7 out of 10
7 out of 10
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Kick Gurry as Freddy
Maya Stange as Kate
Pia Miranda as Tanya
Russell Dykstra as Bruno
Brett Stiller as Joe
Chris Sadrinna as Lucy
Andy Anderson as Kevin
Marton Csokas as Shad Kern
Yvette Duncan as Angie
Tiriel Mora as Thommo
Holly Brisley as Scarlet
Matthew Le Nevez as Toby
Commentary by director Alex Proyas
Widescreen (1.85:1) – Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions
Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
Spanish Language Track
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 105 Minutes
Freddy wants nothing more than to hit the big time with his Australian band. His girlfriend Tanya plays bass guitar. Druggie Lucy plays the drums. Freddy's best friend Joe plays lead guitar while his girlfriend Kate supports the band. They are managed by the sleazy Bruno.
Shortly after their first big gig, the band is struck with a blessing and a curse. Freddy inadvertently helps out Shad Kern, the hottest band manager in Sydney. Shad offers to help Freddy and the gang (thanks mainly to a piece of very incriminating blackmail). His involvement could finally take the band to the top. At the same time, Freddy falls in love with Joe's girlfriend Kate. Will this new love triangle threaten to tear the band apart on the eve of their biggest break?
There is one minor nagging detail, though. Can they play?
Garage Days is rated R for strong sexual content, drug use and language.
As I was watching Garage Days, I was frequently reminded of two other films – The Commitments and Trainspotting. The tale of a guy trying to get a band together was what reminded me of The Commitments. The two groups go through similar trials and tribulations. The frantic editing, surreal imagery, and comedic elements are what reminded me of Trainspotting. I think if you liked either of those films, you'll enjoy Garage Days.
Garage Days is first and foremost a comedy. There are a lot of humorous scenes in it. For example Joe cheats on Kate with a goth, suicidal crazy woman. In other scenes we see the manager Bruno dancing to Tom Jones songs. In one funny moment, the band inadvertently takes hallucinogenic drugs at the worst possible moment leading to a series of amusing hallucinations. But probably the most amusing thing about the film is the fact that you never see them actually play. You never hear them play more than a couple of notes until they are up on the stage for their big moment. It's then and there that the big joke of the movie hits – they suck. Rather than taking the predictable, Hollywood ending, they throw a complete curveball at you for a great laugh.
The cast of this film was fantastic. Kick Gurry is a great leading man as Freddy. His frantic quest to be the greatest rock band ever is convincingly portrayed. He also has a great romance with Maya Stange as Kate. She's cute and quite spirited. It's easy to see why Freddy would fall for her. Pia Miranda is also unique as Tanya, the no nonsense girlfriend of Freddy. Chris Sadrinna is also funny as Lucy, the drug addict drummer. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is towards the end when the tables are turned on him in a pharmacy. You'll have to see it for yourself. Russell Dykstra and Brett Stiller are also funny, but Marton Csokas has a landmark performance as Shad Kern. He's such a slimeball that he's fun to watch. The entire cast appears again at the end for an over-the-top dance routine to Tom Jones' "Help Yourself".
This film was directed by Alex Proyas. It's quite a change of pace for him and is unlike his other films such as The Crow, I, Robot, and Dark City. Who would guess that he could handle comedy just as well? His frantic editing and creative camera angles really help elevate the film and give it energy. The soundtrack is also filled with great music that you'll get a kick out of.
All in all, Garage Days was a pleasant surprise that was a lot of fun.
There are a few bonus features included here besides getting both widescreen and fullscreen formats:
Commentary by director Alex Proyas – This is a pretty good commentary by Proyas. He offers all sorts of tidbits about casting, filming, the characters, and more. The only thing that would have helped was to have some of the cast on board for additional commentary with him.
Deleted scenes – There are six deleted scenes. One features Kate and Tanya running into each other in the grocery store after their argument. Another shows Joe's weird girlfriend making herself pass out. A third scene showed Freddy attempting to woo Kate with flowers. The others are extremely brief but still in the wacky spirit of the rest of the film.
Backstage pass – Director Proyas and the producer talk about the casting of the movie and the inspiration for the film. It's a 4 minute "making of" featurette. They focus on the concert scenes of the film for the most part.
Cast/director interviews – This is a series of interviews with the main actors from the band and director Alex Proyas. They talk about their characters and the story as clips from the film and behind the scenes footage roll. It's about 7 minutes long.
Outtakes/goofs – This is your standard bloopers reel and it's about 5 minutes long. It looks like the cast had a whole lot of fun making this movie.
The Bottom Line:
Garage Days is a fun DVD to check out. Parts of it are for more mature audiences, but it is a spirited comedy and an unexpected departure by director Alex Proyas.