September 30, 2014
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Not Fade Away
Don Fowler
3 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(Nostalgic look at ’60s music culture)

"Not Fade Away" presents a nostalgic look at life in the early sixties in New Jersey. John Magaro plays Douglas, a teenage drummer involved with a garage band that has hopes of rising above the small high school gigs.

The movie plays out in episodic fashion over nearly two hours, jumping haphazardly from one scene to the next, with a timeline that starts three weeks after the Kennedy assassination and ends incoherently on the streets of L.A.

The culture clash between parents and their children is played out well in Douglas' relationship with his uptight, conservative father (James Gandolfini) and his relationship with a girl from the other side of the tracks. The teens are constantly smoking, cigarettes and pot, always have a bottle of Coca Cola in their hands, and spend their nights practicing with their band or going to the drive-in.

While the storyline is weak, those of us who grew up in the sixties will enjoy the attention to detail, including cars, hairstyles and especially TV programs and news items. The Vietnam War and assassination of Martin Luther King play heavily upon the teenagers, as they try to make sense of it all while continuing to seek their dream of becoming more than a garage band.

Rated R, with profanity, sex, brief nudity and drug use.


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