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|Index||20 reviews in total|
There is so much here to praise, where to begin?
Writing the equal of Woody Allen's sharpest urbanity. Story woven with understory interleaved with back-story. Non-stop desert-dry humor delivered with cutting but subtle irony. (E.G. the scene in which the subway girl at the Halloween party looks at Felix and says, "Are you always this funny?".)
Acting so natural it could not have been acting.
Photography and lighting primitive but perfect. Sound quality excellent. Editing expert and effective.
Like a layer of transparent frosting, in nearly every scene the filmmaker smears mockery over the film itself and its characters. And yet, after being immersed in a seemingly non-stop train wreck of sarcasm which eventually mildly sprained my sense of humor, at the final scene I cried.
Reality TV wishes it might maybe someday approach this level of authenticity.
I will always cherish this film and those shining talents who created it.
It's an intricate piece of deeply disturbing fluff that hooked me at 3am on IFC and forced me to watch it over and over again. I want to marry Carlos Jacott just for being Felix. Look, I understand that some people have found this movie to be "pointless" and "frustrating", it's very hard for some people to let go of the need for traditional story structure and endless back story and meet cutes. Maybe you don't know people like those in the movie but I do and I hope to meet more of them. At the end of the day who would you rather hang out with: Felix or Federline? I thought so. Sometimes a little highbrow cynicism goes a long way and sometimes tuneless karaoke is more moving than that song they can't stop playing when they salute the exiting American Idols.
I originally rented this film because I am a big Anna Sciorra fan, and was extremely disappointed that she had such a small role. But believe it or not, this simple little film includes some of the wittiest and funniest scenes/dialogue I have ever seen. You need to watch it a couple of times to pick up on a lot of things, but it is well worth it. Felix's story about Phillip's child is as funny as it gets... And the one liners are amazing - seriously, check out this film, and let me know what you think. "Everybody Felix... It's Felix's Birthday!" It is spectacular!!!
That Ernie Fusco! What a character! He makes such funny films! HIGHBALL is no exception. I love this witty, underlit, six-day wonder so much! If you've seen any of Fusco's other films, then you know what you're in for. Just one question, who the heck is Noah Baumbach? See this movie. It'll make you want to be a big lizard next Halloween.
I could talk about what's wrong with this movie but the most important thing is I laughed out loud several times. That makes it worth the time I spent watching it and I would do it again. Oh yes, don't expect there to be any point to what is going on - there is none.
If this were a student film, I would understand, but it's not. The
takes a pseudonym because, well at least I believe, because it's an
experiment gone very wrong. I'll make a list
1. The lighting, blunt, bullying, washout. It's almost unnerving to watch as if a science fiction.
2. No story served with a never ending plate of hit or miss bon mots. I call it self-indulgent. I won't lie to you and say there aren't flashes of wit and charm... there are, but I find that this film is very much like what it shows: a person who tries too hard and has you cornered at a party.
3. The set... it's soooo dark. Why? Do you want me to have a nervous breakdown instead of laughing which is the intent I assume.
4. Noah Bambaugh has made me laugh a lot in his other films. All the while, I felt that he had the potential to go off the rails into the realm of pretentiousness, banal, insufferable New York upper east/west side intellectual hipster dreck. In the previous films he created memorable, earnest characters and a plot. Not this time... without story you are left with nothing.
I just watched this film and I was amazed at what an effect It had on me. It was very funny and weird, but most of all it was true. The writing was sharp and often hilarious, but the performances are what really pull it off. I often say that Chris Eigeman steals any movie he is in, but it doesn't happen in this movie. All the actors hit the right mark to create something that is rare in current independant films. No one in this film over or under acts. If you love dialogue driven comedies with some fine nuanced perfomances (ie Whit Stillman, kicking & screaming) you'll enjoy this flick.
Highball Director: Noah Baumbach
This is a really good movie for people who have an off beat sense of humor. 3 parties take place; a birthday(for grumpy Felix) a Halloween(2 people dressed in the same giant lizard costume,confusion ensues hilariously) and a New Year's Eve(Rae Dawn Chong comes dressed as a cat,naturally) I'm pretty sure no one had heard of Noah Baumbach when this movie came out but now that the Squid and the Whale did so well for him, he's going to be working more(I hope) You should do yourself a favor and see this indie film, if only to hear the excellent music by LUNA in the interludes. Cameos: Ally Sheedy,Rae dawn Chong and Dean Wareham of LUNA.
It's a nice surprise to see so many famous names get together for a (very) low budget film like this (the end credits celebrate its being filmed in just six days). Even nicer than that is the incredibly witty dialogue and situations that are so perfectly satirized at a party. This film follows a group of couples (and the permutations therein) and their friends at three parties- a housewarming, Hallowe'en, and New Years. You've been to one of these parties. You know these people. There's the insufferable prick that keeps getting invited, theres the Grudge between two guys, there's the ex-girlfriend dating someone else now... etc. It's a BRILLIANTLY funny movie, and there it gets funnier each time you watch it- too many of them go over your head the first time round.
I can't believe how much I laughed out loud at this movie. The comic energy that they managed to capture is outstanding. I just saw it recently and keep laughing when I remember certain moments- like Justine Bateman's shifting while the girl is talking about how she "used to love a gay man." I almost peed myself.
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