So I haven't put anything fun up on my blog in a long, long time. This post is an attempt to remedy that.
I am currently participating in a writing competition. It's a writer's survivor. Each week we have a challenge, and then someone gets voted off based on the results of the challenge. This past week we had a couple of challenges to choose from. I decided to write a movie review for a fictional movie. The word limit was 450. I think I did alright. Nothing spectacular, but it's the kind of thing I think some of my readers might enjoy. So, here you go. Enjoy!
Abandon all hipster cred, ye who enter here. This old man has to confess, Jack Grey was uniquely, and surprisingly, good. Starring indie-darlings but billed as an epic summer blockbuster, this rock opera was built to compete with the summer’s other big name films, like Earthworm Jim, Arrested Development 2, and CSI: The Movie. It should outlast them all.
Jack Grey stars Jack Black and indie-rocker Jack White as fictionalized versions of themselves, each struggling in the ordinary lives they might have led had their respective successes eluded them. Facing the workaday world, both characters are held back by the preconceived notions that others have of them, neither free to pursue their true passions. The scene of the two struggling through their lives is one of the more poignant montages in recent memory, helped along by the song “Just Jack,” the album topper recorded by the duo several years ago, and revisited for the film.
After a handful of near-misses, the two Jacks meet and devise a plot to merge their lives into the super alter ego of Jack Grey. A few cosmetic changes later, each man is pouring himself headlong into being one-half of a truly remarkable and passionate human being. Naturally Jack Grey’s success catches the affection of a truly remarkable woman, played to perfection by, you guessed it, Zooey and Emily Deschanel, also as fictionalized versions of themselves, complete with sister relationship.
Though the plot engages and the writing sizzles, the highlight of the film is the music. It’s clear from the opening song that writer/direct Charlie Kaufman’s (Adaptation; Synecdoche, NY) grandiose genius and exacting minutia extend to his musical tastes. Zooey Deschanel and Jack Black steal the show with their vocal chemistry and lyrical wizardry. Unfortunately it is Jack White, the most notable songsmith of the bunch, who disappoints musically. His songs too frequently suffer from reckless guitar riffs and a lack of structure. White’s only musical highlight is the song “Two of Me,” during which former band-mate Meg White makes an appearance, her limited drumming reigning in his chaotic force.
Though his songs left something to be desired, White surprised with his delicate acting, both comedic and dramatic, bringing a remarkable depth to the character. Jack Black was predictable in his own role; we’ve seen this shtick before, and longed for the Oscar winner from Mrs. Albert Hanniday.
Jack Grey keeps a quick pace. The 3D musical numbers pop, and you’ll be singing them to yourself long after you leave the theater. With a fun story and fantastic music, what more could you want from a rock opera?
I give it a 4 out of a high-five.
When you gonna ring it?
When you gonna ring it?