I finally got to see the CBGBs movie (see my other blog about the nightmare of not being able to see it in the theater a few weeks ago): (https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/cbgb-could-be-good-but-movie/)
After a friend told me it was On Demand, I just couldn’t start my day without watching it. Mainly because my friend John Holmstrom had a major role in it. He’s the creator of Punk Magazine and was played brilliantly by Josh Zuckerman. In fact, it was like the Punk magazine story was the official sidebar to the CBGBs story. And why not? Without writers and photographers, there is no story! Congrats to Holmstrom for finally getting his due — what an inspiration!
The movie is fast moving. The thing I love best about it, is that even though all of us punk rock fans know how the movie ends (with Hilly Kristal’s club becoming a success story), it was done so well that I found myself getting all goose-bumpy as I cheered him on — hoping the underdog would win, I got so lost in the movie I nearly forgot that in the end he does!
Hilly Kristal (Alan Rickman) and Cheetah Chrome (Rupert Grint) were my favorite characters. They were great to watch and their talent was phenomenal. They both were genuine with absolutely no over-acting (which is always a huge pet peeve of mine when watching movies or television).
The sound track was fantastic. They picked out the best songs from the bands that played there. I was so happy “Psycho Killer” was the Talking Heads featured song, and that they dug out “X-Offender” by Blondie.
When Patti Smith (Mickey Sumner) performs, they are out of synch with the music time line as she is doing her big hit with Bruce Springsteen, “Because the Night,” and that came out later, in 1979. BUT — the way it’s filmed, it’s more like a dream-like sequence, it doesn’t seem as if Smith is at CBGBs which allows the viewers (who know better) to imagine that Smith may even be daydreaming about the bigger and better things to come. So, bravo on that! (And I think Mickey Sumner pulled Patti off very well.)
Classic scenes include: when Cheetah Chrome (Rupert Grint) drops his pants in the middle of CBGBs to show Genya Raven (played by Stana Katic) he’s a true redhead; John Holmstrom (Josh Zuckerman) and Mary Harron (Ahna O’Reilly) interviewing Lou Reed; and Hilly telling his daughter he was keeping all this CBGBs money in the freezer at his apartment. Good stuff!
Sweet side note, my friend Shel Stewart’s band Dorian Zero getting a mention! Go Shel!
My only disappointment was the Stiv Bators character, Justin Bartha, although Stiv’s boots were tough to fill as he was the coolest rock star ever to exist on this planet. Good try for being amazing enough to score the role, but not even close. It’s okay though, that was a tough one. Regardless, I have nothing bad to say about this movie. It’s a “right up there” bio-pic along with other great ones such as “The People Vs. Larry Flynt,” Man on the Moon” and “Walk the Line.”
I look forward to watching it again — tonite!
Oh, and about the bathroom — yes, it’s true the bathroom at CBGBs was absolutely disgusting but I must say, the bathroom at The World was equally horrific.