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Overall Rating
3.84

Awesome55.84%
Worth A Look: 11.69%
Average: 10.39%
Pretty Bad: 5.19%
Total Crap: 16.88%

1 review, 71 user ratings


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Garage Days
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by Stephen Groenewegen

"Sex and suds and rock ‘n’ roll"
3 stars

Despite what you might expect from the director of The Crow and Dark City, Garage Days is a bubbly, good-natured comedy aimed at young adults. It’s about a struggling Sydney rock band, but there isn’t a heavy industrial soundtrack. Nor is the production design dark and gothic. Alex Proyas’ film eschews grunge; Garage Days is almost earnestly clean-cut.

Freddy (Kick Gurry) is the lead singer who works in a record shop by day and dreams (literally) of being a rock star at night. He bemoans the lack of music venues in the inner city, where jukeboxes and poker machines now constitute “live” entertainment. The best chance of exposure for a young band is a support slot for a popular, hard rock outfit like Sprimp or by appearing at the Homebake music festival.

Freddy’s relationship with bass player Tanya (Pia Miranda) is heading towards break-up, as is that of lead guitarist Joe (Brett Stiller) and Kate (Maya Stange), the closest the band has to a groupie. The dissolving of these partnerships is convenient since Freddy and Kate are discovering a mutual attraction. Drummer Lucius (Chris Sadrinna) is indifferent; he’s in it for the fast sex and chemical highs.

They rehearse at the house of Kev (Andy Anderson), Joe’s father - an Oz rock survivor of the late 1970s. The band also has a manager, of sorts, named Bruno (Russell Dykstra). He means well but isn’t exactly a vibrant entrepreneur. When they land their important first gig, Bruno gets the names of the pubs mixed up. He advertises the wrong location and no one shows up to see the band play.

The plot of Garage Days kicks off when Freddy has a chance encounter with Shad Kern (Martin Csokas), the sleazy, rock ‘n’ roll manager of Sprimp. Then, relations within the group become increasingly complicated when Kate announces she’s pregnant...

Garage Days was shot mostly on location, in and around the suburbs in which it’s set (Newtown and Enmore). Although the tone is very different to his earlier films, Proyas maintains a distinct visual style. He collaborated with cinematographer Simon Duggan (The Interview) and production designer Michael Philips (The Well) to emulate the brightly coloured look of a live action cartoon.

The poppiness works especially well for the two drug mishap sequences - cheekily labelled “Fun with drugs” Parts 1 and 2. Let’s hope the Office of Film and Literature Classification are paying attention - Proyas and co-writers Dave Warner and Michael Udesky are using comedy to condemn illegal drug use without being condescending. A restrictive classification would kill this film’s hopes of finding a young audience.

Unfortunately, the cartoon breeziness also undercuts the darker elements of the plot, which focus on an increasingly disturbed Joe. The dramatic moments towards the end are the least successful, but Proyas handles the comedy with assurance. Dykstra is particularly funny as the bumbling manager. Anderson’s aging rock star and Csokas’ sex-and-drugs-and-rock’n’roll manager are caricatures, but Proyas keeps their broadness in check so they don’t overwhelm the film’s younger characters. Miranda is initially too strident as Tanya, but I gradually warmed to her, and Sadrinna is terrifically funny as Lucius.

Garage Days belongs to Kick Gurry, in his first leading role (he was Miranda’s boyfriend from the wrong side of the tracks in Looking for Alibrandi). He mostly plays it straight, but is never a downbeat presence – he shines in the comedy and romance scenes, and brings an honesty and depth to the story’s soap opera elements.

The script has its share of great scenes, including a subtitled conversation while a plane passes overhead (Enmore is under the city’s flight path). But, despite a clever soundtrack, the story strays too far from the music. This is a film about a rock band where you come out wondering what the band’s name was (I’m sure it’s mentioned, but I don’t recall it and it wasn’t even listed in the production notes). Dave McCormack, Andrew Lancaster and Anthony Partos composed the songs and coached the actors in playing musicians, but we don’t see enough of the characters working as a unit to really believe in them as a band.

