ROCK STAR (2001)

Directed By: Stephen Herek 
Written By: John Stockwell
Cinematography: Ueli Steiger 
Editor: Trudy Sharp 

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston, Dominic West, Timothy Spall, Dagmara Domincyzk, Jason Flemyng, Timothy Olyphant, Matthew Glave, Michael Shamus Wiles, Beth Grant, Stephen Jenkins, Jason Bonham, Jeff Pilson, Zakk Wylde, Colleen Ann Fitzpatrick, Amy Miller, Rachel Hunter, Heidi Mark, Carrie Stevens, Carey Lassard, Kristin Willits 

The lead singer of a tribute band becomes the lead singer of the real band he idolizes.


This is a film built off of wish fulfillment and watching the life and fantasy most members of the audience dream of, sort of like those entertainment shows that show you the houses and yachts of celebrities to impress you even though you might never actually get a chance to actually see or experience it and better yet this is based on a true story.

So while the film is showing someone else living it up. It feels within arms reach for the audience. Like voluntary torture with a story. A real-life fairy tale with a moral to it.

It’s the old talented being careful what you wish for because you get what you want but you might not be prepared for what it entails and what you have to do to maintain it

An all-American dream movie that shows the dark side and in the end is a happy ending that lets the hero stand on his own Terms. Yet ends up feeling cheesy

Mark Wahlberg is strong. Here as the devoted fan and Everyman who won’t bend in his fandom and cover their songs but when he gets the chance to be part of them finds he has to constantly make compromises

He sees the dark side of stardom and the same type of doctoral behavior he had with his cover band he notices it’s the same way in the actual band

There are many scenes showing the access of rock-star life the lifestyle and legendary parties but also the toll they can take and how they can change you and practically make you a slave or zombie to it. Change who you are and who you are to people how flexible your morals can become

Jennifer Aniston is sexy but  the outfits they give her are made to be flattering but they also, unfortunately, show the limitations of her body and for some odd reasons  make her appear older than Her co-star

This is one of the folks that showed his appeal and has a prepared audience for his more Everyman appeal yet who they would want to Be. Watch him have good times and imagine themselves there.

This seems like a film that would have more of an impact when it is set more in the 1980s or even 90s to show how bloated that period of time was. Watching it now it seems to deliver more an obvious message as well as trying to be a kind of throwback that feels out of date and a satire with little to say about the time. Instead of just throwing in hooked jabs of Jokes

The casting of Mark Wahlberg seems ironic considering his past as an overnight music star as Marky Mark in his teens. So while his character here is in a different genre of music. You can’t help but think if he dealt with some of the same issues when he was a music star rapper.

Based on a true story it stays entertaining and funny at parts but seems to try so hard for something that is more of a minor tale. 

Though pretty much of ItMs time and more disposable back then. This film plays much better over time. Still ridiculous but more heartfelt. An earnestness of the modern era That is kind of missing in most modern films of these times. 

Grade: C+

28 DAYS (2000)

Directed By: Betty Thomas 
Written By: Susannah Grant 
Cinematography: Declan Quinn
Editor: Peter Teschner 

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Elizabeth Perkins, Viggo Mortensen, Dominic West, Margo Martindale, Diane Ladd, Reni Santoni, Alan Tudyk, Azura Skye, Steve Buscemi, Michael O’Malley, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Susan Krebs 

A big-city newspaper columnist is forced to enter a drug and alcohol rehab center after ruining her sister’s wedding and crashing a stolen limousine.


This movie is charming in its own way.  As it is primarily a comedy but it gets deeply dramatic and doesn’t always provide a happy ending. 

This movie marked a difference In Sandra Bullock’s career. Where she seemed more interested in trying to stretch past her girl next door image and have more edge to her but also kind of realized her limitations. So she was trying to have a middle ground here. 

The film is too light to really be too hard-hitting, but gets to the emotional landscapes that it needs to and hits those aspects hard.

It’s a relief to watch a film where there is a hint of romance but treats it more for what it is a connection that can easily be read as a distraction from your true problems. 

While Sandra bullock is engaging it’s the side characters that really pepper the film

And make it spicy. They are also more the heart and dramatic pulls of the movie. Luckily though Sandra bullock is clearly the star. She lets the supporting characters breathe enough for us to care about them. Even if some stay one-dimensional.

Even though in hindsight the plotline with Azura Skye’s character would have been more recognizable and maybe a more informed outcome. Though she is one of the more heartbreaking. Elements of the film And definitely memorable characters. 

Though Viggo Mortensen comes into this film Like a true movie star and makes his presence felt he still feels more like a minor element to the film As a whole. Whose most dramatic and Piercing scene is a throwaway one at a gas stop. Though throughout the oozes charisma.

Though when the film hits her dramatic past. It does feel right and strong. Yet luckily never quite overdramatic. 

When I first saw the film I wasn’t prepared as it seemed to ride the middle as far as genres and quality. Watching it again recently though it might not have a typical happy ending film Makes you feel comfortable. As the film is infinitely rewatchable.

The only problem with the film Might be that In trying to be so many different things instead of going in-depth it kind of flirts and gives a bit, little too passable when it comes to everything. 

We are just given enough to feel or be informed about characters, situations, and the road to recovery. While feeling a bit spiritual but not the hokey hippie kind.

In the end, it shows the power and charisma of Actress Sandra Bullock that lasts to this day. As she is one of the last true stars of the big screen. Where audiences follow her no matter what genre of film she stars in and is still usually a hit of some kind. Yet she never comes across as the stereotype of a star. 

Grade: B-