MOVIE REVIEW - Jersey Boys

on 20 June 2014.

The first thing you have to do when you go to see the new Clint Eastwood directed, Jersey Boys, is forget that it is a Tony Award winning play.  It is one of the greatest Broadway shows ever, and that's fine, but this is the movie.

There are going to be differences, as there are limitations, and new opportunities because of the differences of the medium.  But the one thing that will carry the day is the amazing true story of the early days, the downfall, and the eventual rebirth of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The story takes place between 1951 as they begin and 1990, when they are inducted into the Rock Hall. The story has always been the main reason this has been so wildly successful, along with the great music.  All great movies have a great story.

This has been reviewed very mildly by some national critics, and I think they are out of their minds frankly.   This is handled so well in movie form, Eastwood should be applauded all day long. There is tremendous pressure in taking this to the screen, and it is delivered wonderfully.  It is cast beautifully, the music is sensational, and it clips along at a very nice pace for all 2 hours 10 minutes.

This movie also looks incredible. The sets, the costumes, and the makeup takes you back perfectly to the 1950's and 1960's when the bulk of our story takes place.  This is meticulous in its effort to get it right for you. And they do get it right.  I for one, am glad this is now a movie, as it opens this up to a whole new audience that will not, or can not go to a play. 

I will be the first to say, this is NOT the play.  But his translates well to the movies.  Of course you can't quite capture the power of live music that you get from the stage, and yes that thundering in your chest element is missing, but it's not near a deal breaker. There is no substitute for well done live music - anywhere.  That's just reality.

I went to 171 movies last year, and I can tell you there are hardly any where people clap at the end. They did here, and loudly, and there were people singing, clapping in rhythm and dancing during the closing credits, where the movie does become a play.  People cheered, and they were ready for more, and that's refreshing at any movie  - any time. 

I am sad to a degree this is getting lukewarm reviews nationally. I fear too many "big" critics are so jaded by the state of movie making today with the CG, and 3D, IMAX, and animation superhero's, they may not be ready for a movie that is far more pure like this. Or they have a problem with Eastwood politically and have jumped off his movie making ship. But with everything aside, from my seat, this is terrific.  Should be noted I am not, nor have ever been a gigantic Four Seasons fan. I know the music like you do, but it doesn't make any difference here if you are a fan or not.  This is just flat out good movie making.  Plus, it feels good to learn something too at the movies these days.

Jersey Boys. Pay no attention to the national reviewers,  go and have fun. This is a GREAT story, fun, entertaining, powerful and very, very good.

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