6.3/10
13,282
43 user 78 critic

Bandslam (2009)

Trailer
2:30 | Trailer
A new kid in town assembles a fledgling rock band -- together, they achieve their dreams and compete against the best in the biggest event of the year, a battle of the bands.

Director:

Todd Graff

Writers:

Josh A. Cagan (screenplay), Todd Graff (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Cow Belles (TV Movie 2006)
Comedy | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

In order to learn how to be responsible, two wealthy teen sisters are forced to work in the family business by their exasperated father. When company funds goes missing, it's up to the girls to save the day.

Director: Francine McDougall
Stars: Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Jack Coleman
Now You See It... (TV Movie 2005)
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A budding producer searches for the country's best young magician.

Director: Duwayne Dunham
Stars: Aly Michalka, Johnny Pacar, Frank Langella
High School Musical (TV Movie 2006)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A popular high school athlete and an academically gifted girl get roles in the school musical and develop a friendship that threatens East High's social order.

Director: Kenny Ortega
Stars: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A terminally-ill boy's life is saved when his deceased 400-year-old friend, "Mr. Rice", leads him on a treasure hunt to find a magical "Potion of Life".

Director: Nicholas Kendall
Stars: David Bowie, Bill Switzer, Teryl Rothery
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The worlds of Disney Channel's "That's So Raven," "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody," and "Hannah Montana" collide.

Director: Rich Correll
Stars: Orlando Brown, Frances Callier, Billy Ray Cyrus
High School Musical 2 (TV Movie 2007)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

School's out for summer and the East High Wildcats are ready to make it the time of their lives after landing jobs in a wealthy country club owned by Sharpay and Ryan's family.

Director: Kenny Ortega
Stars: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

As seniors in high school, Troy and Gabriella struggle with the idea of being separated from one another as college approaches. Along with the rest of the Wildcats, they stage a spring musical to address their experiences, hopes and fears about their future.

Director: Kenny Ortega
Stars: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale
Wish Gone Amiss (Video 2007)
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Imagine the same shooting star soaring over Miley, Cory, Zack, and Cody. What do you think they would wish for? Wishes can be powerful and wishes can be useful, but even the best wish can go amiss.

Stars: Lisa Arch, Moises Arias, Greg Baker
Family | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A girl from a small town heads to the big city of Los Angeles to spend the summer at a performing arts high school.

Director: Sean McNamara
Stars: Hilary Duff, John Corbett, Rebecca De Mornay
Princess Protection Program (TV Movie 2009)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A princess whose country has been invaded goes into hiding in Louisiana, where she has to learn to act like an ordinary teenager.

Director: Allison Liddi-Brown
Stars: Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Nicholas Braun
Go Figure (TV Movie 2005)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A teenager dreams of becoming a champion ice-skater, and soon discovers a top Russian instructor is working at a nearby private school.

Director: Francine McDougall
Stars: Jordan Danger, Whitney Sloan, Cristine Rose
Phil of the Future (2004–2006)
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A family from 2121 is stuck in 2004, trying desperately to fit in.

Stars: Raviv Ullman, Amy Bruckner, Craig Anton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aly Michalka ... Charlotte
Vanessa Hudgens ... Sa5m
Gaelan Connell ... Will
Scott Porter ... Ben Wheatly
Ryan Donowho ... Basher
Charlie Saxton ... Bug
Lisa Kudrow ... Karen
Tim Jo ... Omar
Elvy Yost ... Irene (Cello)
Lisa Chung Lisa Chung ... Kim Lee (Keyboards)
J.W. Wright J.W. Wright ... Dylan Dyer (Glory Dogs Guitar) (as J.W. Wright II)
Blair Bomar ... Megan
Casey Williams ... Ms. Wittenberg
Maggie Maye ... Kyra 17-1
Jennifer Blair ... Kyra's Friend
Edit

Storyline

Will centers on a high school outcast and a popular girl who form an unlikely bond through their shared love of music. Assembling a like-minded crew of misfits, the friends form a rock group and perform in the battle of the bands competition at their school. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Get Ready To Rock! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic elements and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 August 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Will See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,231,273, 16 August 2009

Gross USA:

$5,210,988

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,225,023
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color (FotoKem)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The main band in the film is comprised of high school students in the story. In real life, at the time of filming, the only actor in the band who was actually still in high school was Charlie Saxton. See more »

