Having watched the first season of the Naked Brothers Band before watching the movie which predates it, left me skeptical as what to expect. However after briefly watching the movie a first time I knew that this was a lot better. I would recommend that anyone who has not watched the movie to watch it, as although it is a children's movie it is quite a descent film.
However it was not without its faults which mainly revolve around how the movie is formatted. The documentary style starts of strong, but soon loses its way. Especially in regards to almost everything being in a present tense. All that needed to be done was for the narration and interviews to have been done in past tense especially with the 'Gold Boulders'. Other footage could have been stated as Archive or Re-enactments. I also felt that the time line of the movie was to compressed, stuff that a band would do in 18 months was done in about two.
The basic plot has a lot going for it, and in my opinion still does, if your mind is open enough to allow it. However with that established I would have hoped that it be kept as realistic as possible. As I have already stated it seems a bit to compressed and although it makes it seem fuller it still leaves out a lot and is totally unfeasible. Moving on from that, no band is liked by everyone in the world and there was only one negative comment about the Silver Boulders in the whole movie. The immaturity of the adults is another thing I have expressed dislike for through the season, however I think this was quite restricted compared to the season. Several things in the movie has me concerned about a lot of other people being shown as morons, such as Josh not knowing his song had the same tune as "twinkle twinkle, little star", Jessie at the 52 state thing – in fact a lot of Jessie seems to moronic or for a nice term, seriously misinformed. Although it may seem minor I will also raise the issue of Nat's love of Rosalina and love songs which are or are not necessarily related, which has coped a bit of flak and disagreement within the fan base – it should be noted that some have stemmed from the song's within the season but the underlying issue originated with the movie. Although I do not believe that there is a age limit on experiencing love, I do believe the limit stands with both understanding and knowing about love, in which some of the songs suggest (whether intended or not) the Nat knows a lot about love. I think the solution is a bit of rewording with both songs and some of the dialogue although I can not say exactly what or where. Rosalina realizes that Nat loves her but having watched the season first the discrepancies in regards to this and the season are baffling. Another thing I have mentioned in previous reviews is the inability to differentiate between an English Accent and the stereotype which is not political correct (thankfully in this PC world). One of the great things about the movie is the ability for it to show kids being serious and more mature while still showing the kids being kids. The parents were shown pretty well, pushy, ignorant to a degree and only interested in their own child, however it seemed to be on the high class side of things. It also raises the question, was it the parents wishes that David, Thomas and Josh split and become the "Gold Boulders" for better media attention. Alex becoming a sodaholic seems like a nice twist on Drug abuse and alcoholism, however during the cruise I think some detox scenes at such would have added to this, ie Alex getting Aggressive and extremely desperate for lemon lime soda. Mort Needleman raise a few of questions within me, such as was he following the band around? How did he become a manager seeing as he has no sight for success? The tour realistically would have been canceled as neither band would have had the ability to prepare and organize themselves for the tour. The "Gold Boulders" had only one known song, and as I believe would not have been able to use any "Silver Boulders" songs as any copyrights would by default move to the song writer, in this case Nat, of course an expensive and lengthy court case could change that. The "Naked Brothers Band" was in a different boat as they in effect were a totally new band had really should not have been in any state to record, let alone tour. The "Gold Boulders" turn around and admittance that they like the song "Rosalina" and their desire to join the "Naked Brothers Band" was far to quick and lazy on the writers part. Nat, although I could see it coming from a mile away, was far to forgiving of, Josh, David and Thomas, and I believe he should have shown at least some mistrust. The only major things missing in the movies, was Press bombardment of Nat and Alex, and the Gold Boulders. I also thought Matt Pinfield who would have fit in the movie well.
The acting in the movie was extremely impressive most actors did great. I only have a few comments some come close to nitpicking. Alex once again was the most convincing of the main actors, he is able to have is lines flow out and seem natural, he can say oddest lines, strangest concepts as though they were the most obvious thing in the world. Not often do things appears to be forced with him, although to be honest the burps and his trying to stop Thomas and Nat fighting were forced, or at least not convincing. Nat was convincing and I can not really come up with any part which was dreadfully bad or obviously forced, however due to the way his character is written made his abilities less visible than the other actors. Allie DiMeco has done a great job as Rosalina however there was one scene the I did not really like, I think her comments after the band broke up did not really strike me as to how they should have been said(if said at all). Cooper was great and quite in tune with his character, but not quite seen as much as I would have liked, along with Cole. Thomas has acted the most aggressive I have seen him, and it is preferable over his timid role in the season, while the "Gold Boulders" as a group did not really work and seemed to repetitive for me to really enjoy. The food fight it self seemed forced as did a couple of other minor moments, but that is to be expected. The majority of the acting was good and there is a lot of potential for the cast.
