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SubUrbia More at IMDbPro »

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Better than expected – well written and performed to produce an interesting character piece on the youth of suburbia

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
11 December 2005

In a small American town a group of friends have little to do other than hang around on the corner outside a convenience store drinking. Some have ambitions, some have none but they are all still there, much to the chagrin of the owner. Their empty lives are challenged though when a former classmate who has gone on to become a famous musician returns to the area for a gig and drops back to the corner to say hello.

I was a bit worried that this would be a rather lacking comedy from Richard Linklater and was pleasantly surprised to find a well written drama played out in this rather stagy film. The plot is not really that strong but it doesn't matter because the story is in the characters and their lives; it is a direction that needed good writing and fortunately Bogosian has done a good job of making these characters convincingly real while also turning it into a look at the nature of life in suburbia. It does go to extremes in terms of plot devices and the events of one night but it still works well on both levels. I'm sure not everyone will enjoy the direction it takes but for me it was interesting to et to know the characters and see them change and interact over the course of the night.

The cast sounded like a risk on paper but they actually do well and generally give good performances. Ribisi stops his character being a spoilt member of the "whatever" generation and, although he is that, he brings more out as well. Zahn is his usual annoying self but this time it is intentional and, in that regard I guess he did a good job. Bartok is a bit wishy-washy for his character whereas Katt actually fits pretty well. Support from Naidu, Carey, Posey and the rest is all pretty good and they support the film's focus on character and the look at suburban life for this generation. Linklater tries his best to move the action around and make good use of his locations but the stage roots of the script shows through and it does feel very stiff and stagy for the majority.

Overall this is not a perfect film but it is much more interesting and engaging than I expected it to be. The characters may not be to everyone's liking (which will be a problem for many viewers) but they are still well written and well delivered by the mixed cast. Worth seeing and I'm glad I took the risk.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Linklater stumbles with this film

Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England
13 November 2005

I'm a big fan of Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, as well as the excellent, yet little known 'Tape' - but this film, SubUrbia (silly 'U' in the title), doesn't live up to the high standard of the latter mentioned films. Linklater obviously has respect for drama and dialogue, but he's let himself down here because a lot of the action and words in the film are silly, and delivered by a bunch of caricatures. We've got the irritating feminist, the famous guy trying to hang out with his old friends, a rich bitch with a heart of gold, a drunk who cant take his beer, a drunk who can, a girl out of rehab and a guy who holds everything together, simply by being more drab than the rest of them. The cast try their best with their characters, and the film isn't 'boring' - but it stinks of a decent film striving for greatness, and it never even nearly achieves it. The plot is basically about a bunch of Americans 'kids' that hang around parking lots, as they have nothing else to do. The film takes place around the same time that some guy they used to know, now a big rock star, is coming home to 'hang out' with them.

Not much of this film is really believable. I don't think that Giovanni Ribisi's character would ever go out with the irritating feminist, for example, and a series of things like this make the film really difficult to get along with. The film is based on a play by Eric Bogosian, so it's unfair to blame Linklater (who I actually like) for the film's shortcomings with the characters; but to be fair, his direction is lethargic and doesn't really get along with the hip style that the film feels like it should have. Most of the characters are annoying rather than likable, and this means that by the time of the ending; you really don't care what happens. This is made worse by the fact that this is one of those 'ambiguous' films that leaves itself wide open at the end. Writers really need to learn when to, and when not to, use an ending like this. Ambiguous endings simply don't work when it doesn't matter what happens, and rather than making you think as the writer intended; it just turns you off. I appreciate this film a little because I like dialogue; but to be honest, there isn't a lot I can recommend it for. I do like the song, "A Town Without Pity", used in the opening credits though.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This movie was very, very well done.

