This ain’t no mud club OR CBGBs!

cbgb
I cannot dispute the place that the club CBGBs has in music history. This club was the world stage and start for such bands as Television, the Ramones, Blondie, the list is extensive. In some respects the movie hammered home that Kristal was not good with his money and inferred that he was also a bad decision maker. Highlighting Kristal’s decision to manage the Dead Boys when he had a chance to manage the bands named earlier in the list. I guess what I was really hoping for was a documentary style movie rather than a biopic which is really what this film was. My take away from this movie was I wasted my time. I didn’t really see anything new that I hadn’t either read or seen in other movies or books. To tell you the truth you were better off reading Legs McNeil’s book “Please Kill Me”, this book did an extremely good job at painting the picture of the club and the bands that played there. Your other choice would have been to watch the film “End of the Century” which was a documentary of the Ramones. The film CBGBs gave short thrift to Hilly Kristal the man. The picture painted Kristal as a good man who took in all the riff raff on the streets of NYC. In fact the club was probably better off using the plaque “Bring us your poor, your huddled masses”. However the film kept hammering how inept he was in the handling of his money, he had to have done something right to keep the club going for 32 years and what is most important that the film never addressed. The club was wrongly billed in its monthly rent and there was ongoing legal battles around the rent and this is where the film glossed over a really important aspect as to why the club went under. All of that being said, I did not have a problem with the actors in the movie, in fact they all did quite well. Alan Rickman was the lead character (Hilly) and I have always enjoyed his films. While the film never featured the real musicians the actors playing those characters did well, including Grint’s playing of Cheeta Chrome of the Dead Boys. All in all I would not suggest this movie to anyone. However don’t just take my word, you might as well check out the article from the Village Voice regarding the movie.

VILLAGE VOICE REVIEW OF THE MOVIE CBGBS

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