30 November 2016 | MartinHafer
This film shows a lot of promise
"Radio America" is the sort of film I tend to view slightly differently than I would the average movie I review. This is because it's obviously a low-budget film and everyone involved has very, very limited experience in the industry. The director (Christopher Showerman) has never directed before and the two leads (Jacob Motsinger and Christopher Alice) have only a few credits to their names as well. So, considering its pedigree, it's really not fair to expect greatness from such a slight little movie.
The story is a familiar one--a rock 'n roll cautionary tale about a couple simple country boys, Eric and Dave, who want to earn their living with their music instead of staying and working on the farm. Not surprisingly, despite the odds being against them and their music not being especially good, these novices manage to put together a band, get a record contract, go on a mega-concert tour and screw up their lives all in the space of what seems like only a few weeks. It's all very familiar and movies like Wild Guitar and Rock Star, among others, have plowed this very familiar territory already.
So what did I like about this film? Well, for the lack of experience everyone had, the film is actually reasonably enjoyable. This is NOT to say I noticed any particular brilliance in the production but I did see promise and it's very possible that these folks will use their experience here with Radio America as a stepping stone to better things. In other words, like the minor leagues, films like these give them experience and help them to get better and better at their craft. Additionally, while the script has quite a few clichés, towards the end it manages to avoid going where I expected--and I do appreciate that. On the negative side, the leading characters were tough to like and so it's hard to care if they make it or not. Additionally, one of the actors had an accent that seemed confusing at best and the music wasn't good enough to explain the band's sudden success. Overall, if you like rock films, then you certainly might enjoy this one. If you don't, then perhaps it's one to skip. However, for a freshman directorial effort it is surprisingly watchable.