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i never had much interest in the play and to be honest i never had much interest in the movie but considering clint eastwood directed it it eventually became a must own and a must see (i own all of his works as a director).
now, unbeknownst to me, jersey boys is about frankie valli. it is about gangsters and music; love and friendship; life and it's trials and tribulations. which makes it a lot more interesting than i thought it would be. which means i ended up liking this movie more than i thought.
that's not to say it's a great movie. i suppose the biggest problem with the story is that it's not that involving. it's fun to watch but you never feel emotionally involved with anyone in the film. i think you are supposed to but things happen fast and frequent and scenes are pretty short so you end up feeling more like an outsider observing than a participant. that is a fail.
another problem is the cast/make-up. all the cast is game and they deliver solid performances but i got to say, having john loydd young play frankie valli not such a bad idea. having him play 16 year old frankie valli, nope, i don't buy it. then he never seems to age, just his hair changes (all of them, for 20 odd years. then when they are old (1990) they look old, almost overdone with make up but not quite. it's not like the terrible leo job in j. edgar.
other than that the sets and costumes and locations and what not are all pretty damn good. there is one shot of driving that has a terrible rear projection green screen effect a la the 50's and 60's, which i think was on purpose but it is jarring and doesn't work.
there are a few great moments here too, like the first time sherry baby is heard, or when can't take my eyes off of you is performed, or the final credits musical number and you are never bored when watching but as i said in the beginning there is no real emotion to be had here. when someone dies, when relationships don't work out, when bandmates fight, when people are reunited, there should be tears or smiles or both. we should be crying or be joyful and feel some real emotion as the issues are deep. but we don't, we just watch and move onto the next scene.
at the end of the day (a nod to andy signore) jersey boys is worth watching once for the music, the story of frankie valli and some good performances (christopher walken is fantastic as usual) but when it's over, unless you are a valli fan or a jersey boys nut there is no real reason to return.
production design: 8 out of 10
cinematography: 7 out of 10
re-playability: 5 out of 10
originality: 6 out of 10
costumes: 7 out of 10
directing: 7 out of 10
editing: 7 out of 10
acting: 7 out of 10
music: 8 out of 10
script: 7 out of 10
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