Review for Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey
Journey are one of the most popular bands in rock. They have created music that is the very embodiment of rock music with songs such as Don't Stop Believin' and Any Way You Want It. Selling over 75 Million records they are a band that have stood the test of time.
When the band were looking for a new lead singer they came across a Youtube video of Filipino Arnel Pineda and were amazed by just how great he sung. They invited him for an audition and in person he blew them all away. Arnel has the most amazing voice that may not be better than previous front man Steve Perry, but he was certainly as good as.
Some people complained that it was like Journey Karaoke (This was something that happened to all the other frontmen since Steve Perry too), but there is a passion and a power behind his singing that brings it beyond that.
Director Ramona Diaz weaves two very perfect stories. If you are a fan of Journey you will see how they rose to the heights they did scoring Number One Albums and Songs, selling out concerts all over the world. You also see the fall from grace they had after the departure of Steve Perry, though they do not go through the reasons for the departure.
The second story is a beautiful from rags to riches story, literally. Arnel tells of the horror and tragedies that plagued his early life growing up. When you hear all this, you begin to understand just why he sings with such passion is because he really wants to be on stage. At one point, one of the tour managers comments that 'Arnel still thinks he's auditioning' commenting that no, that's not the case he is now a member of Journey.
One of the nicest things about this documentary is just how good the members of Journey are. Throughout the film they support Arnel in everything and when he develops a cold they help him through it with one member commenting about how great he sounds even when he's ill. This is one of the many aspects of the film that is great as it doesn't feel like this is just a publicity stunt, but they do want to embrace the new singer and bring him in as part of the team and when he gets on stage he does just that.
My only issue with this documentary is the language. Arnel drifts between is native language and english in such a way that it makes understanding what he is saying a little difficult at times. The other thing is that during this there is no subtitles unless you select them and so I would advise everyone to select the subtitles before you start to help with this as it is only minor and doesn't make it unwatchable.
Extras are only the trailer and eleven minutes of deleted scenes. These scenes include the full version of Don't Stop Believin' from Manila. It is great to see this, but I do feel there should have been more of this as it would have been great to have seen more of him singing live.
Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey is a great documentary. If you are a fan of Journey it doesn't ignore their past, shows you some great archive footage and interviews with the band. If you like a story of a true underdog it has an emotional journey that you will love. If nothing else everyone loves Don't Stop Believin' and Arnel's singing of this classic is well worth watching it for alone.