The climax of the film, impressively staged during last year’s Homebake, reveals that’s partly the film’s point. The moral of this coming-of-age story is that “you don’t have to be a rock star to feel like one”. But the actors otherwise bring such vitality to the film that it feels like a letdown not to see them triumph.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=6044&reviewer=104
originally posted: 08/02/02 08:05:39
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This film is available for download or online viewing at CinemaNow.com For more in the CinemaNow.com series, click here.
For more in the Australian series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 CineVegas Film Festival. For more in the 2003 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/16/15 laszlo jori great funny nice awesome lovely 5 stars
9/20/06 truth painful, cliched, unamusing and naive. if you are life-retarded youll love it. 1 stars
9/14/06 melissa it stunk like shit 1 stars
8/27/06 Rob Kidd I loved the flick, and the name of the band is Inner Pigs. 4 stars
7/26/05 The Grinch I guess Australia has Hot Topics too. Proyas should stick to noir. 2 stars
2/27/05 Danny Sucks all ass. 1 stars
1/14/05 Gullytrap An affront to human decency. 1 stars
9/06/04 Rachel It was great!! Very creative and funny. I loved every bit of it!! 5 stars
4/05/04 saz cochrane dude its now my favourite movie 5 stars
3/15/04 amber awesome 5 stars
11/24/03 Jade Cameron Absolutely Brilliant, I loved it 5 stars
11/11/03 George just excellent... 5 stars
11/07/03 Lauren Only watched it coz brett stiller's hot 4 stars
10/01/03 Skye The movie was brilliant 5 stars
8/09/03 BuBaLa a fucking MAD movie ne 1 who says otherwise is crap 5 stars
8/01/03 scoozy great movie 5 stars
7/25/03 izy thi film is appalling 1 stars
7/10/03 Utebloke direct to video in australia! bad acting unneccessary cgi to mask weak script & thin plot 1 stars
6/12/03 roy namon its great 5 stars
5/24/03 Jenny milich this was the best movie i had seen all year....annoyed that is still hasnt come out on vide 5 stars
3/29/03 AmY Best fucking movies, loved every minture of it, wont it to come out on video now. 5 stars
3/25/03 Amy amazing, fresh, sparkling 5 stars
2/06/03 bev clark tired genre, tedious characters and the most dire tripping out scenes to date 1 stars
2/01/03 NIKKI SIMONS FUN 5 stars
1/31/03 Jenny Taylor Fucking hit him in the face next time!!!! 1 stars
1/26/03 Aleyne Saw it at the Sundance Premiere! 5 stars
1/23/03 Mr Math Crappy dialogue, great directing. 3 stars
1/08/03 Ash KICK GURRY IS HOT 5 stars
12/10/02 Chrissy (moshfairy) fukn mad mad mad!! kick gurry is such a beautiful,yummy person! mmmmmmm yummy yummy... 5 stars
11/19/02 Bidgie-didge Haven't seen it so don't know if its any good but sounds shit!! 1 stars
11/05/02 fred best aussie movie ever made 5 stars
10/28/02 Weaver It was shockingly realistic, and true-to-life. Best Aussie film in a long time. 5 stars
10/27/02 Rosa Klebb Terrible, terrible film. The dialogue seemed as though it was written by a 12 year old 1 stars
10/24/02 Luke insincere, shallow, cliched and at times embarrasing. 2 stars
10/23/02 kirst brill movie-couldn't stop laughing and love the eye candy!! 5 stars
10/22/02 Melissa As if it's just average, this movie is the absolute best Australian movie ever.! 5 stars
10/21/02 Annie It was fucking fablous 5 stars
10/21/02 Katie It was Fuckin Fantastic!!! I rate it a 6 out of 5!! True Blue Auzzie film!! 5 stars
10/21/02 olivia the film had a great cast and I loved it 4 stars
10/19/02 Kate Totally loved it dude, thats my kinda film! And Kick Gurry? yeh... very nice 5 stars
10/17/02 lee mad! 5 stars
10/17/02 Chris Embarrassing. Saw a pre-screening. One of the worst movies I've ever seen. 2 stars
10/16/02 Hannah Ralli It was great. best film ever seen 5 stars
10/16/02 rove{live} i love d mohork guy, hot as 5 stars
10/16/02 Lauren Very funny and non American. 4 stars
10/13/02 CLaiRE its really good.... really down to earth... it is motivating 5 stars
10/13/02 aussiebabe it was total shit 1 stars
10/12/02 Stephanie Flitton This movie *R*O*C*K*E*D* 5 stars
10/11/02 elise waters lucy is hot, the movies worth a look just for him. tie me to the bed with amp leads!!! 5 stars
10/11/02 Gemma the film had the best soundtrack 5 stars
10/11/02 kari this movie f**king kicks 5 stars
10/10/02 ian kicked ass! 5 stars
10/09/02 Steph It thought it was funny, but I think they used stereotypes a bit too much 5 stars
10/09/02 tu pac kiss my ass bitch 1 stars
10/08/02 Meg Absolutely fabulous! Enjoyed every moment of this movie.. Specially Lucy.. ^_~ 5 stars
10/07/02 Julz Awesome 5 stars
10/07/02 Tessa Fantatic film two thumbs up 5 stars
10/06/02 emjai it was rad!!!!! i loved seeing some aussies finally getting some credit! it was hilarious! 5 stars
10/04/02 Neil Lame music jokes that would only with no music taste would find funny! 1 stars
10/04/02 Alida really good, one of the best all year! 5 stars
10/04/02 monique pretty entertaining, deffinately worth seeing. Kick Gurry was fabulous, hope to see more of 4 stars
10/03/02 Louise Taylor Great story but a bit weak 3 stars
10/02/02 Tori Fantastic cinematography and post-production but the acting a little rawer - overall great! 5 stars
10/02/02 Bill Cullen fun!! 4 stars
10/02/02 Movie Star Fun movie 4 stars
9/29/02 Peter Sherlock Effects great, acting shit 2 stars
9/28/02 abbi samu great comedy 5 stars
9/19/02 Jodez Good Fun, could have benefited from some more editing 4 stars
9/14/02 eli samu very funny brilliant! 5 stars
9/06/02 Judy Mather I loved this film! Everything in it worked well for me - and I'm no longer a 'young adult'! 4 stars
9/05/02 Tony Greg Saw this film at an advance screening in Sydney and thought it was brilliant. GREAT FUN. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  18-Jul-2003 (R)
  DVD: 03-Aug-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  03-Oct-2002




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