, a metal band that became big once he got kicked out. He let that ruin his life and this movie is about his character getting over that by way of joining his nephew's indie rock act.

Considering the premise is about a 40-year-old joining a band otherwise made up of teens that hopes to appeal to 20-somethings, there's not a lot of humor mined from that disparity. Instead, most of the jokes focus on Rainn Wilson's character being a has-been rock star and a current loser. I haven't decided whether that's a good thing or a bad thing because the movie's biggest flaw is that there aren't enough big laughs in it. It's still a highly entertaining flick because Rainn Wilson is just a funny guy and a strong comic presence.

I'm fond of a recent trend in independent films that have simple ambitions. Indie movies used to have an image as films too serious or artsy to make it as mainstream films, and that might be a little true, but I like that now it has become so inexpensive to make a movie that some independent films are genre flicks the big studios passed on. Comedian passion projects like Artie Lang's "Beer League" and Adam Carolla's "The Hammer" are not what people used to think of as typical for independent film. But if the big studios don't want to make those comedies if Will Farrell or Adam Sandler isn't in them, they can still get made for an appreciative audience.

One last note, Christina Applegate, who is also in this, was marketed as a hot broad when she was barely old enough to drive but is actually much more appealing now approaching 40.

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