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ROCK STAR

SYNOPSIS:
Chris Cole (Mark Wahlberg) dreams of becoming a rock star, between fronting a tribute band and working as a copy machine repairman. His girfriend Emily (Jennifer Aniston) is a staunch supporter, believing that Chris could make his mark by writing his own material instead of imitating Steel Dragon's lead singer. Then Chris receives a phone call that changes his life he is the new lead singer of Steel Dragon. Now he no longer dreams the dream, he can live it. But does a life of excess live up to its expectation?

Review by Louise Keller
Bursting at the seams with attitude, Rock Star is a wild trip down the road of excess. Standing tall in tight black leather pants, long hair and rippling torso exposed from open jacket embossed with dragon, Mark Wahlberg is the epitome of a rock star. He fits the mould convincingly, and wails a very fine tune. Just like Dirk Diggler becomes a porn star in Boogie Nights, Chris Cole becomes Izzy, rock star who laps up the lifestyle. Wahlberg makes us believe and takes us on the trip. Live the fantasy, normal rules don't apply, you can have anything you want; you only have to ask how could life in this super fast lane of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll leave you untarnished? It's about the music and the lifestyle; and we get a taste of both. And, the front singer in a band can be interchangeable after all, don't they all look alike and know all the same tunes? I especially like the way the wives and girlfriends are portrayed. For the first time Jennifer Aniston (who looks sensational) is given an opportunity to portray a character with more than the sweet and lightness of her TV persona. There's a lovely scene when the road manager Matt (a beautiful performance by Timothy Spall), explains the rules of the road to Aniston's Emily. The boys travel by bus oh, a buxom astrologer and a drag queen come along too while the girls are relegated to travelling together by car. What a nice touch to see Rachel Hunter cast as one of the wives some of her own experiences (when she was married to rocker Rod Stewart) were no doubt handy reference! The soundtrack is explosive, and the scenes in the recording studio and on stage are totally dynamic. The crass ugliness of excess, orgies, trashed hotel rooms and groupies with 'pussy passes' are candidly exposed, and Rock Star delivers more than expected by bringing us back to reality in an unexpected and understated way. Enjoy the dream; the grass isn't always greener.

Review by Andrew L. Urban
Defying expectations its not a Star is Born in leather clothing the role of Chris gives Mark Wahlberg a chance to add rock star to his porn star credit (Boogie Nights) and to show he can handle them very well, thank you. He is given a chance to work both the obvious angles and the less obvious, internal ones, which provides him with a terrific platform: and he surpasses expectations. Its his film, no question. Jennifer Aniston provides credible back up, as do the entire cast, right down to the roadies. The basically simple story is dressed up and stretched out a bit, but effectively, in what is a none-too subtle revision of the sex, drugs and rock nroll juggernaut the 80s. The moral of the film juts out predictably enough, and there is a bit of a weakness in the structure of the script, which lessens the films emotional impact. Its muted by the nature of the storytelling and its lack of dynamics. On the other hand, solid production design, musical power and sheer energy in performances largely overcomes this weakness. In the end, though, the film settles for pat conclusions and sheers away from really exploring the downside of the setting. Its like a sanitised version of the story that wont scare the mainstream.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

ROCK STAR (M)
(US)

CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Williams, Deborah Leydig

DIRECTOR: Stephen Herek

PRODUCER: Toby Jaffe, Robert Lawrence

SCRIPT: John Stockwell

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ueli Steiger

EDITOR: Trudy Ship

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Mayne Schuyler Berke

MUSIC: Trevor Rabin

RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 15, 2001

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video

VIDEO RELEASE: April 14, 2002







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