Hollywood Wrap

Review: 'Bandslam' surprisingly fun

Friday, August 14, 2009

The main characters of the new movie, "Bandslam," are high school students, and the film's been aimed at that demographic. But does it play for older audiences, too?

"Bandslam" is a high school music competition, and it has a couple of surprising dramatic twists you won't see coming.

In a nutshell, the new kid in school, played by Gaelan Connell, helps gather a group of fellow students to form a new band for a shot at stardom. Connell offers an awkward grace and innocence to the role.

With confidence and strength, former child star Aly Michalka plays the band's lead singer and resident romance expert for her band's innocent manager.

Vanessa Hudgens clearly and impressively shows us she's graduated from her "High School Musical" days. But that doesn't mean she has to stop singing.

Lisa Kudrow is also endearing as the band manager's mom.

The movie is not so much about "Bandslam," as it is the journey these characters take along the way, and how they grow in the process. It's heartwarming, heartbreaking and it's fun.

I saw this movie with a bunch of reporters who thought this would be another teen movie not for us. When it was over, some of my surprised colleagues were saying things like, "That was adorable" and, "Wow, I really liked that," and "Wasn't that sweet?"

Isn't that refreshing?

Disney is the parent company of ABC7.

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hollywood wrap, george pennacchio
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