Jersey Boys

Director
Clint Eastwood
Runtime
2 h 14 min
Release Date
5 June 2014
Genres
Music, Drama
Overview
From director Clint Eastwood comes the big-screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys. The film tells the story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons. The story of their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the songs that influenced a generation, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” and many more.
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  • Jersey Boys
    DramaComedyMusical We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewFrancesco Castelluccio might've been a barber. He worked at a barbershop when he was a kid, sweeping up and taking notes. He even gave Gyp DeCarlo, a local underworld character, a shave—or did until he nicked the mob boss's ear. Gyp shrugged, saying, "What's a little blood between friends?" Still, Francesco didn't finish the shave. Francesco could've been a smalltime crook, too. He, Tommy DeVito and another neighborhood wiseguy tried to pilfer a safe one time, with little Francesco serving as a lookout and driver. But the safe was so big and heavy that it lifted the auto right off its front wheels, and Francesco drove the thing into a store window. The judge let the kid off with a warning. Tommy got six months. Francesco could've been a lot of things, I suppose. But he had other plans, and it seems those plans were shared. It's almost like everyone in Frankie's rough New Jersey neighborhood—Tommy, Gyp, the friendly beat cops—knew the kid was special. They figured Frankie might go places, carried by those stop-in-your-tracks vocal chops of his and blast-you-to-the-wall falsetto. "A voice like yours is a gift from God," Gyp solemnly told him. Francesco Castelluccio might have been a passable barber and a horrible crook. But a singer? Yeah, Francesco—a guy who'd come to be known as Frankie Valli—might be able to pull that off. 'Course, fame doesn't just come for the asking. It takes work and perseverance, a little luck and a lot of help. The pieces, they all have to come together. And slowly they did for Frankie. Tommy invited Frankie to join his band, which already included another Jersey boy, Nick Massi. Down the road they brought aboard pianist/songwriter Bob Gaudio, the first member hailing from outside the old neighborhood. They named themselves The Four Seasons. They played small-time gigs. They signed a record contract as backup singers. Drip by drip, the chances came. Then, in 1962, The Four Seasons hit pay dirt with "Sherry," a song that took all of 15 minutes to write and spent five weeks topping the charts. After more than a decade of work, the lads from New Jersey made it big, it seems. Frankie Valli's climb to stardom was complete. But his story wasn't. In a way, it was just beginning. There was more work to be done.Positive ElementsIt can take time to learn to walk like a man. A lifetime, occasionally. And it takes members of The Four Seasons longer than you might expect—or want. As such, Jersey Boys can sometimes feel less like an aspirational story of finding fame and more a cautionary tale of its perils. For Frankie, fame and philandering take a devastating toll on his family. And while none of that is, of course, positive, he at least comes to see what sort of man he should've been—and does make an attempt to mend his ways, especially with his talented but wayward daughter, Francine. "I believe in you," he tells her. "I'm glad you're here with me." Fame and fortune almost ruin Tommy, too. While Frankie is the voice of The Four Seasons, Tommy is its leader, booking shows and handling the money. "Borrowing" half-a-million dollars from the band's tax account and taking out $162,000 worth of loans from disreputable (and violence-prone) loan sharks nearly undo him and his band. Again, not positive. But Frankie remembers how Tommy took him in and showed him the ropes when he was younger, and he agrees to take on all of Tommy's debts—even though it takes our "hero" years of humiliating work to pay them off.Spiritual ContentThere are subtle references to faith throughout this saga, though its influence on behavior seems nearly negligible. Frankie's parents are Catholic, and we see a clock with side-by-side pictures of the Pope and Frank Sinatra in the Castelluccio home. Frankie attends a Catholic funeral. He and a couple of other people break into a cathedral so they can sing and experience the acoustics. A nun—shown swigging some communion wine—calls the police and has them escorted out. Tommy calls Frankie's parents "holier than thou," and the band is told to get going "before Jesus gets back." Someone tries to guess someone else's zodiac sign.Sexual ContentAt a Christmas party, Tommy "gives" Bob a woman to lose his virginity with. We don't see the act, but Tommy and the rest of the party walk in on the bathrobe-clad couple afterward. Bob tells Tommy that he was right—"It is more fun with another person." There's further talk of Tommy also setting up Frankie's first time. Frankie meets a girl named Mary (who's wearing a low-cut dress). The two flirt and kiss … and later get married. It's a union, though, that prompts Tommy to say "marriage is not love." And, indeed, Frankie and his pals bed quite a few beauties. (Their activities are visually suggested with images of cuddling in cars, and