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Luke Meyer revelatory documentary about the Brooklyn heavy-metal band Unlocking the Truth is everything. The film is about drive, ambition, and crossing the lines of what it takes to become a musician. The subjects are three black seventh graders who love metal music. The film starts off as we watch the innocense of the boys slowly fades away as they head to professional musicians.
It’s better, it’s a refreshing does of pure adrenaline as three 13-year-old friend pursue their dreams to make in the music industry. What’s even better is that they are NOT your typical naïve teen, Malcolm Brickhouse, Jarad Dawkins, and Alec Atkins are smart. The trio are caught up in a world of greedy adults ready to exploit their talents.
The docu-movie shows the intricacies on how steady exposure of a music business machine that gobbles up individuality and spits out a sellable package. Breaking A Monster was filmed in 2014 and is now on DVD. The film follows Unlocking the Truth from their early moments playing on the streets of Time Square to landing a gig opening for Metallica in Montreal Canada.
We find Breaking A Monster to be a gripping, explosive story of the music industry. The film may be steady, but it keeps you locked in. We also found it interesting how industry veteran Alan Sacks, a grandfatherly septuagenarian sees the young boys as a “safe” entry point to hard-core music. As the docu-movie plays out, we start to see the boys getting more and more frustrated. Their music becomes secondary as their mostly white team of consultants, marketers and stylists have endless meetings about branding and projecting a “likable” image.
This all comes after the kids land a recording deal with Sony Music Entertainment, but they have no music recorded. What we really like about the film is that Malcolm Brickhouse, the lead guitarist of Unlocking the Truth makes it clear that he is no fool. When he realizes that the label only sees them as a novelty act he sets it off. Brickhouse sounds off to his Sacks saying “I’m not stupid, Alan.”
Overall, we enjoyed the film. After watching what the seventh grader are put through, it makes you think twice about having your kids in the music industry.
Reviewed by CJSan