Shouldnít this movie be called The Rock Singer, or even better, the Lavish Rock and Roll son? They shouldíve changed the title because I couldnít see any single thread of music that had to do with Jazz. Did you? And unfortunately, thatís a sign on how fucked up this film is. If youíve seen Glitter, or Hard To Hold, or even that piece of shit Sergeant Pepper, youíll know what Iím talking about. Whoever brought the lame-ass idea that Neil Diamond could act and bring his great music into this lavishly stupid, ridiculous, and all around idiotic piece of shit should be shot. And I say great music because I can appreciate his talent for writing songs. Canít say the same for his acting.So, good old Neil is Yussel Rabinovich, a Jew Cantor at a Jewish Sinagogue living in what it looks to be New York. His father, Cantor Rabinovich (Laurence Olivier, why?) is also a cantor, their entire family, 5 generations of ancestors have been cantors, but not Yussel, HE WANTS TO ROCK!!! He wants to be famous and be a star because in his own words, God doesnít pay him for his singing. Thanks for insulting the Jewish community asshole. His father is completely against the idea, but his son presses on, and even goes with his black pals (one of them being Bubba [Franklyn Ajaye]) to play white music TO A BLACK NIGHTCLUB. And Yussel, or should I say Jess Robin, comes out with an afro wig and in black makeup and plays his white songs in a black club, and the people doesnít even realize itís white guy music. Then two black thugs realize that heís white (hint: hands), and try to take him out, a fight occurs, heís thrown in the brick with his pals, his father releases him and gets the awful truth that his son wants to be a rock n roll star. Then he gets a call from his friend Bubba that he can make it big in LA. So he goes for two weeks, but then he succeeds, and falls in love with his wacky and annoying manager Molly Bell (Lucie Arnaz). By the way, did we mention that Yussel was married? Yeah to a girl called Rivka (Catlin Adams). Well he got divorced, and since Molly isnít Jew, his father groans violently I HAF NO SON. So Yussel is in crisis and runs offÖ you know whatís going to happen next.
"Whereís the fucking Jazz?"
I mean, you can tell whatís going to happen next. Itís been seen many times before. Jesus man. This film is considered a remake of the original Jazz Singer, and a very bad one. For shits sake, this film is awful. The script is lousy as fuck, and it just brings constant laughs. The arguments between Yussel and his wives are just pathetic. Thereís even fault within the main character. Both girls, which are attractive, offer themselves to Yussel, and he responds with this one-liner: I rather have a pizza. Who the fuck wrote this? Can this be more original? No it can, because his manager-later-wife tries to get record agencies to give him a shot at recording. Whatís the best way to do it?
Reality: Make tons of copies of the demo tape and go to record company after record company, and arrange for auditions.
This movie: Grab a record exec whoís just coming out of his studio, stalk him, and force him to listen to your demo tape at gunpoint.
Yeah, doesnít this remind you of a later piece of shit called Airheads? Pathetic, utterly pathetic, hell, even taking it as a comedic situation doesnít even cut it. Gosh, Lucy Arnaz is fucking annoying in the entire film, you just wanted her to grab some duct tape and silence her fucking mouth. And then when Neil has the bad shit of being married to a non-Jewish girl, and being noticed by his father, he later blames him for the strained relationship. Did I just hear right? I mean the guy blames his father for his own fuck-up? And he thinks that he can resolve the situation by just sending him concert tickets and letters? Of course, he suffers a crisis and walks out of his fame, only to return with a beard (not exactly that type of beard) and a new guitar. Thatís like 15 minutes of wasted time. Its understandable whatís he going through, but its ridiculously predictable. Someone pass me the original Jazz Singer for fucks sake.
And I havenít even touched the subject on the acting from both leads. Diamond is so BLOODY FUCKING AWFUL in this film. He spends most of the entire time smirking and smiling in the wrong situations, and he looks down to his shoes almost every time he recites his dialogue.
Someone please bring a dialogue board. I mean who the fuck brought the idea of writing dialogue cards in the ground. Hell you can tell heís reading off his lines on the ground. He looks, then he recites, he looks again and then he recites. Gosh, can it get more absurd? And what in the bloody world is it with Laurence Olivier? Jesus, he has forgotten how to act for the look of it. The guy has no emotion, and is as wooden as fuck. Heís a complete tree, and this is an embarrassment to his status of Sire, and would further be tarnished by the monumental flop Inchon. He was just plain awful to watch, both were.
Was there anything good in this film? Oh yeah. Diamonds music still shines, and is the only highlight on the film. The music literally saves the film, but its not enough to save it entirely. Thatís the one star by the way.In the end, only rent this film for the music, rent it, turn your TV down, and pump up the volume to your stereo and skip through the songs. Forget the rest of the film, since itís as half-assed as it can get. Thereís no Jazz in the Jazz singer, just Rocks, and very painful ones.
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originally posted: 05/15/02 02:02:11