A caricature of the New York City club where punk rock was born
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.