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Movie Review

The Rocker a.k.a. “The rocker—Il batterista nudo,” “Un Rockero de locura,” “Un Rockero de pelotas,” “The Rocker—Voll der (S)Hit”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for drug and sexual references, nudity and language.

Reviewed by: Thomas Golden first-time reviewer
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults, Teens
Genre:
Comedy, Romance
Length:
1 hr. 42 min.
Year of Release:
2008
USA Release:
August 20, 2008 (2,700 theaters)
DVD: January 27, 2009
Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

Music in the Bible

Why are humans supposed to wear clothes? Answer

Christian living

What advice do you have for new and growing Christians? Answer

How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer

How can I decide whether a particular activity—such as smoking, gambling, etc.—is wrong? Answer

Featuring: Rainn Wilson, Josh Gad, Steve Adams, Brittany Allen, Scott Anderson, Aziz Ansari, Christina Applegate, Nicole Arbour, Fred Armisen, Jessica Barrow, Tanya Bevan, Jon Cor, Laura DeCarteret, Ennis Esmer, Mark Forward, Jeff Garlin, Teddy Geiger, Keir Gilchrist, Patrick Hagarty, Howard Hesseman, Ellie Knaus, Jane Lynch, Jonathan Malen, Demetri Martin, Wesley Morgan, Rebecca Northan, Jenna Rocca, Lonny Ross, Talia Russo, Vik Sahay, Simon Sinn, Nick Spencer, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Richard Wadham, Samantha Weinstein
Director: Peter Cattaneo
Producer: Stephen R. Campanella, Shawn Levy, Lyn Lucibello, Tom McNulty, Billy Rosenberg
Distributor: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

“A comedy for the rockstar in all of us”

Well now. My first review ever is on “The Rocker” which could probably better be titled “The Rock,” because it more or less just sits there on the screen.

Rainn Wilson best known for his perfect comedic timing on “The Office” plays Fish, a washed up rock and roll drummer. After being recruited by his nephew to fill in as a drummer for the prom, Fish and the band manage to gain stardom through a YouTube video. As is required of any rock-and-roll themed story, the band has a falling out and have to fight it out with an overbearing music industry executive.

The laughs are pretty forced. One begins to wonder if everything in this genre of silly humor has been exhausted.

Parents should be on the lookout for Rainn Wilson's backside, not essential to anything and really only there for shock value. I believe this is the only nudity to speak of. There is mild language throughout, basically what would be expected of a PG-13 movie. The use of alcohol and some drug references may also offend, but overall this film is mild on all fronts.

The rock-and-roll lifestyle is an indulgent one. There are almost no recording artists out there without a story of how their life got out of control, and they had to start over again after the drugs and alcohol. Parents should talk to their children about living a Christ-centered life. The rock lifestyle is one of distraction from what is holy and concentration on what is “fun.” It looks to the here and now and never to the hereafter.

[Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer]

Another theme, not necessarily in the plot of the movie but surrounding the film itself, is that of greed. We see more and more that Hollywood produces, film after film, that have no real merit to them. Will there be a “Rocker 2”? Perhaps, because content is second to cash for most producers. If it will bring in a modest profit, they will make it. This is not what any art is supposed to be about. Again, this comes down to a Christ-centered existence, in place of a life focused on personal gain.

“Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions’” Luke 12:15.

I was hoping to write a very exciting review on this film, since it stars some very good actors. Christina Applegate moves up my list of talented actresses every time I see her perform. And the very funny Will Arnett (“Arrested Development”) and Tony winner and “30 Rock” star Jane Krakowski also appear.

I would straight up advise people to steer clear of this. Unfortunately, the film itself is without solid content and leaves the viewer very little to talk about at the end of the day.

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This movie did have a good message. Fish choose to forgive Vesuvious for kicking him out of the band. They got what they deserved in the end, but that was because they were caught lip-synching and Fish had nothing to do with it. It also shows the negativity of not having a father influence. Also Kim character shows the negativity of premarital sex. She had to give up on her dream of being in a band, because she was pregnant at 17. Although Fish does lust after women, he treats her character with more respect than the sleazy band manager. Also, Matt stands up for Fish. Emma's attitude softens and she becomes gentle, encouraging Matt and starts caring about how Fish feels. Also, Fish and his band care more about the audience than themselves in the end, wanting to perform for the dissappointed Vesuvious fans. THey were willing to perform a whole concert for free and dumped the sleazy, greedy manager.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Anonymous, age 20
Neutral

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Negative

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Comments from young people
Positive—I loved this movie… but not because of the fact that I am a kid. It has an overall positive message, and I liked the music/ soundtrack. Morally, this is good on today's standards, with little profanity, hardly any sexual jokes, and kind characters. The characters forgive each other in many situations and build friendships, while the wrong types of people are discarded for a positive light. The humor was clever and clean, and the innuendo was minimum (for today's Hollywood). I would greatly recommend this movie :)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Paul Hunter, age 13 (USA)
Movie Critics
…the movie is encrusted in rock lore and stale attitudinizing borrowed from ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ and ‘School of Rock,’ each of which it shamelessly cannibalizes. Most disappointingly, the music is tepid, mediocre pop pastiche…
—Stephen Holden, The New York Times
…It's a lot of fun. Its spirit is genuine and, even with the odd vomit gag, fundamentally sweet. …
—Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
…a mostly flat School Of Rock rehash…
—John Hazelton, Screen International
…Don't subject yourself to this soulless piffle…
—Violet Glaze, Baltimore City Paper
…About as edgy as a Jonas Brothers concert, this harmless homage to ’80s hair bands and 21st-century emo teenyboppers is wholesome in its debauchery and good-natured in its antiauthoritarianism. …
—Stephen Garrett, Time Out New York