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Favorite movies about music/musicians

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Author Topic: Favorite movies about music/musicians  (Read 2270 times)
Perplexio
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« on: July 09, 2010, 09:58:22 am »

My absolute favorite... and no contest here is Almost Famous (2000).  Patrick Fugit plays William Miller, a teen rock journalist who goes on tour with one of his favorite bands, Stillwater, to interview them for a Rolling Stone article.  Miller's experiences are based on the actual experiences of writer/director, Cameron Crowe, when he was a writer for Rolling Stone and Creem magazines in the 70s.  The film beautifully captures the rock and roll lifestyle.  The director's commentary on the DVD is thoroughly interesting as Crowe tells the true stories behind some of the fictional stories represented in the film.  This is a must see for any fan of classic rock.

Some others I've thoroughly enjoyed over the years:

Mr. Holland's Opus (1995) - Richard Dreyfuss plays a struggling musician who takes a job as a teacher to bring in extra money initially but grows to love being a music teacher as the movie progresses.  The use of music in the film montages that show the passage of time are brilliant (especially the use of Jackson Browne's The Pretender).

The Great Waltz (1938) - a biopic of Johann Strauss II.  I grew up on the Disney Channel in the 80s when it was a premium channel that showed classic films in addition to children's programming.  This was one of my favorites and instilled in me a love of Strauss's music that I still have to this day.

Immortal Beloved (1994) - a fictionalized biopic of Beethoven.  While the story plays a bit fast and loose with the facts of Beethoven's live, Gary Oldman's portrayal is absolutely brilliant.

Copying Beethoven (2006) - another Beethoven biopic that takes some liberties with the facts.  This time Beethoven was played by Ed Harris.  It's a portrayal of Beethoven's later life as viewed through the eyes of his copyist, Anna Holtz (played by the beautiful Diane Krueger).  Krueger does a fine job and the music is brilliant of course-- but Harris was a bit miscast, imho... Gary Oldman's portrayal in Immortal Beloved is far superior.

August Rush (2007) - a young orphan with a mysterious talent for music that is well beyond his years gets discovered by a Fagin type character (portrayed by Robin Williams) who looks to exploit his talent for financial gain before being discovered by teachers and musicians at Julliard who look to cultivate his talent... all the young boy wants to do is use his talent to find his parents which he knows are still alive.  The use of music as a common thread that holds a family together without them even realizing it-- this film moved me to tears!  I didn't just see it, I felt it!

The Doors (1991) - Val Kilmer's resemblence to Jim Morrison is downright spooky.  Kilmer is also a passable vocalist as his actual vocals were used in the film (although replaced by Morrison's original vocals on the soundtrack).  I read No One Here Gets Out Alive a few months prior to seeing the film... The film followed that particular book almost verbatim.  That can be a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it.  Meg Ryan's resemblence to Pamela Courson Morrison was also somewhat eerie.

What are some of your favorites?
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CelticGal
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2010, 10:04:46 am »

The Blues Brothers (1980 - can you believe it's 30 years old this year?) - one of the all-time best music movies, and it introduced lots of kids to James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, John Lee ****, and Ray Charles.

The Commitments (early 90s) - Down-and-out Irish teenagers form a 60s soul band. I thought Andrew Strong, who played the lead singer, was going to become a major star after this one. Oops.

Dazed and Confused (1993) - Not really a music movie as such, but it shows how important music was to those kids, to the point where they painted Kiss makeup on a Bicentennial statue. Look for Ben Affleck as one of the bullies and Matthew McConaughey as a guy in his 20s who hangs around trying to pick up high school girls.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 10:08:18 am by CelticGal » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2010, 10:20:23 am »

I've never seen The Commitments, I've always wanted to.  I have soundtrack and it's great.  But for me, the question is easy.  It's High Fidelity.
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2010, 10:53:12 am »

I've never seen The Commitments, I've always wanted to.  I have soundtrack and it's great.  But for me, the question is easy.  It's High Fidelity.

