CBGB : The Movie : Review : 4 Stars

CBGBMoviePosterCBGB is a 2013 American docudrama film about the New York City music venue of the same name.

Covering a very important chapter in Rock And Roll history, the movie chronicles events that took place in the late 70s and early 80s New York Punk, Underground, Prog-Rock & New Wave scenes surrounding a whole-in-the-wall venue located in the East Village of Manhattan.

The film uses a comic-book styled panels device that introduce different “pages” of the story. It is told largely from the point of view of Hilly Kristal, the owner of the club during this time and an interesting character.

It is currently available on Netflix; free with subscription. You can also view the entire movie on YouTube. We screened via Netflix last week. We found the trailer on YouTube. (posted below)

Great if you Already Know the Story : 4 STARS  ☼☼☼☼

If you are a fan of 80s New York Punk and New Wave you must see this movie. You will love it. It is thrilling to see these bands played by actors. Many of them are spot on. If you are a fan you are going to be familiar with most of the bands that are mentioned and you already know they played at CBGB. This movie well help glue together lots of bits and pieces of information that many fans know something about. Furthermore, we get insight from the point of view of the club’s owner which is a very satisfying device.

The character of Hilly is played by Alan Rickman. You may remember him from the Harry Potter movies. We also noticed Johnny Galecki; that guy from the Big Bang Theory.

But if you are not at all familiar with the bands from this period you may be left confused at times. The movie fails to spell out a lot of things that would help a newcomer to the story. If this is you, I suggest you make friends with a fan and let him or her play you a bunch of records first.

Some of the acts that are portrayed in the film are as follows: The Ramones, Blondie, Lou Reed, Iggy and the Stooges, Television, The Talking Heads, The Police, Patti Smith & The Dead Boys. We would love to own a two-disc extended soundtrack with the music of these bands. How great would that be!

[ review by Alex Velocity ]

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