Writing: Dave Warner, Michael Udesky,
Directing: Alex Proyas
Staring: Kick Gurry, Maya Stange, Pia Miranda, Brett
Stiller, Chris Sadrinna
Wanna Be A Rockstar?
I said Garage Days is a feel-good, darkly comic movie would
that incite a lynch mob of some sort? I mean, I don't know
about you but the words 'feel-good' sure get me a little
hot under the collar. So do the words 'hot under the collar'
for that matter. But honestly, it's hard to list the reasons
why Garage Days is as good as it is. It's got some great
wit to it, in both the writing and the directing, but that's
not all of what make this movie so much fun. The subject
matter is what's so feel-good, maybe that's the thing I'm
liking. In a season of super-hero blockbusters it's really
refreshing to see a movie that's about non-super people
trying to struggle against an ethereal, but formidable monolith
like the music industry. There's no villain to this movie,
no super weapon that, if in the wrong hands, means the end
of the world. It's just a band that desperately wants to
get a gig at a club. They're not even looking for a record
contract mind you, just a place to play in front of people.
Kind of cool, eh?
Add to that a myriad of love triangles and you basically
have the movie wrapped up in a cute little nutshell. The
lead singer (Gurry) is sleeping with the bassist (Miranda),
but is actually in love with the bands only fan (Stange)
who is getting it on with the guitarist (Stiller) who is
sneaking nookie with a creepy goth chick in the cemetery.
The drummer (Sadrinna) who, while straight manages to look
gayer than Lance Gayington, lord of Fruiton manor, isn't
sleeping with anyone, but likes running around naked (or
at least shirtless) anyway. The characters might be what
drive this movie to excellence; while Gurry narrates the
plot, the story is truly an ensemble effort following all
five complex and interesting characters with equal temper.
Some of the sets are almost as stylized as Moulin Rouge,
but the atmosphere of the movie never takes that blind leap
off the edge of reason - thankfully. Michael Phillip's designs
make being a starving artist in Sydney look sexy and fun.
The cinematography by Simon Duggan likewise walks the border
between over-chic and indie-grit perfectly. Flashy camera
tricks and an abundance of special effects (some good, some
terrible) prevent Garage Days from fitting nicely into any
particular niche. It's all at once a romantic comedy, a
coming of age story, a trippy youthful drug movie, and any
number of other genres. And even though Proyas is only heretofore
know as a gothic director - The Crow, Dark City, get out
those pale faces and metal ankh's boys! - Garage Days is
actually light and irreverent for most of the film, even
the dark moments are funny.
The acting is good, not amazing, but good. One notable
exception is Brett Stiller as Joe, who plays the broody
guitarist; the character is quite complex and Stiller (no
relation to Ben or Jerry) pulls the role off almost perfectly.
Another exception is Kick Gurry as lead singer Freddy who
is as bland as an unfrosted pop-tart in his best of scenes.
It sucks that the movie revolves around such an uninspired
performance; it's not terrible, but it is quite lacking.
Gurry delivers almost every line as though he is hung-over
and reading off an illegible cue card
he is Australian.
The other major issue I had with Garage Days is the plot.
While the style of the movie, and the characters and the
sets and almost everything else are original and flashy
and cool and fun, the plot is such a dusty cliché
that at every twist to the love triangles it all grinds
to a halt. And with every Three's Company style misunderstanding,
there is an audible cringe throughout the theatre.
But somehow, it works. And not just a little bit, it works
brilliantly. Despite the story's predictability and the
barely above par acting and everything that makes Garage
Days sound absolutely lame, it's simply not. This is more
fun than Charlie's Angels, darker and more convoluted than
The Matrix and basically kicks the ass of almost every movie
out there right now. It won't make you think a whole hell
of a lot, and there aren't any stirring moments of dialogue,
or men bearing their souls or anything that screams 'independent
film today!' It's just a movie that is perfect for the summer.
Four New Balance Sneakers -- Stylish but almost un-cool
Overly MTV-ish camera tricks, painfully hip clothes, segments
titled "Fun With Drugs" 1 and 2. I know it all
sounds so lame. But really it's not. You're just gonna have
to trust me on this one. It's like when you wear four kinds
of plaid and somehow still get laid.
Three Boys of Summer
Sometimes you can just tell when a casting agent is rooting
for your team. It's when the boys in a movie perfectly represent
all of your tastes. Lucy as the perfectly smooth, bleach-blonde
raver who's got his shirt off just a little too much; Freddy
as the gritty indie rocker with impeccable hipster style
and gouge-them-out-with-a-spoon-they're-so-pretty eyes;
and Joe as the broody but loving wounded bird with child-like
naiveté and maniacal intensity. It's the sweetest
potpourri of boys. Diverse but sexy all. Not to mention
that Tanya and Kate are both the perfect fruit flies: stylish,
cute, demanding, awesome, I'd go shopping with them any
Three Indie-Rockin' Hipsters
Maybe I just woke up on the right side of the bed before
I saw Garage Days. I have no idea why I liked it this much.
Normally if the plot is as lacking as this one, I tune the
movie out and write it off. But this is really so much fun,
that you can pretty much forgive anything.