Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Breaking a Monster: A Film About Unlocking the Truth (2015)

I saw director Luke Meyer's short film UNLOCKING THE TRUTH  last year at the New York International Children's Film Festival and fell in love with the band Unlocking the Truth. I went home looked on line for their music and sent it to a a number of my friends. I was therefore excited when I found out shortly there after that Meyer had turned the short into  a feature.

The band is made up of teenagers Alec Atkins, Malcolm Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins who met when they were four years old. Unlike the stereotypical idea of African American youth the boys gravitated not toward rap or hiphop but toward heavy metal. Playing on the streets of New York and in Times Square got them noticed and eventually they signed a huge 1.8 million dollar contract with Sony. The film follows as the boys begin their big push into the music world and get noticed by the media when news of their contract breaks.

There is no denying that the guys are talented musicians and that their music is excellent. There is also no denying that the guys are charming young men.

I'm just not too sure what I think about the film as a whole though.

Yes this is a good story.

Yes there are some fantastic moments.

The problem is that this is the story of three teenagers and their handlers and there really isn't much drama. Yes there is the battle between the kids being kids and the fact that they are rock stars, but because they seem to actually have parents who care and handlers who don't come off as absolute jerks there isn't much suspense or tension. Don't get me wrong I love the guys and I'd love to hang out with them, but at the same time the film doesn't make it all look sexy.

About half an hour in I was ready to put the film on hold and come back to it later...and that bothers the hell out of me because this isn't a bad film.

Should you see the film when it opens Friday?

Yes. Its a very good film, its just not one of the great rock docs.

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