The legendary punk club CBGB was the birthplace of some of the most daring, dangerous music ever created, but it was also the crucible where that music became readied for mass consumption. And so—just as its grimy stage gave way to stadiums for Blondie and Talking Heads, just as its battered awning transformed into a designer T-shirt, and just as its building became a John Varvatos store—so director Randall Miller has turned CBGB into a round of movie star karaoke.
Now, if you’re the sort of punk purist who balks at the very idea of seeing Malin Akerman play Debbie Harry, Rupert Grint play Cheetah Chrome, or the guy from Grandma’s Boy playing Joey Ramone, well, you’ve probably known since the poster that CBGB isn’t for you. The surprisingly sunny, cartoonishly comic, “Hey, it’s Lou Reed!” living wax museum that is this trailer will do little to convince you otherwise. But if you’ve long since gotten over “cred” (or maybe you just like Alan Rickman and Donal Logue), CBGB just seems like the next, inevitable step in the increasingly misty-eyed—and marketable —business of punk nostalgia.