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In mid-1970s Savannah, two bright but rebellious boys, Francis Doyle and Tim Sullivan, fight boredom, hormones and harsh teachers as they struggle to find something meaningful beyond the walls of their parish school. Francis, an exceptional artist whose imaginative forays into a fictional universe of good and evil fill his notebooks with comic-book imagery, creates a netherworld of superhero alter egos for the two boys. When the ultra-strict Sister Assumpta seizes their artwork one day, the boys embark upon an obsessed trail of revenge that ultimately changes their lives. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Sweet Look At Young Love, with Original Animation Fantasy
"Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" is very similar to "Stand By Me," with the nice addition of a non-stereotyped girl and a stereotyped nun (played by producer Jodie Foster) in the mix.
Young love is shown the sweetest I've seen in a long time (oy, I'm still apologizing to a certain boy in my head when he was so sweet to me at that age and I didn't know how to handle it; oh well, I didn't have a script based on a book to follow.)
Emile Hirsch and Jena Malone are marvelous, especially with the very serious sides of their lives, though the lousy parenting is only vaguely shown with shouting.
While the gambits of their crew are a bit unbelievable as they try to put fantasy into their real lives, their fantasy comic life through Todd McFarlane animation is a lot of fun (I was a fan of McFarlane's HBO series "Spawn.") I've never seen a super-hero with such sensitive eyes!
(originally written 6/23/2002)
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