Sunday, September 24, 2006


High School Film Noir Mystery Movie of the Week.

This movie walks a very fine line between being really really stupid, or extraordinarily brilliant. It has the balls to try something that many film-makers would be afraid to do and runs the risk of falling flat on its face. But if you don't take a risk every once in a while, you never make anything that's different, or new, or unusual. As for me, I think it succeeds at being cool.

I hate telling you what this movie is about. If you follow the link above to the imdb site, you can read the film synopsis - regardless, here goes: I high school loner infiltrates the underworld of the school crime ring to find out what happened to his ex-girlfriend.

Well that doesn't sound too exciting.

The are a couple safe ways to handle this plot. "Safe" meaning, "let's not take any chances. Let's just get it into the theaters for as little money as possible." One way would be to take the "Mod Squad" approach. That is, go undercover, join the crime ring, find out the culprit, get close to them, and exact your revenge. That would be the easy way out - as if this were a laborious chore that had to get done, instead of art. They could also have made a "Beverly Hills 90210" type of movie. Let's be glad that they didn't. No, the powers in charge here take a different approach - that is - they decided to make a period film - but in present time. The story takes place in present time, but everybody talks (all the dialogue) as if they were in a 40's, hard boiled detective movie. Think of Humphrey Bogart and the Maltese Falcon - except that he's in high school and has to solve the case during study hall. Philip Marlowe meets John Hughes.

This movie is slick, original, and great fun. Here's why I think you should give it a try.
  1. High coolness factor.
  2. There's a character called "The Brain", and guess what? He's smart!
  3. Meet me this afternoon and we'll follow Laura and see if she leads us to the Kingpin. - uh, can we do it at 3:30? Seventh period doesn't get out until 3:15.
  4. This quote:
    I betcha you got every rat in town together and said show your hands if any of 'em actually seen the Pin, we'd get a crowd of full pockets.
  5. SHAFT! He's a mean m........ (shut your mouth) - I'm just talkin' bout SHAFT.
  6. Fun collection of classic character types. Heavies, femme fatales, dimwits, and masterminds.
  7. This quote:
    (I trust you) less than when I didn't trust you before.
  8. The bad guys aren't all that bad. The good guys aren't all that good. Be careful who you root for.
  9. A parody of film noir would have been funny. That the film-makers took the material seriously throughout, preserves the feel of the genre. Cool!
  10. They have a "sit down" at the crime lord's house, where his mom serves Tang.
  11. The ending is classic - it makes one smile in spite of oneself.
Make some popcorn, mix up some Tang, and
Enjoy Brick.


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