Frankie explains that they've all got girlfriends on the road.) When asked how old they are, two amorous girls coyly respond, "Separately or together?" Mary is furious with Frankie's philandering, ripping off her wedding ring and throwing it on the floor as she tells him that he can stay on the road for all she cares. He does, it seems, later getting intimate with a reporter named Lorraine. We see them in a hotel room together, Lorraine in bed in lingerie. It's implied that they share an apartment. Bob Crewe, The Four Seasons' producer, is known to be gay, and amid quips about Liberace, we hear a veiled reference to the man's boyfriend.Recommended ResourceA Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About SexKevin LemanEven the bravest parents feel timid about discussing sex with their 8- to 14-year-olds! This resource offers reassuring, humorous, real-life anecdotes along with reliable information to help you with this challenging task.Buy NowViolent ContentOne hoodlum appears to shoot another in Frankie's car, with Frankie at the wheel. The supposed murder is really just a scam, but we see the "dead" man's face covered in "blood." On TV, a woman gets slapped across the face (twice). Frankie takes a swing at Tommy. Folks threaten one another frequently, with varying degrees of seriousness. Frankie smashes a coffee cup against a wall. Tommy cracks up a chair to make an angry point. Someone dies.Crude or Profane LanguageMore than 40 f-words and nearly 30 s-words mar the movie if not always the music. Other curses include "b‑‑ch," "d‑‑n" (twice used with God's name), "h‑‑‑‑," "pr‑‑k" and "p‑‑‑." God's name is misused another few times by itself, as is Jesus'.Drug and Alcohol ContentWhen Tommy comes to pick up Frankie, Frankie's parents warn them away from drink and drugs. But practically everyone, it seems, drinks and smokes here. A great deal of the action—be it song or conversation—takes place in bars, nightclubs and parties. We see people down wine, champagne, beer, whiskey and mixed drinks, and they puff on cigarettes and cigars. Frankie's wife, Mary, has a serious drinking problem, with his daughter Francine telling him that Mommy sometimes drinks a lot of "medicine" and falls asleep on the couch. Years later, at age 17, Francine tries to smoke a cigarette in front of her father … and Frankie takes them away from her. [Spoiler Warning] Francine is later found dead, and it's suggested that a drug overdose was the cause.Other Negative ElementsSome of the guys in the band (Tommy in particular) regularly get involved in small-time scams and criminal activities. And all of them seem to have mob ties throughout their careers, with Frankie getting Gyp DeCarlo to serve as a buffer between the band and a scary loan shark. Thus, underworld goons and henchmen float about the periphery of the movie, sometimes helping Frankie get rid of rivals when it comes to wooing women (the heavies escort a gentleman out of a bar at one point) or bring his wayward daughter back to the fold. Thanks to Tommy's irresponsibility, the band gets tossed in jail for skipping out on a hotel bill. Tommy "fixes" bowling games and shows off a warehouse full of stolen merchandise. Tommy and Nick both spend time in prison, treating their stays as old home weeks. Nick tells people that he once saw Tommy urinate in a sink because it was closer. We see someone else urinate in a bathroom.Conclusion"Work hard," Gyp tells Frankie. "Everything follows." And in Frankie's case, it's true. The singer works hard to make it big. His dreams, at least the musical ones, are soon realized. But as sage as Gyp's advice is, there's an unspoken corollary: Don't work hard, and lots of stuff will follow, too. Frankie and Tommy both worked incredibly hard to make the band a success. Had Frankie channeled some of that effort into his family, I have a feeling he would've had something special to come home to. Had Tommy devoted some of the same discipline to his spending habits that he did to his rinky-dink schemes, he and his friends all could've retired with unimaginable wealth. We make choices in this life, and each choice we make comes with a cost. It's easy to lose sight of this inherently bittersweet lesson in the midst of the movie's lively script and buoyant songs. The Four Seasons were rocked by turmoil and tragedy, and yet by the end, Jersey Boys comes off as a feel-good flick that'll have moviegoers whistling "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" or "Walk Like a Man" all the way home. And the movie's Broadway-esque close—where Mary spins back into Frankie's arms and old adversaries boogie together as the credits roll—reinforces the sense that all's well that ends well. Such is the magical lie of movies. And the film's creators also makes some discouraging choices. The foul language they included here is the biggest drawback. Some of the sexual situations are more than just a little discomforting. Based as it is on a wildly successful Broadway show, perhaps director Clint Eastwood didn't have much of a choice. Moviemakers fiddle with popular source material at their peril. Still, while Eastwood's hard work shows, the choices he made also come with a cost: Yes, a moral cost for those who see his work, but also the outright loss of those discerning moviegoers who never will.Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Michael Medved1



