When I think ‘punk rock icons,’ I totally think Alan Rickman. Well, maybe not, but Rickman stars in CBGB, a film about the famed rock club in New York City that played host to thousands of up and coming bands over the years, most of them solidly in the punk and rock genres and not in the ‘country, bluegrass and blues’ that the club’s title announces. On that note, today we have the first trailer for the film, which gives us a bit of a better idea of what to expect.
Rickman leads as Hilly Kristal, the man who opened CBGB, despite shaky finances, in 1973. Other stars are on hand to portray various icons too, and most of them show up in this trailer. There’s Rupert Grint as Cheetah Chrome of The Dead Boys, Taylor Hawkins as Iggy Pop, Malin Ackerman as Debbie Harry of Blondie, and Joel David Moore as Joey Ramone. CBGB played host to numerous other acts during its long tenure, including The Talking Heads, The Police and Patti Smith. The trailer gives us a brief glimpse of almost all of those acts, some lead by recognizable stars.
The problem with this trailer is that there’s not much of a plot in sight. While numerous performers are teased, the whole thing feels like a listing of what groups appeared within CBGB’s walls until it closed in 2006. Rickman is only glimpsed in fits and starts, looking very out of place in a curly wig and questionable accent. But I couldn’t get a strong enough grip on the purpose of the trailer to be able to judge whether the movie is something I want to see.
Nevertheless, a film about CBGB is intriguing regardless of the trailer quality. There are quotes from a number of original performers adoring the trailer’s edges, ending on the punchy ‘50,000 bands and 1 disgusting bathroom.’ If Randall Miller’s CBGB comes even close to bringing punk to the big screen, I’ll be there.
Check out the trailer for CBGB below and let us know what you think.