For awhile, I was swearin’ at Clint Eastwood about ‘Jersey Boys’

(From syracusenewtimes.com)

(From syracusenewtimes.com)

Sure, I knew it wasn’t the coolest thing in the world to be caught humming the catchy melody of Frankie Valli’s “My Eyes Adored You” or “Swearin’ to God” as I was getting out of high school and staring my first year of college back in 1975, but what the heck.

My father surely had raised me as a kid who knew enough about the music of the 1960s to be familiar with this man’s voice from the Four Seasons and his previous solo love song hit, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

So I made room with all the loud and fast rock in my heart for a little Frankie.

This ran through my mind as I prepared to see “Jersey Boys” with my dear wife Karen, elbow-to-elbow in a crowded Sunday matinee theater in Syracuse, N.Y., with a whole bunch of people who I could tell were probably more familiar with all of the details of Valli’s life about to unfold on the screen than me. Many of them had probably seen the musical of the same title, a hit on Broadway and then a traveling production that had played our city. I hadn’t, which actually added to my high hopes. (Sorry Jimmy Van Heusen and Frank Sinatra, for that one, but, darn, I was sitting in Syracuse but in a Jersey mood.)

I did not like the work from director Clint Eastwood for what seemed to me hours, but actually was just the start of the tale of this Italian teen finding fellows to tutor him in the neighborhood ways of crime and song. The scenes were practically in black and white.

One tactic was to have actors look into the camera and narrate to move the story along.

I may have yawned.

But at last the story got to the point where good songs were found, the actors’ chemistry and Eastwood’s cinematography got more colorful, and I rather appreciated this tale of Frankie Valli’s battle to make something of himself, with many others’ destinies spinning around him.

If you’d like to read my review on the Syracuse New Times site, click the link below.

http://www.syracusenewtimes.com/jersey-boys-starts-slow/

Do you have a favorite movie made from the life and songs of a musician or band? What makes a good movie about real life stars of the past? Are you still a fan of the 1960s sound?

47 thoughts on “For awhile, I was swearin’ at Clint Eastwood about ‘Jersey Boys’

  1. sounds like it is a bit of a slow go, but the musical parts may be worth it. i love the docs about bands like, ‘the band’, and dramas like ‘dream girls.’ my fav all time music movie though is ‘once’ and i’d love to see it done live. on my list this year.

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  2. Great review here and on Syracuse New Times. Mark, I loved Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ music. As for Clint Eastwood’s directorial skills, I still haven’t forgiven him for “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” He made quite a few unnecessary changes when he filmed this fantastic book written by a Central New Yorker.

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  3. I love biographical type books/movies. I’m not drawn specifically to a time period, I seem to love something from every era of music. I love something I can sing to, or if I can’t sing to it, it speaks to me about something personal. So maybe this one is on the DVD list then…..

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  4. My husband and I were lucky enough to catch the Vegas production of Jersey Boys and it was amazing! I love all music from Elvis to Iron Maiden and have always been a big fan of Frankie Valli. The show was wonderful. The Four Seasons have so many great songs Beggin, Oh what a night, Walk Like a Man just to name a few. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews about the movie and it is a shame cause like you and your wife, the hubby and I wanted to see it. Not sure if it is worth wasting a babysitting favor ; ) Maybe it is similar to Rock of Ages never saw it live but so many say how great it is. Saw the movie and it was one of the worst movies ever made in my opinion.

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    • “Rock of Ages” was laughable. Curiously bad. “Jersey Boys” is a classic in comparison, but it takes a long time to shift into gear. Once the classic songs get going, nice. Maybe wait for video so you and hubby don’t waste the babysit favor, like you say, especially since you saw the Broadway show.

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  5. I do still like the 60s sounds, even though I only live a little over a week of that decade. I think my favorite movie of music in that era is La Bamba. Actually, I think that’s music from the late 50s, but that’s all I’ve got. πŸ˜‰ Maybe I can go with The Monkees movie Head? But I don’t think that’s what you mean.

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  6. I’m surprised Dora hasn’t commented yet. I think she’s gonna love this! Sounds good hermano, I love biographies like this. La Bamba, Ray, Walk the Line, I love them all. Gotta add this to my list. Sounds like a great weekend pal! πŸ˜‰

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  7. I had heard about him doing this project and wondered how it would go. That’s too bad that it was disappointing. When I went to visit my mom and her new husband in Monterey last fall, we went to the Canyon Ranch in Carmel – owned by Mr. Eastwood. He is a regular at the ranch and my mother has seen him there on numerous occasions. The night we went, we were not as lucky. Then I found out that since his scandalous recent divorce, he spends less time in Carmel. He was spending more time in LA working on Jersey Boys. πŸ™‚

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  8. Glad to read your review! My mom and I saw Jersey Boys the musical last fall and loved it. Will be interesting to see how it unfolds on the big screen. I had rather high hopes, as it’s a Clint Eastwood flick but maybe I’ll wait for it to come out on video. Nice job, friend!

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  9. I saw the production about 5 years ago and loved it. We just saw the movie the day it came out and it’s missing something, but still enjoyed it because I love the music. Sherry is my favorite.

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    • I’m glad you still lived the movie, Dora. Sandra was wondering why you hadn’t commented yet on this one. She knows how much you love Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and “Sherry.” My favorite is “My Eyes Adored You.”

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