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The singer from a tribute band gets called in to front the band he's been paying tribute to and gets a taste of real-life rock-and-roll glamour and decadence. Sounds like a great setup for a movie, and indeed it was: 2001's Rock Star (based on the story of Tim "Ripper" Owens, the tribute singer who joined Judas Priest) was a revealing little rock flick, with enough backstage glimpses to make it a good contact buzz even for non-Priest fans.

Because Judas Priest broke the ice, it wasn't big news when Journey turned to YouTube to find Manila native Arnel Pineda, who replaced Steve Perry as lead singer in 2008 (Yes and Styx made similar moves). So this film is basically a non-fictionalized Rock Star — but less fun because, well, it's Journey. There's no sex or drugs, just a lot of professionalism. Pineda proves early on that he can handle the task of sounding just like Steve Perry, and that's it for suspense. The rest is more about Pineda's personal story than about the band, and though it's an admirable tale (he grew up in a broken home and is now happily married after a divorce and a bout with drinking), it isn't all that interesting.

Fans of Journey's music are likely to lose patience, since the band play only one complete song, at the very end. There is, however, one backstage scene where Pineda meets up with Jason Scheff, better known for two decades as the guy who replaced Peter Cetera in Chicago, and it's a priceless bit of replacement bonding.

Related: Review: Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno, Review: Last Train Home, Review: Katy Perry: Part of Me, More more >
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ARTICLES BY BRETT MILANO
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