Bandslam now on DVD
by Phil Boatwright

On DVD, from Summit Entertainment/Walden Media, comes a teen comedy/drama/musical/romance the entire family can enjoy. The story centers on new kid, Will Burton (Gaelan Connell), feeling out of place with everyone until he transfers to a new school and is built up by the school hottie (Alyson Michalka) who discovers his good heart and ability to manage her band. Against all odds, their band develops a sound all its own with a real shot at success in the contest. Meanwhile, romance brews between Will and Sa5m (Vanessa Hudgens - the "5" is silent), who plays a mean guitar and has a voice to die for.

Much like Disney's High School Musicals, but with more depth. Good music and strong performances.

Rated PG (a couple of chaste kisses and the discussion of the loss of loved ones), the film avoids objectionable language and exploitation. The makers have shown a regard for their teen audience, as well as viewers who don't like teen-stories due to the crudity associated with most productions. Written by Todd Graff, Josh A. Cagan. Directed by Todd Graff. 101 minutes. Lisa Kudrow co-stars as Will's mom.