‘Bandslam’- A Movie That That Will Make you Want to Rock Out!

May 18, 2012 8 Comments

Initially, Bandslam was not something I had hopes of being “great.” Imagine my surprise when I discovered this as being one of the BEST (albeit quirky) teen flicks to come along in a long time.

(Seriously! This is true.)

Bandslam (2009) Film Review

Will Burton (Gaelan Connell) is not popular. Each of the schools he enrolls in knows the secret that earned him the nickname “dewy.” But it’s really his “geek” status that stops fellow students from befriending him. Feeling like his only companion is his free-spirited mother Karen (Lisa Kudrow) – so not cool – he can only wish for a move, which is exactly what he gets.Upon arrival in New Jersey, Will finds his latest school is crazy about a competition called “Bandslam,” it’s “like, Texas football” size big he learns from fellow classmate Sa5m (and anyone who wonders: The five is silent!).


Finding what he has walked into all a little… weird, Will tentatively begins a friendship with popular-girl-gone-nice, Charlotte Banks (Aly Michalka). In exchange, she wants him to manage her fading band. But this new relationship jeopardizes his potential with Sa5m (Vanessa Hudgens), and before long, he’s back to square one.

Because of its female leads, this one caught my eye, but it never hit the top of the list as making me excited enough to rush out and obtain a copy. Even still, I was immensely glad that I had a copy the first week of its release. Perhaps initially, the first thought is “okay, this is quirky.” But underneath there is an unknown quality to it that radiates. Most teen flicks follow patterns – something is always the same about them. It’s true that there is certain themes of Bandslam that mirror those, but most of all, it stands on its own two feet. There is truisms that we don’t find in today’s entertainment.

The main story is recycled, but is unique because all the actors provide their own vocals. As a film of a musical nature, one cannot help but love the soundtrack. It has a distinctive sound that is a sort of eclectic rhythm and a lot of instruments to accompany it. Sure, there are rock ballads (not my favored genre), but I am willing to say everything worked together really nicely, each of the songs playing off the others well, which in turn complemented the vocals nicely.

FILM REVIEW | Beastly (2010) – Sweet Contemporary Re-telling of ‘Beauty and the Beast’

The humor is clever without ever being “inappropriate” (except perhaps for one subject). Between Will’s deadpan seriousness and Charlotte’s not-afraid-to-be-me attitude, there is always some witty word match. It’s the characters and relationships that interest us the most. I enjoy how each of develops, and how the actors play off of this. The cast is strong, most especially Connell, who does a fabulous job playing a likable “geeky” sort of character. However surprising, it is really the ladies who steal the show (more so Aly). Vanessa is absent from the movie than I’d expect, but she makes Sa5m so likable regardless of her emotionless façade. Charlotte is the most interesting of them all though. Aly exudes just enough “mystery” to make us question her motives, all without making her the standard popular “mean” girl we dislike.

Everyone learns profound lessons (which encompass true friendship and loss). Such depth is usually absent from teen flicks. From the snappy opening and closing credits, Bandslam is really a delightful little movie that is not so different from the normal to make it one-in-a-million, but at the same time there is something special about it.

You can purchase Bandslam on DVD or rent or buy on Amazon Video.

Don't miss Vanessa Hudgens and Aly Michalka's early cinematic days with the heartwarming teen #romance, BANDSLAM Click To Tweet

CONTENT: PG , there are a few sensual instances: “First kisses” is one topic. Charlotte questions if Will has kissed Sa5m, she “educates” him by showing him what to do [nothing explicit]. Charlotte sneaks into Will’s bedroom, with no intention of anything other than to talk [Karen finds them and thinks differently]. A student has a crush on Will’s mother, whom Will claimed was his sister [the extent of which is one kiss]. Cheating and lying is presents in separate instances.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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  • Lauren May 18, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    This sounds like a really cute movie. His mom is his best friend – that's really sweet. :)

    I love the new colors on your blog! Very summery. :)

  • His Little Lady May 18, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    no way!! i remember seeing preview for this and thought it would be no good! can't believe you liked it! looks like i'll have to give it a shot :)
    xo TJ

  • Rissi May 18, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Lauren – it really is. I was actually surprised at how well I enjoyed it. The vocals are nice and the acting was more impressive than viewers would give it credit for.

    Aw! Thanks – I had fun with this one… do you think it is too "orange"? I wondered if it was a bit too overwhelming, so I did throw in a little purple on one of the accents but it is hard to spot. =D

    Really glad you stopped by, Lauren – thanks.

    TJ – I know, right!? This movie is "different" but way entertaining. If you can get past its quirkiness, it is a little gem.

  • Lauren May 19, 2012 at 5:23 AM

    No, I dont think it's too much orange. The blue balances it out nicely. It's very fresh and summery. :)

  • Rissi May 21, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Thanks, Lauren! I was putting this one up, and with the links and everything, I was suddenly like, "hm… I wonder if the orange is too overwhelming!?" =D

  • Trinka May 31, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    Mm'kay, just watched this an hour ago and I really liked it :) I love how at the end, instead of running off the stage and cowering, he changed "what could have been" completely around. :) And Sa5m was my favorite character, even though I'm not too much of a fan of Vanessa herself. The scene where she is getting ready for their "date" and I realize what is about to happen…it was what endeared me to her for some reason :)

  • Rissi May 31, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Aw! Good – I am so glad you enjoyed this one, Trinka. I haven't watched it in ages but I really want to again. I remember loving it despite its quirkiness.

    Will channeling a bad situation into something good was excellent – I do recall loving that. Vanessa is one of my fave young actresses but I haven't seen in in much beyond HSM and Beastly (which I loved) but I know how it is not to like someone. It definitely clouds your judgement – my mother is really like that. If she doesn't like an actor, you can bet she won't like the movie.

    Must watch this one again – so glad you stopped in to share your thoughts. Keep them coming. =)

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