Friday, December 28, 2012

Not Fade Away

The fourth quarter of 2012 has overwhelmingly been a great time for films.  I've been giving out A's and A-'s left and right.  But all good things must come to an end, and my double header this week of 'Playing for Keeps' and now 'Not Fade Away' was the one-two punch that did it in.

'Sopranos' creator David Chase takes a leap from the small screen to the big screen with this coming-of-age throwback to the early days of rock-n-roll of the 60's.  And he brings Tony Soprano's alter ego, James Gandolfini, along for the ride, as the stereotypical bigoted, blue-collar, head-of-household dad who can't understand why his son opts to grow out his hair, form a rock band, and date the local hot chick rather than stay in school.  Duh, dad.  Duh.  Gandolfini's sporadic and brief appearances are the only things worth watching in this amateur cornball borefest.  The rest of the cast is completely unengaging, the script is paper thin, and the end was as unsatisfying as the beginning and middle.  I'd say that Mr. Chase should return to TV where he spent his career, but that's not really how I feel.  Truthfully, his TV work was always overrated, and perhaps it's time for the public to wake up and see what I have been saying for a decade.  (I sure hope I don't get whacked for that statement.)

Grade: C-


  1. I think you were a little bit harsh on this film but frankly, I dont feel inclined to defend it either. Nice. It was good only for the nostalgic aesthetic that a more.... advanced audience would enjoy. ;)

  2. Perhaps a bit. But I do feel David Chase is grossly overrated and consequently much more successful than he deserves. He's just not great at storytelling and doesn't even recognize a good actor and good performance from a bad one. He's lucky that Gandalfini undoubtedly feels indebted to him for his success.

    And regarding the nostalgic aesthetic? Anyone can put their cast in 60's clothes and play 60's music to set that mood. It's too easy to give kudos for, even if it's effective.