2003
Rated: PG for adult language.
Genre: Rock/Musical Drama
Directed By: Neil Young
Running Time: 1:23
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 9/09/05
DVD Features:
Making of GREENDALE
Interviews - 1. Neil Young
2. Cast
Behind The Scenes Footage
Text/Photo Galleries:
Lyrics
Discographies - 1. Neil Young
Tracks:
1. Falling From Above
2. Double E
3. Devil's Sidewalk
4. Leave The Driving
5. Carmichael
6. Bandit
7. Grandpa's Interview
8. Bringin' Down Dinner
9. Sun Green
10. Be The Rain
GREENDALE

 

You're twelve, and your parents are going to visit grandma and grandpa. See, they just got back from their trip to Florida, and they have a projection with a three hour slide of their trip waiting for you. To ease the boredom, your grandpa, the ever loving showman, attempts to lighten things up by playing his very own songs on the guitar while you suffer through the silent show. What's the point of this scenario? It's exactly what it felt like while watching "Greendale", a film that should really be posed as a test of attention spans, and boredom.

And, it's safe to say this was the longest ninety minutes of my life. I wanted to like this movie, I hoped to, I was desperately trying to, but when you get sleepy halfway through and start thinking about other things, it was a surefire sign this sucked. The film seriously tests your patience becoming a film based solely on music to tell the story. No dialogue, no real acting, and no discernable story anywhere in sight, Neil Young creates an odd movie. I can get over the fact that a millionaire rocker is filming this on an 8MM silent camera as a transparent effort to make this look artsy, I mean even the lowest budget films can afford a regular digital or film camera, but the fact there's no story really made this dreadful.

Young accompanies his situations presented with clunky often weird music with lyrics like "He puts the flashlight down at the dashboard", clunky lyrics such as that without anything worth deciphering in to a story. The challenge of creating a rock opera is creating music that is both entertaining and manages to tell a story ala "Tommy", but Young doesn't really seem to want to rise to the challenge of such a feat, and we're given a lot of really dull ear sore rock music that I just couldn't stomach. Not to mention Young can't direct for crap. The directing sucks plain and simple with many close-ups and lack of ability to set the mood for the upcoming scenes and then we head in to a segment that just makes zero sense.

Seriously Neil, what's the story? I didn't get it. Had Young thought enough to make a movie with musical numbers, then that would have upped the quality, but this doesn't have much to it. Instead we're shown brief news clips, and very bad acting from the cast whom were obviously not well coached in acting along with the music. Everything is so hastily presented to the audience, and Young's songs seem so unoriginal and all of it come crashing in to this really bad mixture of bad music, and bad acting.

Gets an A for effort, but a D for the result. I'm a fan of Neil Young's music, but this is just an experiment that should have remained on the drawing board. Though the music is occasionally toe-tapping, more times than none, it's awkward and the badly written musical numbers mesh with the badly acted segments and the inevitable notice that there's no story in sight.

 

 

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