This has been one of my main areas of concern through out the season, and it begs to ask why? When the movie was done to a reasonable standard it should have set the benchmark for the season. There is a few points however in this category. As this is meant to be a documentary or mockumentry to be close to the truth, I expected things to fit together better. There seemed to be too many cameras for one, and opposite angles within seconds of each other did not show the camera people which goes against all laws of physics. Also during the break up scene, Alex's do rag some how manages to reappear on his head when he was in no position to put it back on. Small things like these made it loses is doco feel, along with the lack of archive footage, although I believe a lot of it should have been stated as archive or re-enactments instead of being live so to speak, which contributed to presence of a script, in which when making a movie in not what you want the viewer to notice while watching it.
Character Development 4/10
I'm not sure about everyone else but I felt the character development brought as straight back to square one. There were a small number of notable character developments but most of those were minor. The biggest would have been the progression of Nat's love of Rosalina until finally admitting to her, as well as her responding with a kiss. The transition from the "Silver Boulders" to the "Gold Boulders" and "Naked Brothers Band" really came to nothing as the "Naked Brothers" were the same band as the "Silver Boulders" with a couple of minor additions. The only other notable change, was Alex's lemon lime soda addiction to that of milk, I can not really count the Alex and Jessie thing, as that was done to early for it to be a development as such.
With the movie being centered around a band the music is a vital part. I only enjoyed a couple of the songs, and other couple could have been replaced by a better song in which I believe the either Nat or Alex could have written.
"Motormouth" – This was an average song and a little short, but thankfully not annoyingly repetitive. It in ways has some truths to it, depending on how you interpret it, but it is not a song I go out of my way to listen to.
"Got no mojo" – This has no real connection with the movie and was to repetitive and had no depth, this is one of two songs that could have been replaced in the movie for song written by either Nat or Alex and meant more in regards to the movie or life thus far.
"Crazy Car" – Has some depth to it, and the vocals were alright. The music itself was good, and actually sounded pretty cool on Bagpipe (in which I believe to be an underrated instrument) and orchestra. However the 'Cra-a-a-a-a-a-zy Car' got quite annoying after awhile.
"Rosalina" – It is a good song, it's suitable and deep to a number of levels, nowhere near the deepest but it is a good attempt from a young artist. The only complaint I have, and this for personally, is that to my understanding the music for "Rosalina" is the same as that of "Fire fighters" a song Nat wrote as a tribute to those who died during 9/11. As much as it does suit the song, I believe that it is tapu, as it is a tribute. It may be just me but that's how I feel.
"If there was a place to hide" – This is quite a simple song both in regards to the lyrics and the music but that makes it no less enjoyable, if that's the right word to use. It has some depth and has a connection with everybody at some stage during their life. Whether or not it has connected yet, well that's another story. This would be my favourite song of the movie. "That's How It Is" – Very simple in all aspects and very short, there is a certain mood to the song, even if it is not backed by the lyrics. If the lyrics were to be improved, it could add depth to the song and the would improve it vastly. It's start for Alex, but he has the potential to write songs of better quality to what I have heard in the movie and the first season.
"Hardcore Wrestlers" – This is another not so great song and although the mellow bits were tolerable it was just to tediously repetitive. It was really a random song and was only there because of a 2 minute conversation. This is the other song in which could have been replaced for something better. Dialogue 7/10
The dialogue was usually pretty good and suited the cast and the characters, I only have two negative comments about the script and this would be again close to nitpicking (or at least the first one).
In Regards to lines about "boys rule girls drool" not rhyming. Although possibly valid in regards to poetry, especially for kids their age, but songs do not need to rhyme and in fact, a lot of the great ones don't.
The other is in regards to Alex saying childishly stupid things, and although this can be amusing it does get to the stage were it become ludicrous.
Only two quotes are what I deemed memorable as both are as I feel the most true in relation to the movie.
'Silver Boulders, overrated,' – one of the Timmerman Brothers
'If Alex is the most inappropriate boy alive, then I'm the dorkiest' Nat Wolff
And if I were forced to pick a line that I found the most amusing it would have to be: Nat: 'The Bands Breaking Up!' >>Alex: 'What band? What stupid band?'