Not Fade Away

Updated 1/10/2013

John Magaro as Douglas, Brahm Vaccarella as Joe Patuto, Jack Huston as Eugene and Will Brill as Wells in a scene from "Not Fade Away."

All those years David Chase was getting rich off his mob soap opera, "The Sopranos," what he really wanted to do was "get the band back together." "Not Fade Away," his big-screen writing and directing debut, is an impressionistic recollection of the 1960s, what it was like to discover rock 'n' roll, to emulate your rock heroes, to embrace weed, grow your hair and infuriate your parents with your college-bred concern for civil rights, the Vietnam War and pursuit of dreams over career. The problem is, nobody told Chase his memories of the era have long been clichés. The characters are thinly drawn, though the actors aren't bad, and they really are singing and playing their instruments. "Not Fade Away" is an original, absurdly self-conscious take on a seriously unoriginal narrative. Chase somehow failed to realize this formula was well-past-played when Tom Hanks offered the superior "That Thing You Do" back in the past century. (Rated R.)

ROGER MOORE, MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE