Author Topic: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts  (Read 469902 times)

Melvil

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9978
  • Eek
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2800 on: March 12, 2009, 08:29:16 PM »
I really liked the way the film explored that full range rather than just focusing on the most obvious "bad boy" behavior ("virgin surgeon", lying, stealing, assault).  The script and direction were very careful to highlight some more minor examples of the kids' anarchic attitudes, like spitting on the dining room table, pissing on the street, leaving an empty bottle on the sidewalk rather than carrying it inside and throwing it out, and so on.  For me, those little touches went a long in elevating the film beyond a 'juvenile delinquency movie' niche.

I will admit I think the movie did a fine job showing the culture and being devoted (relentless...oppressive) in the things it chose to show. I just question its purpose.

smirnoff

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 25013
    • smirnoff's Top 100
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2801 on: March 12, 2009, 08:30:48 PM »
I really liked the way the film explored that full range rather than just focusing on the most obvious "bad boy" behavior ("virgin surgeon", lying, stealing, assault).  The script and direction were very careful to highlight some more minor examples of the kids' anarchic attitudes, like spitting on the dining room table, pissing on the street, leaving an empty bottle on the sidewalk rather than carrying it inside and throwing it out, and so on.  For me, those little touches went a long in elevating the film beyond a 'juvenile delinquency movie' niche.

pixote

I think you definitely nailed the strength of the film. It felt completely genuine. For me that was what made it such a miserable experience. You mentioned the script, and I would say the performances were the perfect complement to it. Amazing stuff. I may not have known kids this scary when I grew up, but it sure felt real.

smirnoff

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 25013
    • smirnoff's Top 100
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2802 on: March 12, 2009, 08:32:02 PM »
I will admit I think the movie did a fine job showing the culture and being devoted (relentless...oppressive) in the things it chose to show. I just question its purpose.

I as well.

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.

pixote

  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 32996
  • Up with generosity!
    • yet more inanities!
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2803 on: March 12, 2009, 08:45:28 PM »
...I feel it's necessary to make clear just how monotonous Kids is...
One of the most impressive things about Kids, for me, is the way it captured the largely monotonous lives of its characters without becoming monotonous itself.  faceboy insisted earlier in this thread (twice!) that Kids is bad filmmaking, but I very much disagree.  There are some bad moments (the editing early on between the boys' conversation and the girls' conversation only exacerbates the script's didacticism in that sequence), but for the most part the very subtle direction is really effective at maintaining energy and engagement through these scenes, despite the unpleasantness on display.  Also, despite the nature of the characters, I think the film does a really excellent job of capturing the vibrancy of a youthful summer in the city — better than either Raising Victor Vargas or Chop Shop, for example.



The use of overlapping dialogue in the interior scenes really helps sustain the energy captured outdoors, too.

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?

pixote
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 05:34:55 AM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

jbissell

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 10885
  • What's up, hot dog?
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2804 on: March 12, 2009, 08:56:36 PM »
Smirnoff, I love your reductive poo!  ;D

The only good thing to come from Kids is Rosario.

pixote

  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 32996
  • Up with generosity!
    • yet more inanities!
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2805 on: March 12, 2009, 08:59:52 PM »
It's a highlight reel of teenage debauchery loosely tied together with a simple plot.
And the movie just doesn't have anything else to add, it's content to revel in its own deplorability.
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:






Yo, I gotta start wearing more hats!

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 32996
  • Up with generosity!
    • yet more inanities!
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2806 on: March 12, 2009, 09:01:52 PM »
The only good thing to come from Kids is Rosario.


I guess now's a good time to mention that it's a nicely photographed movie, too.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

smirnoff

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 25013
    • smirnoff's Top 100
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2807 on: March 12, 2009, 09:02:36 PM »
There are some bad moments (the editing early on between the boys' conversation and the girls' conversation only exacerbates the scripts' didacticism in that sequence), but for the most part the very subtle direction is really effective at maintaining energy and engagement through these scenes, despite the unpleasantness on display.  Also, despite the nature of the characters, I think the film does a really excellent job of capturing the vibrancy of a youthful summer in the city
Well said, I agree. It brings it all to life in a way I think rivals the best I've seen. I say subtle direction was simultaneously the biggest strength and biggest weakness. Vivid, but unwilling to take risk breaking the momentum... as if paralyzed.

Melvil

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9978
  • Eek
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2808 on: March 12, 2009, 09:03:18 PM »
I didn't think the filmmaking is bad, at times it's really quite good. The cast is also pretty good most of the time, and the dialog sometimes works for it, but not always. It became tiresome, yo, you know what I'm sayin'? :)

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?

The scene your first picture is from is one of the only times I really related to the characters, and only then because I was able to take it out of context. For the rest of it though, I can't say it touched me in any particular way.

I'm oddly finding myself agreeing with a lot of the positives being mentioned (granted many of them technical or stylistic). I guess my ultimate problem, besides the brutal experience, is there was nothing I could find to take away from it. pix, were you just more receptive to the experience, or did you get something more out of it that I didn't?

mañana

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 20871
  • Check your public library
Re: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts
« Reply #2809 on: March 12, 2009, 09:05:13 PM »
I certainly wouldn't call Kids bad filmmaking, in fact I remember a few sequences that were quite impressive. For instance the party scenes in the last act unfolds in a very natural vérité-like style that I really liked.

I think my main problem with the film is that it has nothing much to say; for me it was little more than indie/art-film does moral panic exploitation film.

And the ending is so bad.  
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 09:07:08 PM by matt the movie watcher »
There's no deceit in the cauliflower.