jersey boys, 2014 (dir. clint eastwood, starring: john lloyd young and vincent piazza)
i have not seen the musical, nor was i very interested in this story of frankie valli and the four seasons, but when i saw that clint eastwood was the director, i was sold. i loved million dollar baby and gran torino. jersey boys is not his best. i think he tried to stay true to the musical in which the characters talk to the audience, but at times that didn’t work in the film. i’ve heard the characters all addressed the audience equally, but in the movie, frankie only does it at the end. i found it odd and disjointed. it didn’t help that the story was hard to follow at times and a bit confusing. i heard someone in the back of the movie theater say at one point, “what does that mean?” and i had been thinking that. one more criticism and then i can get to what i liked. the actor that played frankie started out with this jersey wise guy act that wasn’t convincing and i found kind of annoying. it either grew on me or he phased it out as his character developed, but i was glad it wasn’t there for the whole movie.
on to the good stuff. the music is catchy. and not only the songs, the score was great, too. eastwood’s films usually have heartfelt and moving scores. there was this one piano note that would play at pivotal scenes and i thought that was a neat way to accentuate the drama. i didn’t think i would know much of the four seasons’ tracks, but i knew all of them. they are songs that everyone knows. the last scene was a big, flashy musical number and the highlight of the film. and it has christopher walken dancing. i mean, come on. that’s worth the price of admission right there. christopher walken was the only name i recognized in the cast. the guys who played the members of the four seasons were all pretty good, especially vincent piazza as trouble-maker tommy. he had the cocky wise guy bit down and it didn’t bug me like john lloyd young’s frankie. a stand out, though, was mike doyle who played bob crewe, the group’s record producer. there was a danger of playing that character over the top and campy, but he handled it well. i was always glad when he was in a scene.
i’m not going to spoil it, but look for the clint cameo. it was pretty brilliant. very hitchcokian and not at all m. night shyamalanian.
eye roll rating: 5