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By day, Chris Cole (Mark Wahlberg) lives with his parents and works as a photocopy repair man. By night, he's the fiery frontman for his own Steel Dragon heavy metal tribute band. Chris's stage presence and electrifying voice is matched only by his stubbornness to stick precisely to Steel Dragon's music. When his perfectionism gets him kicked out of the band, he receives a call from Steel Dragon themselves - who want him to replace their current lead singer. As Chris becomes the ultimate wanna-be who got to be, he climbs from metal fan to metal god. But Chris and his long-time girlfriend-manager Emily (Jennifer Aniston) soon find the high-life a little too high

Review by Shannon J Harvey:
Rock Star is the kind of movie that's great to watch until about half way through. That's where it can't decide to be a comedy, romance or drama, and ends up being a parable. It may be a rough and tumble walk on the wild side of superstardom, but it crumbles with the obligatory "be careful what you wish for'' cliche. It's also every bit as generic as its title suggests, and apart from the fun had watching yahoos nail hotel-room furniture to the ceiling or drag race the Batmobile, the film never really rocks.

Rock Star is inspired by the case of British heavy-metal band Judas Priest, who fired longtime lead singer Rob Halford in the early 90s and replaced him with Halford soundalike Tim "Ripper" Owens, the American lead singer of a Priest tribute band. But whatever its sincerity, Rock Star plays more like a vehicle for Mark Wahlberg, who seems to make as many good role choices as bad. Here he slips effortlessly into the leather-heavy digs and make-up and trades on his former career as the rapper Marky Mark. Wahlberg's Bon Jovi locks and six-pack stage presence is an appealing persona - it's a devilish bit of casting. Not so, sadly, for Jennifer Aniston, whose main achievement is sporting five layers less make-up than in Friends.

As director Stephen Herek reveals on his none-too-flattering commentary, it was an effort working around Aniston's Friends schedule as much as it was getting Wahlberg to use a little mascara and eye-liner. Herek has nothing more interesting than this to say other than the usual tid bits about casting (like real-life metal men Jason Bonham and Zakk Wylde), problem solving and happenings on set. The only other DVD feature is a short "Backstage Pass" with interviews and clips, and a music video by Everclear. Nothing rock starrish about it really.

Rock Star, in essence, sits somewhere in-between Spinal Tap and Boogie Nights, the latter of which Wahlberg has copied the same rags to riches character (Dirk Diggler goes heavy metal?). The film, like so many these days, impresses less and less as it goes along. It sometimes threatens to become interesting, like when Wahlberg learns that (like Halford) his idolized predecessor is gay. The discovery, however, is swept under the rug. It shows, if anything, that in the world of heavy metal music, imitation
isn't just the best form of flattery. It's the sole instance of sincerity.

Published April 18, 2002

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CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Flemyng, Timothy Olyphant, Timothy Spall, Dominic West, Jason Bonham

DIRECTOR: Stephen Herek

RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes

SPECIAL FEATURES: Animated Menus, Backstage pass, Commentary by director Stephen Herek, Music Video Everclear, Cast and Crew, Theatrical Trailer

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: April 17, 2002

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