Author: john-1772 from United States
4 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There are 72 comments for this movie so I guess this will be 73. It's 1:46 am and I'm really tired so I'm not going to read anymore. I was compelled to open the laptop as the credits rolled; WOW: I wanted to know more.... I read 8 comments; the first 7 were favorable and then there was number 8. It wasn't, so I was inspired to leave this comment to bring the curve up: This movie was very, very well done. The acting was unbelievably good. In fact, I don't believe it was acting. The girl tap dancing and that drunk guy. No way. He really was drunk. That girl really does want to move to NY. This was a true story. Either that or the writer, director, and actors have created something so close to real life that, well, . Let's put it this way. This movie isn't a painting. It's a high resolution photograph. It played well for me since I'm asking myself the questions it raised; this movie may not please a real life upper middle class girl from Bel-Air, but it might.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: ryanhearst from canada
28 October 2003

I saw this movie a few years ago, it was one of the best films i have ever seen. The fact that this was not a blockbuster hit made this movie just that much better. Defentily worth seeing. If you are a Giovanni Ribisi fan, this movie is for you, he plays an outstanding role.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A good movie with strong performances

Author: rbverhoef ( from The Hague, Netherlands
21 August 2003

'subUrbia' is about bored people in a boring suburb called Burnfield. "I can't believe you still live here," says the only person of the group of friends who actually did leave. His name is Pony (Jayce Bartok), he left and became a rock star. As the movie opens his old friends are waiting for him on a parking lot next to a supermarket owned by Pakistanis (Ajay Naidu and Samia Shoaib). His old friends include Jeff (Giovanni Ribisi) and his girlfriend Sooze (Amie Carey), the crazy Buff (Steve Zahn), Tim (Nicky Katt) who is starting to be an alcoholic and Bee-Bee (Dina Spybey), a former alcoholic. They talk about whether Pony will arrive in a limo or not, they drink a lot, they get in a fight with the Pakistanis. They all seem like losers wasting their lives, although Sooze is about to leave for New York to go to an art school. Jeff seems to be smarter than the others but he is wasting time as much as them. Then Pony arrives with his publicist Erica (Parker Posey) and they continue with their talking. And their drinking. And their time-wasting. Some other interesting things do happen.

Here is a movie where the characters could be real people. The rock star Pony for example doesn't think of himself as the big man, like most characters like him do. Buff is getting more wasted and more crazy every second in a way I have seen it for real. There was one scene where he takes something that doesn't belong to him and I laughed hard because I recognized the situation very good. The dialogue in the movie feels as real as it can be in a movie and the performances are all very good. Especially Giovanni Ribisi, Steve Zahn and Ajay Naidu give great performances. Sometimes it is pretty intense and disturbing but it is probably very true. I can imagine real people doing the same kind of stupid things, the same kind of wasting their lives. With the very good direction from Richard Linklater ('Dazed and Confused', 'Tape') this is an interesting movie.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

grrr....the pits!!!

Author: beccaroon1978 from home
29 July 2003

It is quite possible that this is the worst movie ever made....I love Parker Posey but that was the ONLY asset to the seriously made my skin crawl with all the whining and cursing....That was all the movie was about.... There were no "Meaningful" moments I honestly couldn't find any real "Meaning " to even having made that film....

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A great great drama movie!

Author: kent ( from Sweden
20 October 2002

I actually saw this on on Tv just now (15 mins ago) and I got really impressed! I was stunned by this one!

This movie is based on the conversation and dynamic between the characters. It is almost only conversation and it is so beautifully done. A great script and dialogue and great directing. The director really got a great "atmosphere" and feeling into this movie. It is a serious and intelligent drama that really got me thinking.

It really sent the message of isolation, and the longing to get away from the "dead" suburb. With little means they create a tense and interesting dynamic and overall a intersting film, from the beginning to the end. The acting is great form all involved.

I really cant explain it all in words, but I definetly would recommend this one! Go see it and as long as you have a somewhat developed taste in movies (not the average "Armageddon lovers" that is) you will probably like, if not love, this one!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

How can you idiots call this a comedy?

