by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5 stars)
Rainn Wilson as ROBERT “FISH” FISHMAN
Christina Applegate as KIM
Teddy Geiger as CURTIS
Josh Gad as MATT GADMAN
Emma Stone as AMELIA
Jeff Garlin as STAN
Jane Lynch as LISA
Jason Sudeikis as DAVID MARSHALL
Studio: Fox Atomic
Directed by: Peter Cattaneo
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Robert “Fish” Fishman (Rainn Wilson) was set to live the dream. He was one of the founding members of the mega-hit rock band Vesuvius, but the other members dropped him right before hitting it big. Twenty years later, he’s working in a dead end job, hating his life. However, when he agrees to be the drummer for his nephew’s garage band, he has another shot at fame.
WHAT I LIKED
In a certain way, Rainn Wilson reminds me of Mike Myers as he was coming off “Saturday Night Live” (long before he created the comedy death known as “The Love Guru”). He’s not a leading man type, but I really think his commitment to comedy will allow him to become a huge name in movies, at least as a comedian. Wilson dives completely into the character of Fish and nails the humor to the wall. It’s often crude and quite rustic, but you can’t help but laugh a bit when Wilson takes the stage.
And as good as Wilson is in the film, his supporting cast is equally adept at comedy. The kids that play in the band, including Josh Gad and Emma Stone, give fine performances. Overall, the cast isn’t greedy and is generous enough with one another to allow the comedy to come to the surface.
Finally, what sealed the deal for me with this film is that while it was funny, it also had a nice balance with heart. By the end of the movie, I was rooting for the band and felt they all deserved a fair shot. Too often in movies, we really can’t get behind the main characters, and that’s what made things rock for “The Rocker.”
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Although it was funny, we’ve seen a lot of the rocker jokes before, going back to the days of “This Is Spinal Tap.” This movie came at the jokes from a different angle, but it did retread some of its humor.
And as funny as Rainn Wilson is, he does kinda look like Rosie O’Donnell after a weekend alcoholic bender. And that just creeped me out.
As much as the movie rocked, the DVD rocks more. There are two commentary tracks, one featuring director Peter Cattaneo and Rainn Wilson. The other features A.D.D. band mates Josh Gad, Teddy Geiger, Emma Stone and Jason Sudeikis.
There are also deleted scenes, podcasts, a gag reel, and MTV panel, Matt gags, Vesuvius gags, a music video, a spotlight behind the music, a FOX Movie Channel special and an interview with Pete Best, the infamous fifth Beatle.
On the more humorous front, you have Vesuvius doing in-character PSA, a spotlight on Rainn Wilson, a behind-the-band look at Vesuvius and a set of purposefully incompetent interviews Rainn Wilson does with Slash from Guns N Roses in which he mistakes the famous rocker for Maya Angelou.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Anyone who wants to see Dwight Shrute rock.