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I knew we were in trouble  when  the lower east side didn’t look like New York City  of the 70’s, when Hilly Kristal founded  CBGB’s, the ground zero of punk, which closed in 2006.  Good reason. Most  of the  film was show  in Savannah !!!!  Savannah??!!!

I  could go on and on about the lack of authenticity of this film. But let me just rattle off a few:  Deborah Harry (Malin Ackerman) doesn’t have a thick New York accent. She was actually  born in New Jersey.  Lou Reed wasn’t  (and isn’t) pudgy. The Ramones weren’t clueless, stupid  musicians. What an insult!!!  The movie has Patti Smith (played by Sting’s daughter, Micky Sumner) singing “Because The Night  2 years BEFORE Bruce Springsteen wrote it!!

The actors come off as poor impersonators. This film isn’t even worthy of being likened to  what a cover band is to an established rock group.   It’s that lacking in  cred.  It’s like a bad tv version of punk rock.  It akin to a Disney version of punk.

What’s good about “CBGB” is the music.  Thank God the real  music was used.  So yes- this one rocks!!!  It’s fun seeing Rupert Grint  (Ron Weasley in “Harry Potter”) wearing a dog collar as a Dead Boy.  There’s a good reason why the actor playing The Police’s Stewart Copeland is so well-cast: it’s his son, Christopher.

Alan Rickman is a fine actor but he’s directed to play Hilly Kristal as if he sleep-walked through  life. 

What “CBGB” could have used is a director like Jim Jarmusch, who lives in NYC.

½ star


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