Reviews are in, and the CBGB movie is in worse shape than the club's bathrooms.
That's the kind of lame joke you can expect from the movie. I can't criticize it myself, having not seen it yet. Yet. You bet your sweet ass I'm seeing this movie.
Everyone assumed -- nay, wanted -- this movie to be awesomely bad. A cinematic telling of the story of the infamous New York City club, the breeding ground for punk, was bound to be forced and ridiculous. That damn trailer could not have harped more on the already well-known fact that CBGB ironically stands for "country bluegrass blues."
Predictions were accurate and wishes do come true. Take a look at some of the reviews.
Vice: "Lou Reed is ornery. Patti Smith is artsy. Debbie Harry tawwwks like a real New Yawwwkah. She actually says the line, 'New Yawwwk has gawwwgeous gahhhbage ... It's like seeing a movie about art where Leonardo Da Vinci is in a single scene and his only line is, 'Yo, bros, where all the paint at!?'"
Marc Campbell of The Nails: "CBGB really really sucks shit."
The Village Voice's list of "10 Things the CBGB Movie Got Wrong" points out the fatal flaw that doomed the flick before it was even shot: "anytime someone explains punk, acts punk or even says punk, chances are it'll be one of the least punk things you've ever heard."
The movie could not defy this incontrovertible law of culture any more than Iggy Pop can keep his shirt on. (Cue laugh track. [Can we give the movie a laugh track to mask lazy humor?]) It opens by insinuating that punk began in a basement in Connecticut. When that idea was first pitched, someone involved should have been yelling SHUT IT DOWN. Maybe none of them have been to Connecticut.
This won't be nearly as irritating as the punk-themed Met Gala or Ramones T-shirts being sold in H&M, but it will not be punk rock. The Ramones come off like Bowery muppets, damnit, but if you can accept that, this could be fun.
Apparently the best part of this movie is Alan Rickman playing Hilly Kristal. And how could it not be? Rickman is watchable in pretty much any role. Plus, if you've seen the Harry Potter movies, you'll have that nagging feeling of watching Snape open a club. Ron Weasly will be there, too, though the only thing I know about Rupert Grint's involvement is the flash of him fellating a beer bottle in the trailer. Sold.
Also, Kristal's dog constantly shitting everywhere is a running joke. MAYBE IT WILL CRAP IN THE CRAPPY BATHROOM HAHAHA.
If you want to see this -- and you should -- it's playing at the Boedecker Theater at 6:30 p.m. Friday. While I'm at it, do yourself a favor and watch "Rock 'N' Roll High School."