Movie Reviews Bandslam
Critics are giving Summit Entertainment's latest effort to capture the hearts and dollars of teen moviegoers (it's the company behind the Twilight series) passing grades and polite applause. John Anderson in Newsday calls it "simultaneously shiny and retro, calibrated and uncalculated, familiar and unpredictable." Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News writes that Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical fame is miscast in this movie, but that given the fact that it's aimed at her HSM fans, it's "considerably cooler than it needs to be." After elaborating on Hudgens's acting shortcomings, Weitzman brings herself up short. "There's really no reason to complain here," she writes, "After all, have you tried finding a PG-rated movie that's appropriately innocent without feeling like a Disney-fied fairy tale?" Indeed, Jason Anderson in the Toronto Star expresses surprise at how cool (for him) the movie turns out to be. "Given that Bandslam is headlined by two products of Disney's star factory [Hudgens and Aly Michalka] ... the movie's abundance of smarts and lack of sheen is a welcome surprise." Similarly, Michael Phillips writes in the Chicago Tribune, " Bandslam is a pretty good movie, and the odds of its being a pretty bad movie were pretty steep." Likewise Roger Ebert concludes in the Chicago Sun-Times "For what it is, it's charming, and not any more innocuous than it has to be." That's not the way Amy Biancolli sees it in the San Francisco Chronicle , however. She calls Bandslam , "a mostly offbeat family movie with a mostly solid backbeat that isn't as hip as it wants to be."