I love that film as well!  Although I preferred the book!  That film was my favorite movie to feature music for a few years... until Almost Famous came out... that nudged it out of first place.

I'm hoping Hornby's Juliet, Naked also gets made into a movie because I thought that as great as High Fidelity was, Juliet, Naked was even better as it delved into what it means to be a fan and lover of music even moreso than High Fidelity did.  I could relate to it more... Not because I have the disgusting stalker-ish level of fan worship that one of the characters in that book has, but because being as big a fan of Chicago as I have been, I've come in contact with that kind of fan.  The book was real to me because I know fans like one of the ones portrayed in the book exist as I've MET such fans... and fans like that are the type of fans that Robert Lamm was referencing when he mentioned he likes to distance himself from fans.
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2010, 03:27:35 pm »

What? No one mentioned "This Is Spinal Tap" (1984)?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Is_Spinal_Tap

What a perfect parody of heavy metal/hairbands... indeed, it's part of the reason I find that entire genere so ridiculous.

I also like Mr. Holland's Opus and LOVE the Blues Brothers

Here's another film based roughly on the first few issues of Heavy Metal Magazine:

Heavy Metal (1981). Fans of the original SCTV show will recoginze many of the voices of in the cartoon... and comic book fans will recognize the artwork of Berni Wrightson (co-creator of Swamp Thing) in his legendary "Captain Sternn" sequence.

I love the B-17 story...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Metal_(film)
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Perplexio
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2010, 04:56:51 pm »

What? No one mentioned "This Is Spinal Tap" (1984)?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Is_Spinal_Tap

What a perfect parody of heavy metal/hairbands... indeed, it's part of the reason I find that entire genere so ridiculous.

I also like Mr. Holland's Opus and LOVE the Blues Brothers

Here's another film based roughly on the first few issues of Heavy Metal Magazine:

Heavy Metal (1981). Fans of the original SCTV show will recoginze many of the voices of in the cartoon... and comic book fans will recognize the artwork of Berni Wrightson (co-creator of Swamp Thing) in his legendary "Captain Sternn" sequence.

I love the B-17 story...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Metal_(film)

Another movie that prominently features Metal is Maximum Overdrive with Emilio Estevez.  I believe the entire soundtrack was done by AC/DC.
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2010, 06:37:46 pm »

The Blues Brothers- I can never get tired of that movie. Such a classic.

Mr. Holland's Opus- just a great story. Anyone who hasn't seen it should.

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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2010, 12:51:23 am »

Yeah, I LOVE Almost Famous!!  A lotta people didn't GET IT....BUT FOR THE ONES WHO DID...it was MOVING.  AND The Committments (yeah, what happened to that dude??  I thought he'd go FAR!) was one OF THE BEST movies EVER....(and that's totally how it is...the glamour of playin' in a band in bars, school dances, etc.  LOL...then all the internal drama...it's a trip!  LOL.  Love both volumes of the Soundtrack...I own both of them.  Some of the others y'all mentioned I had to say "yup...yup..."  I gotta add a few to the list as well...

My all-time very favorite??   I love, LOVE, LOVVVVVVE "AMADEUS". (yeah, better than IMMORTAL BELOVED...but I love that one, too--howevah--I'm a Mozart girl.  heh.)
---"FAME"...(yeah, say whatcha will...what I wouldn't have given to go to THAT HIGH SCHOOL...LOVE "HOT LUNCH JAM" from that soundtrack.)
---"CROSSROADS" (No, not with Britney Spears...Yeah, with Ralph Macchio...it's EXCELLENT...GREAT Soundtrack.)
---"EMPIRE RECORDS" (every time they showed it on TV, we had this HUGE INFLUX of applications..."yeah, you just keep thinkin' it's REALLY LIKE THAT...now, be a dear and run go scrub that toilet, willya?  Welcome to the music business"...heh...AND...a very young, very sexy Anthony LaPaglia, before FRAISER and WITHOUT A TRACE...mmmmhottttmmman.)
---"AMERICAN POP" (Animated/Ralph Backshi)--one of the best movies I'VE EVER SEEN...animated or other.  Great story.
---and, the couple that I really have to mention just due mainly to the fact that I was SO TOTALLY ENAMOURED with both of 'em and the music...
---"ALL THAT JAZZ" (ooohweeeee, somethin' about Roy Scheider in that movie and in JAWS...wtf. LOL...) and, "A CHORUS LINE".  (ONE OF MY FAVORITE MUSICALS....anyone like musicals?) 

