Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey

2012

Action / Documentary / Music

51
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 62%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 74%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 1131

Synopsis


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Katherine Heigl as Herself
Ellen DeGeneres as Herself
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808.19 MB
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1hr 53 min
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1hr 53 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by a_chinn 8 / 10

Modern day Horatio Alger story

Amazing modern day Horatio Alger story about Arnel Pineda, a Philippinno man who was pulled from obscurity to become the new lead signer for the band Journey. Besides simply getting to see lots of great concert footage of a great band, along with a well told backstory of the band, the star of this film is Pineda and his story. Pineda grew up as a homeless youth in the Philippines singing in a band with his friends to make ends meet, among other things. As an adult, he was still no longer homeless, but still living a very impoverished life, when Neal Schon of Journey happened upon a YouTube video of Pineda and his band performing covers of Journey songs and was blown away. Pineda is a true talent and this film presents the amazing story of his dreams coming true, as much to his delight the band, and to millions of fans across the globe.

Reviewed by Matt Ganz 8 / 10

Wonderful

I am a Journey fan, but I am not the biggest fan by any means. This documentary took me by surprise. The story is almost unbelievable at first. It is well produced. It has a nice balance of on stage live music ,one on one interviews, interviews with the whole band, and fan interviews. I have watched it multiple times with different friends, and I enjoyed each viewing. I have honestly never considered hunting down a Journey tour, partly because I didn't realize they were still touring. After watching this I went to Journey's website and checked out their current tour line-up. As of today, there is nothing close enough for me, but i am keeping my eyes peeled. Rock on Journey!

Reviewed by Roland E. Zwick ([email protected]) 8 / 10

Inspiring documentary

Ramona Diaz' "Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey" may not be the most "important" documentary of the past several years, but it is certainly one of the most fascinating. And uplifting.

The movie begins with a predicament: the remaining members of the classic rock group Journey have decided to both return to the studio to start recording new material and go on tour where they will need to perform all their familiar hits for their millions of rabid fans who are expecting them to sound the way they did decades before. Yet, their lead singer, Steve Perry, has long since left the group. What are a bunch of aging rockers to do? The answer they come up with is to mount a search for someone who can approximate Perry's distinctive and universally recognizable vocal stylings. That's where Arnel Pineda comes in - an amateur singer in the Philippines who had previously posted 60 videos of himself mainly doing cover versions of Journey's hits on-line. The similarity between his voice and the voice of Perry is uncanny, so the group plucks him out of obscurity and puts him front-and-center with them on stage and in the studio. This movie is a record of that experience.

To show just how far he's risen, the movie briefly chronicles Arnel's hardscrabble life as an orphan in the Philipines, often living on the streets, literally singing for his supper and that of his siblings. Drug and alcohol abuse and a broken marriage also figure prominently in Arnel's pre-Journey history. But all that is in the past, as now he not only gets to perform with his favorite band, but he is happily married with a young daughter. Indeed, the only negative aspect of the tour for Arnel is that it requires him to be away from his home and loved ones for such an extended period of time. But such is the life of a rock star.

The movie also fleshes out the history of the band itself, from its years of worldwide success to its periods of wilderness-wandering obscurity, from its temporary dissolution in the '90s to its successful comeback today. These experienced, wiser heads are able to keep this newbie focused on not only what is good about touring, but the potential pitfalls that await someone not ready for all that comes with fame and glory and life on the road. Thanks in large part to them but also to his own inner strength of character, Arnel is able to keep his feet planted firmly on the ground, even while his head is, understandably, in the clouds.

And indeed throughout the experience, Arnel remains a humble, self-effacing figure, a man who, despite being overwhelmed by the adoration of Journey's fans, never allows himself to forget where it is he came from and how extraordinarily blessed he is in being able to live out this never-in-my-wildest-dreams fantasy-come-true.

As for the original members of the band - Neal Schon, Ross Valory, Jonathan Cain, Deen Castronova - they do tend to become bit-players in the film while Arnel takes center stage, but it is clear that they are equally cognizant of the fact they owe as much to Arnel as he does to them for helping make this hugely successful comeback possible. It is obvious that the members not only welcome Arnel in with "open arms" but that a genuine bond of fellowship and friendship has developed amongst them.

As Arnel himself admits, this is really a rock music Cinderella story with Neil Schon, who discovered him, as the fairy godmother and the tour the grand ball.

And the whole thing culminates in a raucous performance of "Don't Stop Believing" before a stadium full of screaming, adoring Filipino fans, all beaming with pride at the sight of a home town boy hitting the big time - and if that scene doesn't leave you with a lump in your throat and a chill running up and down your spine, you just might want to get those two organs checked out for defectiveness.

Even those who don't much care for Journey - if any such people exist amongst us - can have a great time with this film.

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