Goofs

When Will first meets Sa5m in the high school cafeteria, Sa5m writes her name on a notebook of lined paper. A close up shows plain paper. The next frame is again showing lined paper. See more »

Quotes

Sa5m: Let's... start... shredding!
See more »


Soundtracks

Everything I Own
Written by David Gates
Performed by I Can't Go On, I'll Go On
Vanessa Hudgens appears courtesy of Hollywood Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
School of not
20 August 2009 | by Chris KnippSee all my reviews

This high school musical movie actually contains one of HSM's stars, Vanessa Hudgens, plus Lisa Kudrow as the single mother of the protag, Will Burton (Gaelen Connell), who is delighted when his mom finds a way to take them to live in a new place, Lodi, New Jersey. He was more then ready for a change. In one of the chatty emails to David Bowie that provide the narration, he calls his old high school "Guantanamo with lunch breaks." What happens at the new school? Will gets lucky. Real lucky. He gets paired off with Vanessa Hudgens in a class, and they become a couple. A former Alpha Female called Charlotte (junior prom queen, head cheerleader), played by Alyson Michalka, finds out Will has an encyclopedic musical knowledge and recruits him to meld her garage band into one that can beat the high school's reigning Glory Dogs and win the tri-state (NY, NY, CN) "bandslam." One obvious motive is that she wants to beat the Glory Dogs to trounce its lead singer, Ben Wheatly (Scott Porter), because he is her snotty former boyfriend. Aside from Ben, a generic model of testosterone overconfidence, Graff (mostly) steers clear of high school stereotypes.

This sets up a trajectory for the film that's like an older kids' version of Richard Linklater's 'School of Rock,' but Gaelen Connell is no Jack Black and the pathway to the big event isn't as cute -- or as climactic. That was one of Black's triumphs, but on the other hand Connell himself is way cuter than Jack Black, whose closest lookalike is the base guitarist, a Flea imitator who calls himself Bug (Charlie Saxton). Resembling young Tom Hanks or maybe John Cusack, with a weak chin, a sweet little smile, a mini Afro and a wrinkled brow, you can almost believe Connell's Will might actually be in the constant company of the school's hottest chicks. Not quite. He's not as articulate and soulful as Cusack, and not as edgey and dark as Christian Slater was in 'Heathers' or 'Pump Up the Volume.' But then Hudgens isn't the shiny, prefab girlfriend of Zac Efron this time. Au contraire. She gets to be the dark one. She calls herself Sa5m ("the 5 is silent"), wears dark clothes, and she reads all the time, even when Will's trying to kiss her.

When you think of Eighties youth classics like those two Slater was in, Bandslam looks generic. We'll just never relive that great Eighties youth movie moment or see the likes of the late, great John Hughes again. But when you compare Bandslam to 'High School Musical,' you realize this is not the kind of movie that you pan. It deserves encouragement. The screenplay by Graff and Josh A. Cagan is packed with inessential cuteness and never takes its dark moments seriously enough -- even though it pushes them too hard. The music Will leads the band into is bland -- and loud. There's none of the joy in rock frenzy that Jack Black comically evokes. Maybe Wil's expertise -- his celebratory (and still pretty touching) visit to the ruins of CGMG, where punk began -- may seem more a reflection of the 50ish director than a teenager. But none of that matters enough to maul this movie, unless you're desperate to show how musically hip you are. The cast is just too appealing and the action is just too much fun to write them off.

When Will reshapes the band by adding brass and an Asian girl classical keyboardist (Lisa Chung) and an elphin-spouting nerdy girl cellist (Elvy Yost) and a boy drummer called Basher (Ryan Donowho) whose majors are machine shop and anger management, if feels like he's bringing something to life (however silly the music), and Jack Black was just a puppet master. It's also good that Kudrow really seems like a single mom trying not to get too much in the way of her son's new life but still protective and sometimes forgetting herself and making him a friend, or as he says "doing that thing of talking to me like I'm Oprah." Sometimes Todd Graff's perky cuteness seems pretty real. Connell has been compared to a Michael Cera "without the sweetness." "Thank you Shia LaBeouf and Michael Cera" is something Connell has actually said, "for paving the way for someone like me to be the leading guy in a movie." But Connell is Connell. LaBeouf would be a lead weight here, and Cera would swamp the movie with his indie quirkiness. The best thing about Connell is he's not a scene stealer: he's a catalyst. He makes this movie built around him an ensemble picture, and everybody looks pretty good.


21 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 43 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed