Movie of August: Breaking a Monster

I’ve been waiting all year for Breaking a Monster. Actually, three years.

What’s it about? Three Brooklyn kids (and I mean kids) who have a pretty legit metal band, called Unlocking the Truth, and their story of getting signed by Sony and thus recording their first single.


At the theater, we overheard a guy brag, “I’ve listened to their music online,” like he had some extra layer of special. Thor smirked, “Should I tell him we’ve seen them live?” LOL, totally.

No really, we did see these kids play live in Austin almost three years ago at FunFunFunFest. It was a set I didn’t want to miss because what a bunch of twelve year olds really have to offer? Maybe it was the middle school teacher in me, or the aging skater girl, but they were one of my favorites from the whole fest.

On one hand Breaking A Monster was like a bizarro version of One Direction’s This Is Us. You’ve got teenage boys (albeit a little younger) just being boys – skateboarding, tackling each other, playing shows on the road, dealing with their manager, and recording music. On the other hand, we’ve got some Straight Outta Compton, with an old white guy’s hidden agenda of exploiting working with young, talented African American boys.

I also couldn’t handle the vapid team of people in LA, bragging about the women and parties they would suddenly be privy to – they had no concept of what this genre of music is even about. The boys kept reiterating the serious image they wanted to portray, but cartoon characters of their logo kept being shoved at them. The adults weren’t listening.

Did the movie talk about race? Of course. How could it not? Metal music and it’s fans aren’t exactly a diverse group of people. What gave me the creepy crawly feeling was how absolutely different these boys were perceived and treated during their shenanigans. In This Is Us, the boys are decidedly silly – riding skateboards and go carts and just generally jumping on top of each other nonstop. It showed us that they are just a bunch of fun-loving guys, right?

The boys of Unlocking the Truth were also skateboarding, playing GTA, and being generally silly – but the band manager frequently engaged in shaming power struggles, and eventually demanded that lead singer/guitarist, Malcolm, stop skateboarding or the deal was off. When they spilled Tic-Tacs on his floor, he lit into them. It made me uncomfortable. Would Harry, Zayn, Liam, Louie, or Nial be treated the same? Errrrmmm…

You won’t be able to catch Breaking A Monster in Portland, but if you can rent it online, it’s definitely worth the watch. I hope to see them play live again, and someday when they are big and famous, Thor and I can brag about how we saw them play before they inked a deal.


**SIDENOTE: Once the credits started rolling, I saw a familiar name in the producers: Thad Luckinbill, also known as JT Helmstrom from The Young & the Restless. I’m pleased to know he’s working on other projects that I can enjoy 😀 Keep ’em coming, JT!



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