One of the major X-factors of the summer movie season has been Clint Eastwood's adaptation of the smash Broadway musical "Jersey Boys." The true life tale of Frankie Valli and the formation of his influential pop band the Four Seasons. For a while it looked like the movie would open up at Christmas, joining the Broadway musical thunder-dome that currently includes big budget cinematic revamps of "Into the Woods" and "Annie." But then the reality set in: Eastwood is a grumpy old director who never does two takes and ends each shooting day before lunch. "Jersey Boys" suddenly became a summer movie... and the first trailer has just debuted. And it's really, really good.
Instead of relying on movie stars, Eastwood corralled a bunch of young actors who had starred in various stage productions of the show, so John Lloyd Young stars as Frankie Valli, Erich Bergen is Bob Gaudio, Vincent Piazza is Tommy DeVito and Michael Lomenda is Nick Massai. (Christopher Walken plays, unsurprisingly, a gangster tangentially connected to the band.) Anyone who has seen the original Broadway show, or knows about the band, understands that it's the perfect fit for a dramatic film, with a whole lot of heartache, setbacks, and male insecurity.
The movie version of "Jersey Boys" was written by certifiable genius John Logan ("Rango," "Skyfall") and features lush cinematography from longtime Eastwood confederate Tom Stern. At the very least, it looks like it will the perfect thing to take your parents to, if only because it doesn't involve a single superhero or transforming robot.