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|Index||13 reviews in total|
My mom worked in a mental ward for teenagers, and this movie captures that environment very well (the writer either worked in one or did his research). Amy Locaine is so sweet and screwed up at the same time. Mr. Beasty Boy does a good job as the confused protag, and I especially like how the story and filmmarkers don't judge these kids with speeches about morals from the adult characters -- but instead ask hard questions like: "What do you want [in your life]?" Sutherland is great in his role and totally believable. Worth a rent or watching on cable. Too bad this movie didn't get more attention.
Really a sweet movie - yes, VERY formulaic, but that does not
disqualify any film. Plot - OK, crap. But Sutherland and Horowitz (yes,
the guy from Beastie Boys and son of the famous playwright) do well by
the roles they are given.
It is the gentle attention that the director give to the characters that makes the movie for me. The two main characters are cast in a very typical ("Ordinary People") situation, but they transcend it with their performances. Sutherland could easily have coasted through this movie for the paycheck, but doesn't. Adam Horowitz could have just posed and postured - but doesn't.
Or I'm nuts - could be. There is no harm, however, in a feel-good story that doesn't cheat on the difficulties of the characters' situations or their needs. This plot may speed past them, but the performances give them depth.
Honest sentiment is no crime - and I would claim that Sutherland and Horowitz give nuanced performances (not exactly typical for either).
I only watched this movie because Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys was in this movie. What I found is a very realistic (until the end) movie about suburban teenage angst. Horovitz plays the lead, who ends up getting institutionalized because his parents are too busy. Horovitz surprised me by his acting skills as his anger was shown strongly. He is in need of fitting in, and that's where his step-brother comes in and influences him to get out of the institution and wreak havoc with him. His love interest is institutionalized too, but when she is free, she is stuck at home drugged out, with her mom not caring for her. Donald Sutherland plays the institution's only caring person. He says "Yeah, they care. They care for a couple hours because they're paid to care." That's another conflict in this movie is his caring for his patients, but it strains his relationship with his real family. This movie is very strong, and shows the pain of being a rich teen in suburban L.A. with no support of the family. I just feel the ending was a cheap cop out to a very good movie.
The focus on juvenile rehabilitation gets a fresh look in this
sometimes edgy, raw inside and outside look at juvenile delinquency.
The movie hasn't aged particularly well, especially the beginning
portion of the movie which seems more like a WEST SIDE STORY
(1961)rumble without the love conflict. While the detention center or
youth rehabilitation centers has some good moments and in places has an
excellent authentic feel without the exaggerated, stereotyping, it
nevertheless doesn't follow-through on the actual substance of
rehabilitation and the audience gets a tourist version of a visit to
your local center inside. Another problem is the title of the movie
LOST ANGELS that seem to imply an ensemble movie with a focus a various
angels who are lost in Lost Angeles where the movie is taking place,
much like THE BREAKFAST CLUB (1985). Donald Sutherland's character
seems to have a lot of problems of his own, so much so that the focus
on the main theme of the movies gets sideswiped unlike the more focused
relational themes between client and therapist and observing how the
interaction evolves in a more authentic and meaningful manner as in
GOOD WILL HUNTING (1997) between Robin William's therapist
identification with Matt Damon's rebellious genius from the poor
neighborhood or even PRIME (2000), a comic treatment of a therapeutic
relationship starring Oscar award winning Meryl Streep. Cuba Gooding
Jr., also had a strong performance as a therapist, but in this case in
a prison setting with Anthony Hopkins as an inmate in INSTINCT (1999).
Ultimately this movie seems to transform itself into a coming of movie
with juvenile rehabilitation more of a setting than an integral part of
the movie, as the resolution of this movie seems to come more from
outside of the center than within unlike what occurred with 28 DAYS
(2000) where Sandra Bullock's character seems to take a lot from her
alcohol rehabilitation. GIRL, INTERRUPTED (1999) where Angelina Jolie's
character gets a heavy does of theatrical drama in her rehabilitation
center is both traditional, yet stylistically more effective than this
more low-key version.
Overall, this therapeutic drama as less about rehabilitation from where most movies of this genre derive its strength but from the mean streets of personal experience and the resulting consequences. There is a gritty relationship scenario that occurs in this movie that is particularly effective. But the editing seems unbalanced and somewhat erratic, the voice-over while fascinating but doesn't seem to be used consistently and with as much power of effect as possible such as with THE INFORMANT! (2009) where Matt Damons gets a delicious, running, self-talk through out the movie.