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Jersey Boys
    ...
    (Review Source)

Debbie Schlussel1
The New York Post



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Wknd Box Office: Jersey Boys, Night Moves, The Rover, SuperMensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon
    Blog Posts Movie Reviews SuperMensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon“: I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen such a pretentious, self-absorbed, Hollywood insider movie glorifying a scumbag. Made by Mike Myers (remember him? he’s now fat and sporting strange reddish hair), the movie is essentially a gushing “thank you” because the rich Hollywood insider who is the subject of the movie once let Myers stay at his luxe Hawaii mansion for two months. Myers would have done the world a favor had he stuck to sending a gift basket as thanks instead of this long bore. And make no mistake about the deceptive title. Shep Gordon, the subject of the film, is not a “SuperMensch.” He’s not even a mensch. Just a schmuck. And not anyone America should be celebrating. (That’s why it figures that Myers is Canadian.) Shep Gordon is an aging far-left, self-hating Jewish In Name Only (JINO), Hollywood liberal–the kind of Hellenist JINO the Maccabees would have beheaded with appropriate zeal. He spent the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s bringing down America through filth and sexual depravity and violence by representing various rock and showbiz acts and pushing the envelope in promoting them. His most prominent client was Alice Cooper. (And, PUH-LEEZE, don’t tell me–after performing naked and posing naked with a snake–that now that he’s a senior citizen, I should somehow respect Cooper for making some conservative statements. When it counted, he was on the wrong side. Now, he’s an aging has-been a la Dennis Miller, struggling to stay relevant.) If you’re annoyed by the disgusting, depraved behavior of performers like Miley Cyrus (or as we call her here, Miley Virus), you have only Shep Gordon to thank for that. He pioneered lewd-and-lascivious-behavior-as-marketing-technique with Cooper. Gordon explained that in order to get Cooper noticed and to sell his records, he wanted parents and authority to hate Cooper. So, to this end, Gordon instructed Cooper and his band to perform in the nude under completely transparent raincoats, so that parents would hate them and kids would love them. Then, he called the police to arrest them. Also, he instructed Cooper to pose in the nude with a snake, and he instructed truck drivers–whose trucks bore the nude poster–to pretend to break down and stall in the middle of main thoroughfares of London, so people would be held hostage by these nude posters. Of course, today, none of this is anything because Gordon pioneered the “art” of depraved marketing to the point that over the decades the envelope has been pushed far worse. By the way, to make the point about Cooper’s affinity for snakes, we are “treated” to an in-your-face close-up of a snake head swallowing a live mouse. Charming. Gordon also bragged about how he threw a live chicken into the audience at a music festival and revels in the fact that the audience tore this creature to pieces and threw the parts in the air and back at Cooper. We are also “treated” to charming visions of a chicken being torn up. Where is PETA when you need them? Today, police would rightfully arrest this rich jerk for his cruelty to animals and he’d probably do jail time, as he should. But the movie makes no negative judgment on this, or Gordon laughing at this savagery. Nope. All the movie does is applaud Gordon’s bragging about his life of sex and hard drugs and the wealth he acquired through it all. Gordon repeatedly mentions how his mother was a typical Jewish parent because she was cruel. And he doesn’t seem to like Jews or Judaism. His Hawaiian mansion is filled with statues of Buddha. He is into New Age crap and meditation. He hung out at the Playboy mansion and had sex with and married a Playboy bunny. Then, he married a young New Age, raw food chef, who could have been his granddaughter. And, throughout, he partied and did drugs with all the famous clients he repped and promoted. But for some reason, we are supposed to believe–as this movie obviously does–that this is a great guy because 1) he once “dated” (euphemism) Sharon Stone (as a fellow movie critic said coming out of the screening, “who didn’t?”) and 2) he paid money to raise the orphaned family of his dead, single-mother, former model, Black ex-girlfriend. Because Gordon got Communist Groucho Marx’s finances in order in Marx’s old age. Oh, and because Shep Gordon created the era of the celebrity chef and cooking channels on TV. And he invites celebrity friends like Sly Stallone, Michael Douglas, and Arnold Schwarzenegger to hang out at his Hawaii mansion and cooks for them. Therefore he must be great (in the world according to Hollywood pop culture). Who cares? I certainly did not. What I do care about–and so, likely, do you if you are reading this site–is the future of this country, and because of “men” like Shep Gordon, that future is much dimmer. He is the father of the Kardashians and the Teen Moms and the Real Housewives and Miley Cyrus. He made noxious stuff like that hip. He is one of the major architects of the counter-culture, anti-authoritarian BS that took America down and continues to do so to date. I don’t applaud anyone who thinks nude performers in public aimed at kids, chickens being torn apart alive, doing a ton of drugs, and sleeping around with Playboy sluts is funny or cool. But Shep Gordon brags and laughs about that throughout this whole self-absorbed fake-umentary. A mensch is a good guy–a “person of integrity . . . someone who is responsible, has a sense of right and wrong.” Shep Gordon is none of these, “super” or otherwise. In fact, he’s quite the opposite. And so the title of this movie should have been, “SuperSchmuck” or “SuperShtunk.” This hedonist jerk is the kind of ugly stereotype lustfully utilized by anti-Semites, who look for Jews that are bad for America, as fodder for their Jew-hating propaganda. In fact, if I were a member of the Klan or Stormfront, I’d make Shep Gordon my poster boy. Or if I were the ghost of Bin Laden or Arafat. Gordon was exactly the kind of guy Hitler would have loved to make just such a movie about. But Leni Riefenstahl is dead, and so a brainless, moronic has-been who was once the king of Wayne’s World, Mike Myers, has unwittingly assumed the position. Shep Gordon shouldn’t be celebrated. He should be condemned. When he’s gone–and it looks like that time is coming soon–America will be better off. But the damage he wrought on this formerly great country is irreparable. FOUR MARXES PLUS FOUR BIN LADENS ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Kyle Smith1

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