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Vanessa Hudgens
Lisa Kudrow
Scott Porter
David Bowie.
Todd Graff.
Josh A Cagan.
Running Time
110 minutes

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High School Indie Musical

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A new girl in town forms a rock band. Cue much drama as they prepare themselves to compete in the heralded local battle of the bands competition.

A teen movie starring High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens should by rights alienate anyone aged over 12, but Bandslam holds a few surprises. Its surprisingly indie aspirations are clear from the off: our hero Will (newcomer Gaelan Connell) is a geeky muso who regularly writes to David Bowie. When he moves to New Jersey with his mother (Lisa Kudrow), he discovers the Bandslam music contest and finds his calling. Stereotypes are avoided, and although Vanessa Hudgens feels miscast as the class loner, you forgive her during the blistering musical finale. Not particularly polished, but like writer-director Todd Graff’s debut feature, Camp, brims with enthusiasm.

Surprisingly watchable despite the formulaic teen format.

Reviewed by Anna Smith

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Average user rating for Bandslam
Empire Star Rating

Did you watch this film

You say in the plot "A new girl in town forms a rock band". I've just seen this (very good by the way) film and that's not the plot. A new boy in town is roped into managing a band that has already been formed. Did you actually watch this movie?! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by barney182 at 20:33, 08 January 2010 | Report This Post

Get your act together Empire!!

What's going on with your reviews at Empire? How can you possibly give the abysmal new Harry Potter the same rating as this great little feelgood film! Cheesy it may be but it's great quality cheese. Are you actually going to see the films you review. It's a shame as there were only 5 people in the cinema tonight ( on an orange wednesday ) Maybe the film is formulaic but whenever does that stop a film being enjoyable? We can't all be Lars Von Triers.... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by fatboycheese at 22:27, 19 August 2009 | Report This Post

Above average underdog gets the girl movie

The plot is about as hackneyed as a run down area of East London. Previously bullied American high school boy gets popular and gets the girl. With challenges in the way. More uniquely for this particular flick, choosing between not one but TWO potential girls! Better and more pognant than most of this genre eg. when the crowd start chanting DWI to the lead and it seems his new classmates may all be picking on him, he pauses, joins in and retorts 'DO WE WANT TO ROCK!' , a great act of standing up... More

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Posted by filmsunlimited at 00:54, 17 August 2009 | Report This Post

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