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Mainstream - The Rocker

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The Rocker
Rainn Wilson, Emma Stone, Josh Gad
Howard Hesseman, Will Arnett, Terry Geiger
Directed by Peter Cattaneo
Fox Home Entertainment 2009
102 minutes

Aside from the fact Rainn Wilson obviously impersonates Jack Black and it is hard to get over it, The Rocker is a cool rock movie. This DVD is not a Spinal Tap like classic but it entertains. Aside from the obligatory story development pauses so the movie soundtrack can be built up The Rocker doesn’t waste that much time. The movie also features the first movie rock band with decent tunes.

Robert “Fish” Fishman (Wilson / Black) is dumped by Cleveland glitter rock band Vesuvius so his band mates can get a recording contract –kind of like The Beatles and Pete Best. Fish spends the next twenty years as a middle class nobody until his son’s band, A.D.D, needs a drummer for a gig, a gig that changes his life.

It sounds kind of bland but The Rocker makes the most of this story line. Fish also plays mentor to A.D.D’s guitarist and songwriter played by pop star Terry Geiger. The bit about Fish behaving like a seventies rock star gets tired quickly but doesn’t last that long either.

The Rocker features jokes about rock bands and rock concert movies, a main character with a mid-life crisis, a never forget your dream story line, a love interest (Christina Applegate), and some decent laughs.

The Rocker is a bit uneven and does have an Afterschool Special moment or two but it is fun to watch and original enough to keep you interested. This rock comedy also throws in a few great allusions to other movies, such as the Terminator 2 style scene when Fish chases after the band’s van.

Howard Hesseman of WKRP fame plays the tour bus driver. Comic Demetri Martin plays the video director in a couple of useless and silly scenes. By the way, you know you are old when Christina Applegate is now playing a teenager’s mother.

Ironically, the Blu ray and two DVD versions of The Rocker feature an interview with, you guess it, Pete Best.

The Rocker Born To Rock Edition two-disc DVD will be presented in widescreen format (1.85:1 aspect ratio) with English 5.1 Dolby Surround and French Dolby Surround, plus English and Spanish subtitles. Bonus features include:

•    Digital Copy movie file for portable media players

•    Commentary with director Peter Cattaneo and actor Rainn Wilson

•    Commentary with actors Josh Gad, Teddy Geiger, Emma Stone and Jason Sudeikis

•    10 Deleted Scenes

•    Gag Reel (including separate options of “Matt Gags” and “Vesuvius Gags”)

•    Rainn Wilson: Office Rocker featurette

•    Pete Best Interview featurette

•    Behind The Band: Vesuvius featurette

•    Rock Beat With Fish Fishman featurette

•    The Music of The Rocker featurette

•    Rock Tales featurette

•    MTV Film Festival Panel

•    Fox Movie Channel Presents…In Character With The Rocker

•    “I’m Not Bitter” music video

•    Four exclusive podcasts

•    Vesuvius Public Service Announcements


Richard Lanoie

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