Clint Eastwood Turns Tony-Winning Play into Scintillating Spectacular!


116337_galJersey
 Boys

Film Review by Kam Williams

 

Clint Eastwood Turns Tony-Winning Play into Scintillating Spectacular!

 

 

            Francesco Castelluccio (John Lloyd Young) was born on the wrong side of the tracks of Newark, New Jersey where he was raised in a public housing project controlled by the mob. As a rebellious adolescent, he started hanging out with hoodlums in his Italian neighborhood, over the objections of his mother (Kathrine Narducci) who feared her son was either going to wind up dead or in jail.

 

But despite eventually getting busted for burglary, he managed to evade imprisonment at 16 when a lenient judge let him off with just a stern warning. His saving grace, ultimately, would be that distinctive falsetto that in 1962 catapulted him to the heights of superstardom as Frankie Valli, the high-pitched front man of The Four Seasons.

 

His meteoric rise, self-destruction and resurrection are the subject of Jersey Boys, a scintillating spectacular with a jukebox soundtrack featuring all of the group’s hits. Directed by Academy Award-winner Clint Eastwood (for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby), the entertaining biopic is based on the play of the same name which won a quartet of Tonys in 2006, including Best Musical.

 

The picture stars Tony-winner John Lloyd Young (for Best Actor in a Musical) who originated the role of Frankie Valli on Broadway. The rest of The Four Seasons are played by Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio, Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito, and Michael Lomenda as Nick Mazzi.

 

Other pivotal cast members include Renee Marino as Frankie’s long-suffering wife, Freya Tingley as his equally-neglected daughter, and Joey 119159_galRusso as his childhood pal Joe Pesce (yes, that Joe Pesce). And Oscar-winner Christopher Walken (for The Deer Hunter) steals his every scene as usual as Angelo “Gyp” DeCarlo, the Mafia don who ran the Genovese crime family’s loan sharking operations back in the Sixties.

 

Nevertheless, the real appeal of the movie rests in the tunes, whose derivations are often implied or expressly explained. For example, Bob was ostensibly inspired to compose “Big Girls Don’t Cry” after watching Kirk Douglas slap Jan Sterling in the face in the film, Ace in the Hole.

 

The cast, here, performs all the songs themselves, from “Sherry” to “Dawn” to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” to “Rag Doll” to “Who Loves You?” to “Working My Way Back to You” to “Walk Like a Man” to “Oh, What a Night!” and beyond. Who knew The Four Seasons had so many hits?

 

A nostalgic trip down Memory Lane designed with Baby Boomers in mind.

 

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for pervasive profanity

Running time: 134 minutes

Distributor: Warner Brothers

Real Estate

discoveries, legends, grave robbing, highest bidder, buried treasure, lost historical items

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category

Travel

Castles, Once Upon a Time, Romance, unforgettable gift ideas, pop the question, England, Scotland, Paris, Portugal, London, Ireland, royal experience

Once Upon a Time Vacations

  Once Upon a Time Vacations by Amy Lignor   Whether you are a lover of history or you simply have the “Beauty & the Beast” obsession – which, according to … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category

Entertainment

This Week’s DVD Releases, Kam Williams, Top Ten DVD List, 05/23/2017

Top Ten DVD List for May 23, 2017

  This Week’s DVD Releases by Kam Williams Top Ten DVD List for May 23, 2017 Get Out              … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category