Friday, June 20, 2014

Jersey Boys

Releases June 20, 2014
2 hr 14 mins
Rated R
Music, Performing Arts


Director: Clint Eastwood


John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli
Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio
Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi
Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito
Christopher Walken as Gyp DeCarlo
Renée Marino as Mary Delgado
Kathrine Narducci as Mary Rinaldi
Lou Volpe as Frankie´s father
Freya Tingley as Francine Valli (age 17)
Grace Kelley as Francine Valli (age 4)
Elizabeth Hunter as Francine Valli (age 7)
Mike Doyle as Bob Crewe
Rob Marnell as Joe Long
Johnny Cannizzaro as Nick DeVito
Donnie Kehr as Norm Waxman
Jeremy Luke as Donnie
Joey Russo as Joe Pesci
James Madio as Stosh
Erica Piccininni as Lorraine
Steve Schirripa as Vito
Barry Livingston as Accountant
Miles Aubrey as Charles Calello
Kim Gatewood as Angel#1
Jackie Seiden as Angel#2
Kyli Rae as Angel#2
Troy Grant as Ed Sullivan
Heather Ferguson Pond as Miss Frankie Nolan
John Griffin as Billy Dixon
Chaz Langley as Hal Miller
Francesca Eastwood as Waitress
Sean Whalen as Engineer

Review by Stephen M.

Jersey Boys is based on the Broadway show of the same name about the rise and fall of four New Jersey boys including Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young), Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen), Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda) and Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza).  Frankie was always the star talent, while Bob wrote the musical hits.  That left the other two especially Tommy DeVito at a bit of odds with Frankie and Bob's partnership.  I have always wanted to see the Broadway show given all the hype it was given with sold out performances.  And of all the people you would expect to bring a musical to film, Clint Eastwood was on no one's list.

Now while I enjoyed the movie mostly because of the music which consists of top hits from Frankie and the Four Seasons the story itself was interesting as well.  I have heard of the names Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio before, but never associated them or the group the Four Seasons with those songs.  Nor did I know about their origins of how they came to be and eventual breakup.  The movie was quite detailed in going into this including giving each member a voice of what happen often breaking the fourth wall and addressing the audience.  While I was not enamored with Frankie's falsetto voice, you have to be impressed.  Of course John Lloyd Young has some experience playing Frankie before in the Broadway show.  All of the characters do an amazing job in their roles especially Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito and Christopher Walken as Gyp DeCarlo.

What I didn't like about the movie is the long length with scenes that doesn't necessary propel the movie but rather just reiterate points that other scenes made.  Musicals on Broadway are long but there are intermissions.  Unfortunately, there are no intermissions during this movie.  Instead your attention is brought back into focus on the movie by the antics of Tommy DeVito or the beautiful music of yesteryear.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie even though I thought it could have been made shorter.  I love hearing the music and listening to their origin.  But frankly there are better musical films out there.  But of course there is only one Jersey Boys movie and it is heck of a lot cheaper than orchestra seats on Broadway.

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