EDIT IN:  I forgot...CADILLAC RECORDS.  Did anyone see it?  It was great.

« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 01:12:30 am by KATH » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2010, 01:08:38 pm »

What, no love for "A Hard Day's Night"? Maybe you had to be there.

That & the afore mentioned "All That Jazz" (loooooooooved both Sheider & Bob Fosse) are my two all time favorite movies. I saw ATJ 13 times at the show, I loved it so much.

Another favorite was "American Hot Wax", based loosely (very) on the life of DJ Alan Freed.

An over rated movie was "Eddie & The Cruisers". Sheesh, by the end of the movie, I STILL didn't care what happened to the tapes & wondered why I'd wasted my time on that dreck. YMMV, of course.

I know there are others I liked/hated, but I just got back from the store & need to decompress before I can think again.
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2010, 02:38:55 pm »

Still Crazy was a wonderful flick from the late '90s that received comparisons to This Is Spinal Tap. It's not quite as funny (though it is funny), but it's far more poignant. The writers behind This Is Spinal Tap might know musician jokes, but those who wrote Still Crazy know musicians as well as knowing rock and roll lore.

Plus, it has the uber-talented writer Bruce Robinson in a small but wonderful role.
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2010, 05:57:56 pm »

Not a very good movie, but the best song from the soundtrack, Streets Of Fire:



(and yes, like many, I thought Dan Hartman was black because of the video)

And what, no love for Breakin' and it's "memorable" sequel, "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo?" LOL!

Certainly Prince knew how to market himself with, "Purple Rain"
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2010, 02:09:46 pm »

Not a very good movie, but the best song from the soundtrack, Streets Of Fire:

From Streets of Fire I preferred the Jim Steinman penned Tonight Is What It Means to Be Young and Nowhere Fast.  One of which he recycled for his German musical, Tanz der Vampire (Dance of the Vampire) (Tonight Is What It Means to Be Young) and the other was later re-done by Meat Loaf (Nowhere Fast).

They tried to do an English version of Tanz Der Vampire on Broadway.  They even got Michael Crawford to sing the lead part, Count von Krolock, but the Americanized version was camped up a bit.  The darker elements removed and the focus placed more heavily on the comedic elements... The English version BOMBED in a big way and is cited as one of the worst broadway bombs ever (based on money lost).

The German version is darker and more ominous... It's absolutely brilliant, imho.  Also the musical lends itself to the German language better than English.  There's a certain power to the songs that was conspicuously absent in the English versions which felt limp and lifeless by comparison... having also heard the Frankfurt cast recording of Das Phantom der Oper I'd argue that Alexander Goebels (sp?) blows away Michael Crawford's portrayal of the Phantom.  There's so much more power and presence in his voice than in Crawford's.

« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 02:15:23 pm by Perplexio » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2010, 11:19:33 am »

My favorite is "Round Midnight," starring my favorite tenor sax player of all-time, Dexter Gordon, about a Bud Powell/Charlie Parker type jazz musician.
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2010, 12:29:35 pm »

...Okay...it's been a while, but I just saw PIRATE RADIO last night...and I gotta add THAT to my list!   Cool  Excellent cast...including the AMAZING Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  CHECK IT OUT.
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Perplexio
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2010, 12:59:59 pm »

...Okay...it's been a while, but I just saw PIRATE RADIO last night...and I gotta add THAT to my list!   Cool  Excellent cast...including the AMAZING Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  CHECK IT OUT.

That was a great film!
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