Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Top 10 Worst Music Biopics

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 8:23 AM


A couple of weeks ago, you may recall we did a list of the Top Ten Music Biopics. The biopic debate raged again today, however, after we saw images of Andre 3000 dressed up as Jimi Hendrix, in the midst of making a movie. We're pretty sure Andre is going to do wonders in the role, but that doesn't mean the music biopic is always a good idea. Here, then, are the 10 worst music biopics we know of.

10. The Runaways

Okay, look. We enjoyed this movie. We did. And Kristen Stewart was so jaw-droppingly incredible as Joan Jett, we almost forgave her for the Twilight franchise (we said "almost"). The problem here is that we rushed to the movies to see this, expecting all of the band members to be documented, only to find this was a film about Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, and nobody else. Lita Ford barely gets a name check, and Sandy West is mostly invisible. And that just makes us mad. We found out later that there were legal issues involved, but it still feels like half a movie to us.

9. La Bamba

If you were a child when this came out, you probably remember it as being amay-zing. But it's amazing only in the way that Dirty Dancing was amazing: all the characters in it are reduced to ultra-simplified versions of real humans for the sake of convenience. Also, it is largely implied here that Ritchie Valens died tragically at the age of 17, in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, because his brother broke his necklace. We're not kidding. Watch it again if you don't believe us. The soundtrack is, of course, great, but the movie's kind of ridiculous.

8. Great Balls of Fire

Speaking of overly simplistic: while Great Balls Of Fire was immensely watchable, it forever turned Jerry Lee Lewis into a petulant and selfish overblown man-child, with a sexual fondness for children whom he also happened to be related to. On the one hand, we're irritated that Lewis was turned into such a hideous caricature here. On the other, it makes our blood boil every time we see the end of the end of this thing -- the final shot is of Lewis and his young wife (the cousin), smiling over the birth of their first child. The implication is that they lived happily ever after -- in fact, Lewis was married a further four times. Le sigh.

7. I'm Not There

Aw, crap. We wanted to like it. We did. The concept -- getting six different actors, including a woman and child, to play Bob Dylan -- was really interesting. As the trailer states: Bob Dylan is "everyone" and "no one" and I'm Not There's concept explored that in a really unique and innovative way. Unfortunately, this thing dragged on interminably, failed almost entirely to gain our full attention for any great portion of time, and left us feeling bloated with the artistry of it all. Having said that, if someone wants to make a Bob Dylan movie where he's played only by Cate Blanchett, we'll totally watch it (she's amazing here).

6. Take Me Home: The John Denver Story

After watching this, we were left with the distinct impression that Chad Lowe doesn't actually know who John Denver is -- and that, frankly, he probably doesn't care. "As long as I keep this wig on, look wistfully at mountains and act a bit like a simpleton, that'll work, right?" No, Chad. Just.... no.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About The Author

Rae Alexandra


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"