Monday, June 23, 2014

Bad Boys (Movie Review: Jersey Boys)

I loved the Broadway musical "Jersey Boys." I think it's because I went in dreading it - jukebox musical of a genre I don't particularly love - and left the theater loving every aspect of the musical. What particularly impressed me were the musical numbers - they had such vibrance and energy - and I was also enamored with John Lloyd Young, who played Frankie Valli on sage. Well, the good news is that he reprises his role here in the movie version, and it seems to be one of the few good choices director Clint Eastwood had in the film. Here's my biggest question : why would you trust a movie version of a Broadway musical to a Republican? Eastwood is a competent director (some say very good, I say a bit overrated) but I think he excels most in telling simplistic stories. Here he is given a screenplay by Marshall Brickman and Rick Ellis, and the story falls flat. It isn't much of a story, truthfully, and unfortunately by Eastwood focusing more on it, its flaws are revealed. Plus, as much as Young tries hard to give his character as much depth, there just isn't much on the page to work on. The musical numbers, which were the life of th eparty int he stage version, seems even more dimensional here, instead of being opened up on screen. Maybe it's just me, but it would have been the perfect opportunity to add more sparkle, more pizzazz to the numbers - this is the big screen, the sound is Dolby Digital, you can use CGI! - but Eastwood filmed them almost without any second thought. Numbers are cut out of nowhere, and the ending "mega mix" was so lifeless that you find more entertainment value in a Pepsi commercial. I feel it such a wasted opportunity. But, the film is well-acted by a mostly "unknown" case - Young, as I mentioned, works hard on a dead-end role, and Erich Bergen also shines. Maybe I was epecting something different, something more from my beloved musical that's why I am so disappointed. The only thing I can say is, instead of seeng this movie, go see the show.

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