Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Music Never Stopped

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Music Never Stopped - 3 out of 5

It's amazing the power music has over us.  Everyone has those moments where a song can take us back to a time and a place in our past.  Sometimes a song can trigger a great moment you had with your friends or a song can remind you of the one that got away or the time you fought Bigfoot (that hasn't happened to you?).  The point is that music can play a big part in a person's life and is more than just something to sing along to while you're in the shower or to serve as a soundtrack while you're making babies.

Quite a change for the man who once played a Nazi rapist.

Cave Johnson...the early years.
The Music Never Stopped is about a young man (Gabriel Sawyer) who has a tumor in his brain that prevents him from creating long-term memories.  Desperate, his parents hold onto a glimmer of hope and seek to find anyway to see their son return to what he once was or, at the very least, be able to connect with him again.  The father, Henry (played by J.K. Simmons) discovers a college professor doing experiments with the cognitive connection we humans have with music and she begins using songs that Gabriel loves so much to help him reconnect to his past and help him with his future.  His father becomes so enthralled with the progress that he observes that he engrosses himself with The Who, The Stones, Bobby Dylan, The Dead and all the bands his son loves in order to reestablish what was lost in their relationship before his own deteriorating health causing more obstacles.

Who doesn't love Scott Adsit?  People who hate being happy, that's who.

The Music Never Stopped is a great emotional story filled with great songs of the 60s and 70s.  However, the real emotional impact doesn't really hit its peak until the end of the film due to an unbalanced performance from Lou Taylor Pucci as Gabriel and J.K. Simmons.  Pucci's performance feels flat and as phony as the beard on his face while Simmons (predictably) delivers amazingly.

Couldn't get a more convincing fake beard?  Spent too much money on the songs in the film?

The pain that the character of the father is going through is palpable thanks to Simmons talent but due to a less than adequate performance from Pucci, it's very difficult to feel a strong emotional response to the events on screen.

Ah, they're at a Dead concert...or as I call it, Hell.

With a touching story, a great performance from a stellar character actor and a terrific soundtrack, The Music Never Stopped has the potential to be a heart-warming, tear-jerker of a movie that sadly is weakened by the performance of the story's central character.  Adding along to the fact that the film offers a few B-storylines that offer nothing to the main story and are never truly given any real closer makes this movie entertaining but keeps it from seeing its full potential at being a film that makes you reach for the tissues to clean up the leakage from your eyeballs.

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