All you really need to know about this movie is that its the first time I ever saw Michael Bolton in a movie. No, not the singer, but the character from Office Space. He plays a minor role as a wise ass in rehab named Carlo. He has some really funny lines and is a good example of the different kind of rebellious teens the 80's produced. You can see how we all became underachievers and slackers by watching this movie. It has a pretty good message about joint income families producing lazy, drug addicted, sex crazed, hyper active, non attentive kids. The movie isnt that great, but the insite into what was going on in the wake of Reaganomics is really important. Its a good capstone for movies like repo man, rad, thrashin, less than zero, and so on. Not that theres much in common here, but the genre is the same. This movie is pretty much an expanded after school special. But the gang and club scenes are great. Theres some decent dialogue and some 80's music. Its worth renting if your from this era, most younger wont get it, most older wont understand. 7 of 10*'s
I was really moved by this movie. I grew up in similar circumstances and was really able to relate to what was happening to the character. Growing up in the city around drugs crime can really wear a kid thin. If you don't make the right choices you'll end up either dead or in jail. This movie portrayed exactly that, but it's happy ending was unnecessary.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Funny how I got to see this movie. I saw in the news currently that Amy
Locane is in court regarding a DUI death in 2010, so I looked up her
movies and found this one on Netflix streaming movies. It is of teenage
angst in Southern California, kids wanting to be tough and members of
Adam Horovitz (who went on to an extensive musical career since this movie) was 17-ish Tim 'Chino' Doolan. He gets in trouble, along with a teen girl, and this particular episode ends with the girl's family's car in the pool. They both end up in a juvenile facility. The girl is Amy Locane, really still in her teens, as Cheryl Anderson. This was her first movie role.
Donald Sutherland is one of the 'shrinks', Dr. Charles Loftis, and the only one who really cares about the kids and their potential rehabilitation. He and Chino end up in a love-hate relationship, where he keeps giving Chino chances and Chino fails to keep his word.
Don Bloomfield is the bad half-brother, Andy 'Natas' Doolan, who keeps getting Chino into trouble. Their rivals are the Latino population, they call themselves D.A.B. (dead at birth) Kids, and Loftis notes that it is 'B-A-D' spelled backwards.
It is a movie of teen angst and possible redemption. It kept my interest, and it was nice to see Amy Locane in her first movie role.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Lost Angels" may well be director David Hudson's best film. Perhaps,
the first-rate script by Michael Weller is the strongest aspect to this
work. Well composed cinematography by Juan Anchia and editing by David
Gladwell cover some deficiencies in acting by Adam Horvitz, who seems a
bit overwhelmed by his role as one of two protagonists. Amy Locaine is
a fine young actress on this work. As always, Donald Sutherland
provides an excellent foundation for the film. He provides a strong
sense of reality, as he does in "Ordinary People." Still, this is not
the quality film that "Less Than Zero" or "Say Anything", excellent
movies that it resembles, are. Most certainly, this is not "Ordinary
People", another related film.
Location shooting in San Antonio hurts because that city does not resemble Los Angeles, the setting for the film. I worked for a psychiatric hospital that treated adolescents. This film depicts that ambiance well. It is accurate. This is an excellent choice for viewing.
I found the movie to be very interesting.
It is about the complexities involved with living in the 80's in southern California.
The southern California area, this movie deals with, has those societal dynamics because of the different cultures involved.
Someone that is not a citizen of southern California might find the movie hard to relate to but it is still worth seeing.
If you want a window into what sometimes happens here in southern California you must see the movie.
How do I know? I lived a similar life.
Adam Horowitz a.k.a. King AdRock of the Beastie Boys puts in a surprisingly good performance as a troubled teen here, but overall the film is pretty unremarkable. King AdRock and Donald Sutherland? That lineup has cult classic written all over it, but unfortunately, there really ain't a whole lot going on here. There are some great scenes where Adrock gets mad, gets in fights or complains about things, but they are the only high points. Worth watching if you're a Beasties fan, if only to see that Adrock is actually a good actor, but that's it. The film is slow moving and very serious and not even Adrock and Donald Sutherland can save it. Adrock should get back into acting, he's funny as hell, too.
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