Author Topic: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts  (Read 468183 times)

smirnoff

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2810 on: March 12, 2009, 09:06:08 PM »
Just curious:  Even though you wouldn't want to hang out with these particular kids, I imagine, did the film conjure up memories of hanging out with groups of friends or, in a way, make you jealous of the despicable character on screen?

It sure did conjure up memories. God, makes me remember how hard it can be at that age. But make me jealous? You know, at one time I might've even looked up to kids like this. But I'm 24 now. At this point I'm pretty much shouting "get off my lawn!" :)

jbissell

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2811 on: March 12, 2009, 09:09:26 PM »
But I'm 24 now. At this point I'm pretty much shouting "get off my lawn!" :)

Seriously, I hated the film when I was 15, hated it even more when I was 20.  I can't even imagine how much a 25-year-old me would hate it.

smirnoff

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2812 on: March 12, 2009, 09:10:13 PM »
I'm oddly finding myself agreeing with a lot of the positives being mentioned (granted many of them technical or stylistic).
Same here.

Or maybe not so odd. But yeah. I'll definitely give it credit, where it's due.


pixote

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2813 on: March 12, 2009, 09:21:28 PM »
It's said Kids is cautionary tale, made to show us the kinds of things young teens end up doing when they have nothing else to do. Okay, what else? The answer is, nothing. This movie could've been made into a short public service announcement and achieved just as much. You know those World's Wildest Police Chase shows, it's the same gimmick here, only this is the perverted teenage version. It's above and beyond what is necessary to make the point, but unlike police chases this isn't fun to watch. And I'm not even sure I believe this movie is meant as a wake up call. I find the lack of moral reckoning is cause for suspicion. It makes me wonder about the director. He seems content to merely observe. It's like he wanted to make a documentary, but since a documentary wouldn't be as graphic he made a movie instead. I find the whole thing a rather dubious accomplishment.
I think the film is at its worst is whenever is slips into either of those two modes — PSA mode or "oh, you thought that was bad, wait till you see this!" mode.  Telly's first bit of narration about how much he loves himself some virgins teetered on the brink of the latter, but the way the "Kids" title card slammed in there at the end salvaged that moment I thought, actually making me laugh out loud.  (I read it as a parody of like the classic "Kids these days..." grumblings of an old person.)  The one glaring "after school special" moment was at the clinic.  In fairness to the film, clinics do sort of operate in "after school special" mode, so that was actually a bit of realism, but I still think it was sort of a mistake.

Those two examples are sort of minor.  It's the last scene between Casper and Jennie that really undercuts the film for me.  It actually feels like a cop-out, like Korine just didn't know how to write the confrontation between Jennie and Telly that the film has been building towards (probably rationalizing that such a scene would be too conventional), so instead he opted for shock value, trying to one-up all the behavior that has come before.  "Okay, I'll have him rape her while she's passed out.  Wait, that's not enough.  I'll have him do it in a room full of passed out people.  Better yet, we'll put one of the younger kids on the same couch, and as Casper rapes TellyJennie (lol), the motion will jostle the kid in his sleep.  Oh, perfect, that'll shock the hell out of the audience!"  Except it's not shocking at all because it's the most fake and constructed moment in the entire film, replete with empty irony and cheapening much of what came before.

The elegiac shots of the morning streets that follow up that scene are really nice, though—



—but the final shot of Casper asking, "What just happened?" or whatever reminded me way too much of Reefer Madness



—not in a good way.

pixote
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 05:38:24 AM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

smirnoff

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2814 on: March 12, 2009, 09:24:37 PM »
Hmm, interesting.  I never (or maybe rarely) felt like the film was revelling in the actions of its characters.  That's what I liked about those little moments like spitting on the table or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, giving some change to "I got no legs" guy on the subway.  It made all of these actions of a piece, presented neutrally without value judgments.  There was almost a National Geographic vibe to it all, just photographing the animals in their element:

An interesting point. After what is the point of a National Geo movie if not to observe. Observing is the purpose. I think where I get hung up is that these are human beings. I can watch chimps cannibalize their young, or ducks drown their offspring out of the need to survive. But I can't watch Telly deflower another virgin because "that's all he has to live for" (he says something like that).

In my opinion, Kids should never have been included in the bracket in the first place. It's like assigning an instruction manual or brochure to be read for a book club. It's is for a certain audience. It is almost over before it finally offers up it's only useful message. Give our youth something to do, or they'll get in trouble. Imo the tracks were laid for that train in the first 5 minutes! Unfortunately, the movie proceeds to beat you, vigorously. By the time it gets to the point, the moment of receptiveness has long since passed. The message, though an important one, is too meagre to justify this movie.

smirnoff

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2815 on: March 12, 2009, 09:26:59 PM »
Better yet, we'll put one of the younger kids on the same couch, and as Casper rapes Telly, the motion will jostle the kid in his sleep.

Wait what? Now THAT would've been an ending! You just one upped Korine.  ;)

mañana

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2816 on: March 12, 2009, 09:29:49 PM »
The elegiac shots of the morning streets that follow up that scene are really nice, though—

I remember really not liking that sequence with Telly's voice over, it felt really clumsy to me. But I haven't seen the movie in more than 10 years so I can't really give much detail here.

—but the final shot of Casper asking, "What just happened?" or whatever reminded me way too much of Reefer Madness

—not in a good way.

Among the worst endings ever.
There's no deceit in the cauliflower.

mañana

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2817 on: March 12, 2009, 09:30:30 PM »
Wait what? Now THAT would've been an ending! You just one upped Korine.  ;)

 :D
There's no deceit in the cauliflower.

Melvil

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2818 on: March 12, 2009, 09:31:11 PM »
Hmm, interesting.  I never (or maybe rarely) felt like the film was revelling in the actions of its characters.  That's what I liked about those little moments like spitting on the table or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, giving some change to "I got no legs" guy on the subway.  It made all of these actions of a piece, presented neutrally without value judgments.  There was almost a National Geographic vibe to it all, just photographing the animals in their element:

I see your point, and I did appreciate some of the smaller moments. Unfortunately, the movie seemed much more interested in spending 5 minutes watching 8 year olds smoke weed than developing the characters beyond atrocious act after atrocious act. :P

I do mostly agree with your account of the ending. At the same time, I appreciated that it decided to do something like that (not necessarily that). I read the statement as; You know what? In life there's not going to be a big conclusive moment that neatly ties everything up. This shit is bad, and it's going to keep on being bad, and that's all there is.

Melvil

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Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2819 on: March 12, 2009, 09:33:37 PM »
Hmm, interesting.  I never (or maybe rarely) felt like the film was revelling in the actions of its characters.  That's what I liked about those little moments like spitting on the table or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, giving some change to "I got no legs" guy on the subway.  It made all of these actions of a piece, presented neutrally without value judgments.  There was almost a National Geographic vibe to it all, just photographing the animals in their element:

An interesting point. After what is the point of a National Geo movie if not to observe. Observing is the purpose. I think where I get hung up is that these are human beings. I can watch chimps cannibalize their young, or ducks drown their offspring out of the need to survive. But I can't watch Telly deflower another virgin because "that's all he has to live for" (he says something like that).

And my problem there, is that at least a documentary or National Geographic special would be real, and therefore maybe mean something. Kids isn't real, so what's the point?