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Bandslam (2009)

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If we went on the notion that movies about teenagers was a redundant regurgitation of movies from the past, we’d be right about 90% of the time. The other 10% would be for when a teen film made through the foggy eyes of Hollywood actually portrays young people in an accurate light. This, unfortunately, is not a common thing. You would think that a movie about kids starting bands would be another regurgitation (a lesser version of School of Rock), but Bandslam does anything but turn you off from the hit-or-miss world of teenage music films. It’s a movie that centers on characters with a genuine appreciation and passion for music.

Don’t let the recognizable (mainly Disney) cast scare you off; Bandslam pulls more references and inspiration from 70s and 80s bands (David Bowie, Bread, Sex Pistols), indie rock (Shack, The Killers), Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and John Huges than from High School Musical and Camp Rock. It’s a classic case of mismarketing in an attempt to profit off a star’s previous successes.

As your kids become slowly enticed by the rock and roll world, and as they wish to learn instruments till their fingers bleed, buying them a movie like Bandslam — centered around three teenagers who start a rock group and compete in a Battle of the Bands — is the perfect antidote for curing appetites that only yearn for music played with bass, guitar, and drums. Everything outside of that realm is not nearly as interesting.

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