CBGB ★★

I wanted to love this, but it's a terrible movie. The story of CBGB and its owner, Hilly Kristal, deserves better. A documentary maybe, while some of those musicians are still alive.

I admit it was fun to see the bands that played there portrayed (sometimes badly, sometimes well) by actors. The Dead Boys, Television, Blondie, Talking Heads, the Ramones, Patti Smith.... And making the connection between CBGB and the founding of Punk magazine did add a special je ne sais quoi.

But the music choices are terrible. Instead of having actor/musicians perform the songs we love in the rough, raw style of real punk, they lip-synched to polished studio recordings made after the bands were famous. As soon as I heard the first notes of "Psycho Killers," I knew something was wrong. And they had Patti Smith perform "Because the Night," which was not written or recorded until three years after the time the movie supposedly takes place.

I will give them credit for getting the infamous CBGB toilet right. Not that I was ever there. It was recreated for the punk fashion show at the Met in 2013. I was there.