Combustible Celluloid
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With: John Magaro, Jack Huston, Will Brill, Dominique McElligott, Brahm Vaccarella, Gregory Perri, James Gandolfini, Bella Heathcote, Molly Price, Meg Guzulescu, Christopher McDonald, Brad Garrett, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Gerard Canonico, F. Michael Haynie
Written by: David Chase
Directed by: David Chase
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, some drug use and sexual content
Running Time: 112
Date: 21/12/2012

Not Fade Away (2012)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

You Can't Always Get What You Want

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

David Chase, the creator of "The Sopranos" makes his feature directing debut this fall, with Not Fade Away. (Technically his feature writing debut came in the form of a 1972 horror movie called Grave of the Vampire.)

Starring John Magaro, James Gandolfini, Will Brill, Jack Huston, and Bella Heathcote, Not Fade Away takes place in the 1960s and tells the story of a local garage band. Inspired by the Rolling Stones, they have visions of making it big and changing the world, though real life, jobs, girlfriends, education, and other things eventually get in the way.

Chase presents the movie as a mood and memory piece, mainly, which essentially means that it has no plot, that the characters never really come to life, and there's no real emotional pull to the material. The actors are mostly unknowns, and it's difficult to tell them apart or remember who they were afterward.

At one point, two of the main characters go to the movies to see Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up. One of them complains that nothing is happening, while the other tries to find the mystery between the plot threads.

If Not Fade Away aspires to be that kind of movie, it really isn't. It's the kind of movie where, in a scene where something actually happens, like a motorcycle accident, the entire event stands out so much that it's not surprising at all.

I suppose that if you were alive during this time and have a visceral connection to it, you might enjoy the film, but for younger viewers, it's a bit dull. It plays like a slow-moving coming-of-age film with some cool old tunes on the soundtrack.

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