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PREY FOR ROCK AND ROLL

SYNOPSIS:
Jacki (Gina Gershon) is 39-years-old and fronts an all-girl rock band. It's all she ever wanted to do, but after many years on the fringes of success she's aware that the big break she's always hoped for is growing less likely by the day. When a series of traumatic events disrupt the lives of her younger bandmates, Tracy (Drea De Matteo), Faith (Lori Petty) and Sally (Shelly Cole), she begins to contemplate packing it all in.

Review by Brad Green:
The finest singers in the world can only do so much with a dud tune, and the finest actors can only do so much with a banal screenplay. The premise here is weak and further undermined by a narrative that punctuates melodramatic episodes with dreary band rehearsals. It is full credit to the cast for moulding such flimsy material into a reasonable piece of cinema.

The major plaudits belong to Gina Gershon in the central role. She sings live and rather well; and despite a brace of tattoos, the fact that her character's pushing 40, and that Gershon herself has pushed past it, exudes sexuality. More importantly while the story is propelled via sensational events -- rape, death, drug addiction -- Gershon finds an element of psychological depth.

In one scene, she sits alone in a room eyeing an envelope. It contains an offer from a record company that will either be a validation of her entire working life or a gigantic slap in the face. Eventually, she takes a deep breath, and edges the papers out a few inches. Then, like a nervous adolescent, she plays mind games with herself. If the contract comes out upside down it's a good sign, if it's back to front it signals disaster. Her insecurity is all the more touching for the fact that up until this point Gershon presents Jacki as a mature bohemian, the wise old head of the group.

At another point, a ditzy teenager, an untalented but enthusiastic music student of the band's guitarist comes up to them after a gig. She's basically a comic relief character, yet as she babbles about how cool she thinks they are, Jacki glares at her silently, her pursed lips as enigmatic as La Gioconda's smile. All at once she seems contemptuous of this giggly young fan, despairing that she might be encouraging someone to follow a naive dream, remembering how she once shared that idealism and wondering whether the flame still exists inside her.

Unfortunately, Gershon's performance is better than the film deserves. The finer shadings of character are washed over by contrived drama, and the unavoidable feeling that at its core the film has nothing more interesting to say than the lyric of your average punk song.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

PREY FOR ROCK AND ROLL (MA)
(US)

CAST: Gina Gershon, Drea de Matteo, Lori Petty, Shelly Cole, Marc Blucas, Ivan Martin

PRODUCER: Gina Gershon, Donovan Mannato, Gina Resnick

DIRECTOR: Alex Steyermark

SCRIPT: Cheri Lovedog, Robin Whitehouse

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Antonio Calvache

EDITOR: Allyson C. Johnson

MUSIC: Stephen Trask

PRODUCTION DESIGN: John Chichester

RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Imagine

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 4, 2004

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Imagine

VIDEO RELEASE: January 24, 2005







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