Year of Rock – Part 4

At the recommendation of my dad and another friend, I rectified the gap in my musical movie/documentary viewing history. I will be watched a dozen movies or documentaries about rock music last year. This is the final installment. Find the earlier installment below.

A Hard Day’s Night

Thought by many to be the best of The Beatles’ movies, this was much better than the previous two I watched (or tried to watch). It was funny without being too ridiculous and featured a lot of great music. It’s clear the Fab Four led an interesting life and I am sure this was fun for them to make fun of each other and people around them. There really isn’t much to the story, and they break out in song randomly here and there. But considering how old the humor is here, it is still pretty amusing. It’s likely that closer to it’s original release this one was a lot of fun.

Rock and Roll High School

One of those movies that I was not even really aware of. This late ’70s movie prominently features both the music of The Ramones, and the band themselves. It’s that classic “teens and rock music vs. the establishment” clash led my P.J. Soles whom I have only seen in one other movie, Stripes. Ron Howard’s infamous brother Clint also has a prominent role. Clint is definitely one of those “that guys” most people would recognize from elsewhere. The Ramones music keeps this one afloat as it’s a mostly bland version of a movie that has been done to death. The story is pretty cookie cutter, but it has it’s moments. For example, the star quarterback is actually terrible with women, and the super smart girl is who he is after. Overall not bad, but not great.

Tommy

An adaptation of the The Who’s album of the same name, I was looking forward to this one. Then my dad warned me I would be disappointed, and he wasn’t totally wrong. Ann-Margaret stars as Tommy’s mom, and Roger Daltrey plays Tommy himself. Stylistically it was a pretty cool movie, but the music is butchered and stripped down. It does a good job f visually telling the story of Tommy, which for any other musical that was music first, would be great. But for a rock opera, the music is more important, and the way it was changed just leaves this movie feeling flat. Cameos by Tina Turner, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Jack Nicholson are nice though.