Friday, April 25, 2014

Re-Released on Home Video: Rock Star

Based loosely on the real life of Tim "Ripper" Owens, a Judas Priest tribute band member who was chosen to replace the real band's lead singer, 2001's Rock Star centers around a similar journey for Chris Cole (Mark Wahlberg). Shortly after being kicked off the tribute band he started, the Steel Dragon obsessed singer gets a chance to live his dream by replacing the Dragons's lead singer (Jason Flemyng).

The script is hardly original as the dream life of sex, drugs, and rock and roll eventually destroys Cole's relationship with his girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston) and makes the singer stop to reexamine what is truly important in his life. That said, the Steel Dragon world, complete wit over-the-top antics and odd characters such as the tour's road manager (Timothy Spall) and a public relations manager (Dagmara Dominczyk) packing more than just a love of the music, provides some entertaining moments.

Despite Wahlberg's musical background he doesn't perform Cole's vocals (which were provided by Steelheart frontman Miljenko Matijevic), but the film does find places for several real-life musicians including members of Dokken, Foreigner, Black Label Society, Slaughter, Third Eye Blind, and others, while shamelessly celebrating a late 80s love of rock (including a great use of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer"). Too formulaic to stand-out, the film still works as a guilty pleasure for those like Cole stuck in an era of rock and roll that is in danger of being supplanted by a new sound coming out of Seattle (which the movie alludes to in its closing scene).

Included on the new Blu-ray re-release is audio commentary by director Stephen Herek (The Mighty Ducks, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure), the movie's trailer, an Everclear music video, and a short making-of behind-the-scenes featurette.

[Warner Home Video, $19.98]

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