I must say, games like Rocksmith 2014 are a first for me. Frankly, I never thought I’d have a first of anything by now, but here it is. Indeed, I’ve had the pleasure to write about plenty of simulation video games. Golf simulation, train simulation. Hey, even hunting simulation game. Which you can catch up here again. But never a music simulation game. And as you can probably tell, I’m excited about it. Not because I’ll get to write about my favorite genre of music (which is rock music). But at the same time, I’ll get to write about movies that for the most part have rock influence (or theme if you will) in them. And I’m all about that.
Rocksmith 2014: And The Inspiration For This Post
As I mentioned earlier, Rocksmith 2014 is a music video game. And as such is a perfect inspiration for this post. A post in which I’ll be focusing on biographies, semi-biographies, mockumentaries and even rock comedies. There are 7 different movie picks in this post and I adore dearly every single one of them. For different reasons of course. However, I can’t go any further with this post without mentioning the game itself.
What’s Rocksmith 2014 All About?
Developed and published by Ubisoft, Rocksmith 2014 a music video game that will… You’ve guessed it. Help you learn to play guitar. And with the award-winning Rocksmith® method. Plug any real guitar or bass with a 1/4 inch jack directly into your PC or Mac. And you’ll learn to play in just 60 days. From single notes to chords and advanced techniques, all at your own pace. Not to mention, the game adapts to your skill level as you play. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player. And unlike other rhythm games, Rocksmith instead allows players to plug in virtually any electric guitar. And play along via a USB adapter.
It’s a good way to practice in social distancing times. Said Beancurry about the game on Steam.
While Prospect Forever said…. If you read guitar tabs and play guitar hero/rock band — this is like 5000000000x better than the midi-Squier in my closet collecting dust.
And this goes without saying but we do have both Rocksmith And Rocksmith 2014 on sale here at IndieGala. However, that sale is not going to last forever. So hurry up and unleash your inner rock star.
But back to the topic at hand. The music inspired movies I’ve selected for you. Which ones made the cut? Scroll down to find out.
This Is A Spinal Tap
The oldest movie on this list, and probably the best. But that’s all subjective, so I’ll leave you to be the judge of that. But there’s no denying that it’s a cult movie that finds new generations of fans as it gets older. And in essence, it’s a documentary about the rock group Spinal Tap. On their US tour no less. What you’ll also find out to be is a hilarious satire of the cliché rock-star behavior. Hedonistic, over the top and overall crazy. However, the movie itself is hilarious and outrageous. Much like the characters in it, but that’s the point, isn’t it?
Fun fact: The IMDb ranking for this movie shows a special scale from one to eleven, although users can still only choose a rating from one to ten.
School Of Rock
Fans of Jack Black rejoice. This list will have 2 movies with Jack Black in the lead. Why? Because one is simply not enough. And although I’d love to put High Fidelity here, I’m going to stick to these two picks after all. How awesome is Jack in this movie? Outstanding I believe is the word. He’s Dewey Finn. Rock guitarist who’ll get kicked out of the band he’s in. So, he’ll eventually disguise himself as a substitute teacher in a high-end prep school. Joan Cusack is great too, and so are some of the kids. Especially Miranda Cosgrove. If you haven’t seen School of Rock by now, do it. It’s sooo good and deserves to be on this list.
Fun fact: Writer Mike White is actually not a fan of classic rock. The basis of the movie is actually used so Jack Black could perform his own favorite music.
Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny
Yes, this is the second Jack Black movie on this list. Although different from School Of Rock, it also involves rock music. But this time Jack’s character is part of a wanna-be rock band. And along with his slacker friend, Kyle Gass, they will embark on a mission to steal a legendary guitar pick. Indeed, the pick will give them immense talent, and that will ultimately lead to rock god status. With a silly premise, Jack Black in the lead and an array of great supporting actors, this is also a hilarious movie. I mean, Dave Ghrol is Satan here. It’s such a shame that’s considered a flop because it’s not that bad. But to each of its own right?
Fun fact: Jack Black said that he vowed never to write a script again because the box office failure of this film made him lose his confidence.
Can’t believe that this movie is almost 20 years old? Me neither. But what’s more unbelievable is how Mark Wahlberg ended up in this musical comedy. Yeah, Mark plays Chris ‘Izzy’ Cole. A lead singer in a tribute band, who becomes a lead singer in the band he actually idolizes. The real band that he loves. But is it great as he hoped to be? I remember watching Rockstar around the time of the movie release and all I was thinking is how Marky Mark is miscast here. Jennifer Anniston as well. But this is a movie with good intentions, who maybe would have been better with a better cast. However, I had to include it on this list.
Fun fact: Real-life rockers Jeff Pilson (Steel Dragon bassist Jorge) and Jason Bonham (Steel Dragon drummer A.C.) would later both join the band Foreigner.
I actually liked The Runaways. The performances are really good, and really the movie had me at Michael Shannon. Honestly, his presence elevates the biopic, and you can almost feel his talent in almost every scene. Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning are awesome too. But this is a movie about the inception and eventual break-down of The Runaways. The iconic all-female rock band from the ’70s. And yes, it’s a fine biopic I must say. It’s also directed by a woman, and yeah. I highly recommend it. At the same time, it deserves to be on this list.
Fun fact: A character mentions Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley’s divorce as a sign of the decline of rock and roll. Cherie’s sister Marie is played in this movie by Riley Keough, who is the granddaughter of that short union.
Another biopic, but for a different band. And a biopic that’s entirely in black and white footage. I’m talking about Control, of course. It’s a very good movie I might add. Control depicts the life and eventual death of Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division. The movie really shines thanks to the incredible performances from Sam Riley and Samantha Morton. And of course, with the help of the great direction from Anton Corbijn, this is a modern cinematic masterpiece. I highly recommend it, and yes. It deserves to be on this list.
Fun fact: According to Samantha Morton, the director mortgaged his house to raise finance for the film.
Last, but certainly not least. In fact, this is one of my all time favorite movies. Cameron Crowe’s masterpiece. Almost Famous. It’s the movie that just celebrated its 20th anniversary and the movie that set the standard for other writers since. Dare I say it, Almost Famous is an almost perfect movie. The scrip is truly fantastic, but the direction and performances (especially from Frances McDormand and Kate Hudson) are top-notch as well. Set in the early ’70s the movie follows the life of William (Patrick Fugit). A teenage journalist. He’s on an assignment from Rolling Stone to follow the fictitious rock band Stillwater on their tour. And then write a piece on them. What will eventually happen, will change his life forever.
Fun fact: To look like a real rock band, the four actors in Stillwater rehearsed for four hours a night, five nights a week, for six weeks.
Which Movies Would You Add To The Rocksmith 2014 List?
Tell us in the comment section. Which ones are your favorites? Don’t be shy. Let us know.