Author: killallhumans from Le Darkroom
27 September 2002

Has its funny moments (to me)

but it hardly comes across as a comedy, or preachy, or.. even MEANT to be entertaining.. look, i'm relatively sure R. Linklater didn't have any grand notions about doing "important" social commentary when he made this, he probably just believed in the play by Eric Bogosian, and i'm glad he did.. to me, the film has a lot to say, a lot of messages.. but to try and summarize it, to try and distill ONE "meaning" out of it is just rather silly..

sure, i like the performances, and Steve Zahn is damn entertaining in it, but.. didn't you know people like this? or weren't you or aren't you one? maybe i'm reaching...... the title is pretty apt, as SubUrbia is short for suburban utopia, and utopia is an idea that can never exist in reality.. rather ironic, now, but the developers who coined the suburbia term back in the 50's (??) i'm sure thought it more than simply some clever marketing ploy; i'm sure they really thought suburbia was some great idea.. well humanity is kind of a long line of failures, for the most part, isn't it? sure, there are geniuses amongst the billions of idiots, also, but without the idiots what basis would there be for qualifying someone as genius? ok, i'm drifting..

to call it a bad movie is rather shortsighted.. if it annoys you, great! i don't think it's meant to be light entertainment.. and as i said, i don't think it's meant to be grand social commentary on the state of much of ameriKKKa, but it's hardly a film that spoonfeeds you a message - if it seems to then you've probably got it wrong, and you should go fall off a cliff and do the rest of us a favor so that we don't have to be subjected to the opinions of mouth-breathing halfwits like so many of you humans are..

giovanni ribisi turns in a good performance too, as does nicky katt and parker posey.. come to think of it, i can't fault any of the acting.. i just don't see how anyone can call it a BAD film - are there any plot holes? no. are there any badly exposed scenes? no. are there any explosions, any bits of eye-candy, any filler for halfwits to eat up and be tittilated by? hardly, but maybe that's why some peoples dislike it.. there are no easy answers, people, and the sooner you admit that, perhaps the better.. i seem to like this film more each time i see it, much as i do Slacker, Dazed & Confused, and Waking Life.. i haven't seen The Newton Boys, and i'm not too infatuated by Before Sunrise, but i did think it quite well executed, and there's some interesting ideas in that one, too, along with good performances from ethan hawke and julie delpy.. Tape was cool, too.. but i didn't mean to go on about all the other Linklater films i'm aware of.. this one has certainly got a lot of things about it which could be called 'trademarks' of his films, though..

so, before you listen to anyone who tells you it's crap, perhaps you might take a look at it for yourself, and realize that people usually tell you their opinion, but rarely can anyone say definitively that a film is BAD, and be correct about it..

i thought lord of the rings was a bad movie - the score wouldn't let up, and it certainly didn't add much.. sean astin and elijah wood are downright annoying, and i much prefer the BOOKS in the case of that story.. oh well, they want to make $$$$$$$$$ now, don't they

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Suburbia review

Author: steve-855 from PA
8 August 2002

Suburbia is a very memorable film filled with deep, well written characters by playwright/screenwriter Eric Bogosian.

It revolves around a group of disenfranchised 20 somethings hanging around a local convenience store in fictional Burnfield, during a night in which an old friend turned succesful rock musician (Jayce Burtok) returns to visit them.

The center character is Jeff (Giovanni Ribisi), who seems to be the most intelligent, well spoken and good natured one of the bunch, but is just as confused as the rest. His friends are Tim (Nicky Katt), a surly air force dropout who is becoming an alchoholic, and Buff (Steve Zahn), a zany, off the wall slacker who's life seems to revolve around pizza, sex and weed/alcohol.

Joining them are Jeff's malcontent girlfriend Sooze (Aimy Carey), and her friend, recovering addict Bee-Bee (Dina Spyby). Sooze is an artist wanna-be with dreams of leaving Burnfield behind for New York.

Rising tension mounts not only when Pony, along with assistant Erica (Parker Posey) enter the scene, but with the escalating feud between Tim and the Pakastani store owners, Nazeer and Pakisa (Ajay Nauida is the voice of them, and reason).

Suburbia is a dark, entertaining film bolstered by strong performances, the standout being Nicky Katt as Tim, who seemingly becomes more and more of a monster as the night goes on (and he gets more drunk).

It's one not to miss, a lesser known gem of a film from the writer of Talk Radio and the director of Dazed and Confused.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Utterly incredible.

Author: sedatemeplease ( from Antioch, IL
26 July 2002

Not in any way is this a comedy. It is a disturbing tale of love, growing up, and how people change. It's really a drama with some funny lines, but it's a beautiful film. The entire movie, well, really just the main character Jeff, spews truth with every line. I believe it should be mandatory everyone should see this.

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