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THIS WEEK: The biopic (that’s pronounced “BIO-pic”, as in “bio-graphical”) of the late 20th century hit singer/group Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. It’s a film adaptation of a hit Broadway play based on a real career.
Personally, I would not see somethin’ like this, bein’a man’s man and all. (No explosions, no car chases, no shoot-outs, no kung fu, no monsters, no aliens, no robots and no nudity.) But bein’ I’m originally from NYC, I like movies wit’ Mob connections an’ tough guys, I dig some of the band’s tunes, and I wouldn’t be caught dead seeing THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (seriously–my corpse would burst inta flames if it were dragged into that teen chick-flick crap), I checked this out. And I wuz glad I did.
Written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (who also wrote the book for the play); Directed by Clint Eastwood
- The guy can sing. Not talkin’ ‘bout Frankie (everyone already knows he’s got pipes) but the actor who played him, John Lloyd Young . The guy had to hit all those high notes without gettin’ castrated and he did a decent job.
- The cars! The movie starts in the 1950s and goes to 1990, spending most of the time in the 60s. The filmmakers did a good job of staying true with the right cars, most of which are mint gorgeous. Lots of nice old Caddys.
- Good mix of humor with the serious, sad stuff. (If you like serious, sad stuff, there’s enough of that too.
- Christopher Walken as a “nice guy” mobster. Walken playing a mobster is always movie gold, even without cowbell.
- Fascinating coincidences and histories of various songs, titles and stuff like that. Probably fictionalized, but still a good story.
- Cute goils–err, girls, abound. Real ones, not the toothpicks that pass fer broads in today’s movies. And this is a pretty good date movie (despite a ton of “F” bombs). What skirt can resist the golden voice and hit songs of Frankie an’ The Four Seasons? Big girls don’t cry, unless they watch this! Give ‘em a hankie and yer shoulder and you’ll be in like Flynn.
- I had no idea just how many hits/great songs these guys did. And how many were written by member Bob Gordio and producer Bob Crewe. Good tunes, even if it ain’t all rock ’n’ roll.
- For once in one of these band biopics, none of the band members die of a drug OD.
- The director does a “video Hitchcock”. (First one ever in film?) Watch one of the TVs.
- The guys were good, but not “shut-yer-eyes-and-ya-can’t-tell” good, like the Johnny Cash performances by Joaquin Phoenix in WALK THE LINE. Frankie Valli has one of the most unique voices in da biz, so it’s impossible to sound exactly alike. But the dude tries his best.
- Family tragedy is always a heart-breaker.
- All these stars had either a lot of crap throughout their lives or a few major crappy things happen, some self-inflicted, some by enemies and some by “friends.” It’s amazing these guys stayed together as long as they did.
- According to all these biopics, no pro musician is ever faithful. Really?
- With all the chicks and groupies, you’d think there’d be a ton of boobage. Or at least some nekkid buttage. Nope. Nada. It gets an “R” only fer language. WTF?
- Probably because it’s based on a play, three of the band members take turns talking to the camera, breaking the “fourth wall.” Frankie never does. If you’re not used to that sort of thing, it can be a little weird.
- The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is in Cleveland, Ohio, which does not look like New York. THE BLOB came out in 1958, years after one of the guys’ dates mentions it.
- The guy playing one of the backup musicians is named “Bill Watterson” but is not the cartoonist. (I love CALVIN & HOBBES!)
A great film of its kind, period. But unless you’re a major fan or have to see it now, wait till Netfilx, Redbox, Amazon or your cable company has it. By seein’ it at home, you can sing along and/or dance without gettin’ kicked outta the theater. And you can drink every time you hear the “F” word or any of the band members’ names!
P.S.: Pascale thinks he can sing but sounds more like a dying moose in heat. He’s much better at drawing ORIGINAL ART COMMISSIONS. Pretty much any character, any person. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale or anyone from Jersey, New York, or any other state. Forget the cowbell-Bru needs more BEER!