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This week:

Rock Star

Filthy says:
"If you like Warrant's Cherry Pie..."

Rock Star is a lot like being cornered by Worm at the Arvada Tavern. First, you'd have to have a lot of booze in you to not have the wherewithal to avoid it. Second, when Worm starts talking, it sounds like he's going to tell a tired-ass jokes, but he never gets to the punchline. Instead, what starts out with "a man walks into a bar," devolves into a rehash of miserable sidenotes about why he thinks his neighbor killed his cat, the time he hung his baby out the window in a bassinet tied to fishing line, "those God damn cops," the "fucking liberals" and how Kirby from the trailer two lots down steals his Arvada Sentinel, the weekly voice of reason in this fair city.

Of course, Rock Star doesn't have much to say about the baby or the liberals, but it's the same sort of bait and switch. It's supposed to be a gag, an easy parody of metal, but it's too fucking sad, tired and serious to make me laugh, until later when I'm by myself, and even then, not at the story, but at the people telling it. Like Worm, Director Stephen Herek is so fucking sincere that I feel bad for him; he isn't smart or clever enough to figure out his story's been told before, and that I didn't care the last time either.

Marky Mark, the all-grown-up version of Freddie Prinze, Jr. is Chris Cole, a dimbulb wannabe rock star who lives at home, fixes copiers by day and fronts a "Steel Dragon" cover band by night. When his band wants to expand and do their own material, he resists, wanting nothing more than to perfect "Stand up and Shout." In other words, he's just like those guys in their thirties with long hair who still live with their parents. Of course, nobody has ever seen those guys riding their BMX bikes around the neighborhood and thought "Oh, to be a fly on his wall." With good reason.

So, why in the world would a whole fucking movie be made about one of these guys? I assume that hundreds of competent technicians were used, real film and delicious, catered meals. The production company probably financed orgies and handed out Vicodin like Reese's Pieces on the set. But why this story? I mean, as long as Hollywood is blowing money on the stories of uninteresting losers, I'd rather hear more about the kid who shit his pants during homeroom down at Arvada West last week. Oh, to be a fly on his pants.

Anyway, after being kicked out of his little play band, Mr. Mark is called by the real Steel Dragon. They have booted out their gay crooner and are looking for someone who knows the lyrics to all the songs and sounds and acts exactly like the dispatched singer. From that point, the movie just careens from retreaded plot point to plot point: He almost fails in his first concert but bounces back to become a huge success; he lets it go to his head; he parties too hard, putting a strain on his relationship with his girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston in a role so underwritten she might as well not exist); she leaves; he discovers his mistake and quits the band to win back his girl; he becomes a Dave Matthews-esque overly-earnest shit-and-mud-rocker in Seattle; he wins the girl back.

Yeah, right, dipshit glam-rockers become annoying jam banders when they grow up. Not likely. They mostly become metalworkers with crystal meth problems. But the deluded middle-aged screenwriters with their names on this dog think that's how it works. And later, when the glam-rockers are middle aged, they become Phillip Glass, finally emerging from their cocoons to be Leonard Bernstein before death.

In between the obligatory plot points, it's shit. Major moments and sections of time are completely missing, such as a break from touring during which Mr. Mark discovers he does want to write songs and be more than a lead singer, which is all to the contrary of what he says throughout the movie to this point, and it leads to his dissatisfaction with being in the band. Or, any sort of romantic connection between Mr. Mark and Anniston. Instead, we see sub-Behind the Scenes vignettes of glam rockers partying and trashing hotel rooms, multiple lazy montages of concert stages being set up, and, most inexplicably of all, of Mr. Mark driving around in the Batmobile. I swear to Holy God up in heaven boning the angels. Where the fuck did he get the Batmobile? Maybe that's the movie we should have seen; how a national treasure got into the hands of a moron. I think it's supposed to indicate some sort of excess and foolishness, but this movie isn't worth doing the work the director and writers couldn't do themselves to make it complete.

There is no character development, and a couple dozen scenes that ended leaving me wondering "did the second half of that scene get stained with the editor's bongwater? The dumbass that dumbass Mr. Mark plays is just too fucking stupid, and his dream of becoming an imitation of a glam rocker is too fucking lame to root for. Well, wasn't all glam rock too stupid to root for? I mean, wasn't this a bunch of guys who wore makeup, sang unbelievably dumb songs with double entendres about hair pie, cherry pie and big dicks? Wasn't their whole existence based entirely in the present, where they were fucking groupies and blowing wads of cash with no concern for the future? Hell, these hair bands were inconsequential in the mid-80s, so why would we care about them now, other than that they remember to include an extra packet of honey mustard with my chicken nuggets?

It could be laughed at, but that's not how this movie aims. That would require something clever and something original. A joke not already told in This is Spinal Tap. But, although this movie is more serious, it's way less authentic. It was written by lazy fucking Hollywood dicklickers who got their ideas from videos and didn't even see Decline of Western Civilization, Part 2.

Beyond Mr. Mark's burnout, the rest of the cast is as dull. Anniston's character is less involving than toasting a Pop Tart, and apparently took about as long to write. The rest of Steel Dragon is so fucking lame that they don't see the departure of their lead singer as an opportunity to try anything new, but as an opportunity to hire someone who sounds exactly like him. Which uninteresting longhairs are we supposed to root for? Which are we supposed to feel sorry for? Personally, I will feel sorry for a dumb person who tries, but these fuckers just soak in their stupidity like a drunk stewing in his urine. And believe me, I know something about that.

And wasn't the whole point of glam rock to get laid? Then why don't we see more tits and screwing? It's crap. It's a waste of our time, like Worm, or like the worthless music that spawned it. Who fucking cares? One Finger.

Got 12 minutes? Check out my writing and acting debut, Presto, P.I. Don't worry, it's free.

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