Perhaps best known for its faux Springsteen soundtrack, the 1983 Eddie and the Cruisers is a rock lover's fantasy run wild. The story finds a reporter (Ellen Barkin) tracking down rumors of an unreleased album by a band whose charismatic leader (Michael Paré) allegedly died years before. As she approaches surviving members--who have since gone on to other things--she gets different points of view on Eddie's life and artistic drive, and the mystery about that album deepens. The trouble with the film is simple: it's impossible to accept. Michael Paré is far from suitable to play a Jersey shore rocker with thematic pretensions toward Rimbaud that go back to the '60s, and the soundtrack by John Cafferty sounds like a hack's rendition of E Street Band magic. An all-around embarrassment. --Tom Keogh
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