Monday, May 6, 2013

"So, What Did You Think?"

As you might imagine, last Saturday was overwhelming in the best way. What a surprise to find Trouble himself Brian Blush sitting right behind me in the theater. General mayhem ensued. Good to see my old roomy and cohort again.

So, the movie. 

There was so much to like, it's hard to know where to start. The biggest surprise was that each principle actor nailed his moment or two to say what his character believes in. I'm thinking of Lola's dialog about Paris, Gad's "musical epiphany," Lance's "drums and basketball," and Hote's "what makes a good band good" moments. Hote's really a blank slate (or map, tehee) at the beginning of the movie, despite his chest thumping. He's looking for the way forward in his life, and all these characters help him figure it out. Funny, but it's baby Franco who teaches him the most. Way to escape the crib, Hote

And how about that baby, eh? What a little charmer! A natural actor if I've ever seen one. I chuckled every time he popped up.

Funny was not in short supply. Four of my favorite moments, two scripted, two not:

1) Digs Ven, when Hote buys him a beer: "You're not gay, are you?"

2) The four-way stop scene when Hote is walking from Lola's to Lance's place to get his car;

3) Hote whispering in Gad's ear while Gad meditates: "You're fuckin weird." (Maybe my favorite moment.)

4) Hote, when Lance offers up one too many "Santanic"s: "You seriously need to stop that." 

And there were some beautiful shots too. I'm partial to that one of Hote squatting in front of Papago Park, but there were others, including the closing shot. Tres beau!

Some of the flaws of the film are obvious, and from what I gather, easily fixable. Here are the ones I haven't heard mentioned:

1) I felt like the "Two Weeks Earlier" backstory dragged and could be pared down considerably. These scenes went down late in the writing phase, and over-explained just about everything. I blame the writer.

2) The scenes overall felt long. I found myself squeezing my armrest when scenes kept going. Every stroll from car to house/apt. door, for example, could be pared down. The 5/2 version is 100 minutes, but this thing could rip your head off at 80-90.  

These are small. The last thing Nico and Co. need right now are 300 voices telling them what to do. Still, those are my two pesos

If you missed the premiere, there's another showing at ASU this Friday, and it's free!

Thanks a thousandfold to Nico and everyone who made this movie as wonderful and touching and rockin' as it is. Kel and I were chatting about it all the way home.

What did you think? Favorite part? Least favorite? 
Yours in laying down the law,


Check out the Trailer for Stuck Outside of Phoenix the Movie, which will premiere in Tempe in early 2013.

Or try Stuck Outside of Phoenix in print form for just $5.

Or try Stuck for your Kindle for just $2.99.


Rabbinator said...

I did find myself thinking that some of the scenes dragged on. The walking scenes specifically, while great to show the sights of Arizona (I was impressed with the whole part with the Mill, especially the lack of anachronism which I'm sure was difficult to avoid), I felt that all the walking didn't really explain much. It was just walking. Normally introspection occurs, but it seemed to fall short in this case.

The "two weeks later" part was, indeed, too long. I have to wonder why the mother was introduced in that conversation, as she never shows up in the movie again. It seems superfluous.

However, the movie did strike a lot of chords. The whole progression of HOte and Franco was phenomenal, from the initial cockblock to him caring for the child was a great illustration of growth.

I have to say my favorite part of the movie was the end. Having not yet read the book (blasphemous, I know) I did not expect Hote's decision, and something about it really satisfied me.

The part of the movie that bothered me was when the characters were "playing" guitar. It distracted me from the scene as it was painfully obvious they weren't playing. In a movie about music, I expected them to at least fake it better.

The movie as a whole (despite my nitpicking) was phenomenal. It solidified all the stories I grew up with. It brought to life the scene and time I spent my teens desperately trying to be a part of. It was emotional, specifically, because it helped me see what my father experienced. It helped me to understand better how many of my idols (the members of the Refreshments, mostly) came to be who they are.

My favorite moment in the entire movie? Fizzy fuzzy.

Art Edwards said...

So much I agree with here, Bunny. My sense is the editing was thorough at the beginning and more slapdash at the end. The irony is the end seems more edited for story. One pass eliminating anything that seems superfluous would probably solve the problem, and I believe it will happen.

I forgot about the Fizzy Fuzzy reference. I think I need to see it again. No doubt I'll get the chance.