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Rated PG · 111 minutes · 2009

Musical comedy, Romantic comedy
The death of John Hughes reminded us all what teen comedies used to be: brimming with heart, honesty and “kids” who didn’t look like they were pushing 30. So Todd Graff’s likable follow-up to Camp feels like a step—albeit a minor one—in the right direction. Gaelan Connell (think Breaking Away-era Daniel Stern) stars as a Bowie-worshipping music geek who gets recruited by a revenge-minded former cheerleader (Aly Michalka) to help her win the titular battle of the bands, navigating the typical teenage confusions along the way. Unless high schoolers actually argue about Velvet Underground, this semi-contrived hipster blend of Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist and School of Rock suffers from the annoying cinematic affliction that finds grown-up opinions tumbling from the mouths of babes. (Latin name: Juno-it is.) But much of Bandslam feels refreshing and true, with Disney princess Vanessa Hudgens stretching nicely as the sarcastic outcast Sa5m (“The 5 is silent”), and a Thin White Duke cameo that is as odd as it is satisfying.
Official Site: bandslam-movie.com
Director: Todd Graff
Producer: Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Ron Schmidt and Marisa Gill
Cast: Aly Michalka, Vanessa Hudgens, Gaelan Connell, Lisa Kudrow, Scott Porter, Charlie Saxton, Tim Jo and Ryan Donowho

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Bandslam

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Colorado Springs Independent Opening this week Bandslam; The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard; Ponyo; RiffTrax LIVE: Plan 9 from Outer Space and more. 08/13/2009

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