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When I see the writer and the director are the same guy I sometimes
This was my first inkling this may not be a great movie. The characters are an odd mix. I like the fact that most of them are just ordinary people. Movies usually go way over the top with casting and outrageous characters. But there are some pretty silly characters in this movie too. Also I got tired of the poor wrong side of the tracks philosophical wise child character that is so pervasive in this film. Most of the adults in the movie have serious defects and the writer's view of the South is questionable. It seems to me he also intends it to be depressing.
Unlike some of the reviews I've read I thought the cast did fairly well. It was the plot, script and direction that made this film impossible.
It's easy to see where the director was going with this film; it's just debatable whether or not it's worth the trip
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm not exactly sure why I choose to order this movie from Netflix beyond the fact that I just wanted to see something a different. This film was definitely that! There was no specific plot or easily conceivable manifestation as to how any one character tied in to another. Basically, each person was just there, crossing the path of another poor soul, also just happening to be there. George, the centerpiece of the movie, had aspirations of being great, as explained by Nasia, the movie's narrator, but you kinda get the feeling that he is just a moronic preteen that doesn't seem to make any more sense than any other person in the movie, though he is deemed to be developmentally disabled. The parts that were supposed to be serious were, to me, hilarious for the most part because they were so random and out of whack. Nothing made sense. Like George riding in a taxi to transport his deceased friend, Buddy, to a river where he could be laid to rest. Oh, did I mention that his friend had been dead for what was probably over a month, and though the "authorities" were searching for Buddy, no one questions George? I can go on and on about this movie, but see it yourself if you don't believe me, or, you can watch something more worthy of your attention, like the back of your eyelids! The only reason that this move get's a three (I have scarcely seen one worse) is because it made me laugh. Would I watch it again? Maybe if I was high.
Everyone has their own take on movies. As I read other reviews there are
people who seem to really like this movie, however I am not one of them.
Some movies I find simply bad, Dude Where's My Car, but rarely do I come
across a movie as this that is a complete torture to sit through. The
following is my take on the movie.
It is SLOW. It is a bad 20 minute short crammed into a 90 minute movie. There are scenes in the movie that are obviously there to fill up time. The movie spends 5 minutes with a scene of a guy riding a motorcycle. That is all he is doing. Just riding a motorcycle through town. I don't remember him ever even waving to anyone.
The dialog is awful, and the acting is awful with the exception of the gentleman who plays the uncle. All other actors, I am using the term actor loosely since I am sure this is the first time any of them has tried to act, deliver their lines in a monotone style as if they were reading them from the page for the first time.
The one thing I did like about the movie was how even though the characters were of mixed races the topic of race or prejudice was not part of the movie.
I was finally able to watch this movie this afternoon after months of anticipating its arrival in my area. I had read the glowing reviews and eagerly ran to today's matinee. I couldn't have been more disappointed. I have a certain affection for slow paced movies as they give me such a feeling of peace as I watch. Many of the comments in this forum praised the film for its deliberate pace, which indeed was an attribute of this movie. However, the acting was so incredibly bad that it ruined the entire experience. I am totally shocked at the comments at this site praising these actors. Someone used the word improvisational. If that means unplanned or not thought out in advance then I will agree. For whatever reason, this film has managed to somehow mesmerize normally discerning movie goers into thinking that this is a gem... but this diamond in the rough is more like coal. I'd suggest that this director who has obvious potential spend more of his budget on acting on his next try. DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!!!!
This movie is some years old now, but it is very good in it's own way. It was better than I expected. It's not a big budget film, but well worth watching. The cinematography is very good. The director seemed to capture the run down areas so well, it almost seems beautiful in a way to look at. The movie shows the relationship of these young kids and how they manage through their day to day lives. They make the best of what's around them. I like how it shows how children learn to survive through tough and unpredictable circumstances. The young actors did an excellent job, seeing that some of them was their first time on film. Independent films are sometimes the best to watch because they're not trying to be BIG, but human. You may be able to find this film at your local library if you wish to view it.
A group of children, in a depressed small town, band together to cover
up a tragic mistake one summer.
The use of an amateur cast gets us, the audience, into a mindset where this could be a real small town. Indeed, because they are not actors, they probably "act" more naturally in certain circumstances.
I am not going to attempt a thorough review here, because I think there is much that can be said and I do not want to say anything without deeper thought. Clearly a race aspect exists, as does a class aspect. There is some discussion of who or what a hero can be.
And then, how does this film relate to the 1960s' Clu Gulager film? There is much to consider.
I have hated almost every film David Gordon Green has made after
"George Washington" - but even this movie begs the question, "why?"
The acting is supposedly honest, but actually felt hackneyed and unrealistic by both the kids and the "real" actors alike. The storyline is virtually nonexistent, but what *is* there says so little that it barely exists. All that's left is the okay photography, and the sleepy directing. This is "Sundance" stuff akin to "Beasts of the Southern Wild" - boring, pointless, and so utterly, formulaically "non-form" that it's just as predictably ambiguous as the most hackneyed Hollywood Romcom is happy-ending-ized.
The biggest difference between Sundance-honored independent films and Hollywood mediocrity is that at least Hollywood isn't totally disingenuous about what it's dishing out.
Think about this for a second. Throughout this entire movie, virtually
no one ever raises their voice. There's some mild horseplay and an odd
parent or two scolding their child, that's it. Even though sweat, stale
air and boredom pervades the lives of the film's inhabitants, the
viewer begins to like being enveloped in this day-to-day smoldering
childhood summer existence where meaning, whether it exists or not,
must be assigned to everything. As the movie progressed I began to
wonder if a plot was developing. Toward the end I realized that I no
longer cared about story but was enjoying the movie anyway (Indeed,
when one character finally spills the beans it no longer makes a bit of
difference). The dialogue is terrific and how the directer got the
actors to uniformly deliver tone and accent is amazing. On the down
side there was stuff that only functioned as...well...stuff; e.g., the
cracker boy's motorcycle ride.
I remember just after seeing THE DEER HUNTER wondering whether Cimino was a genius painting in ambiguity or a goof whose confusion accidentally played as nuance and contrast. Then I realized that I liked the film so much I didn't - and shouldn't - care. The same holds for GEORGE WASHINGTON. Though I suspect true talents at work here.
This movie is more likely to be admired than actually liked. The acting is pretty darn bad and the story is borderline ridiculous, but what holds this movie together is the beautiful cinematography. This film is in the same vain as Gummo, small town, no straight story, and lots of colorful characters. But this movie misses the mark that Gummo hit so dead on, it doesn't make you care or relate to the characters. The characterization in this movie is very insipid. Watching this movie makes you think of its failed potential. Well all in all its a "G" rated Gummo, so watch both and get back at me.
The word lively should never be used in a sentence describing this film. This is destined to be a take home video for sleep clinics around the world. I was delighted to hear that a filmmaker had shot a film two hours away from my stomping grounds. Even more delighted when I heard what the critics were saying and then I saw the film and my hopes crashed like the hindenburgh. It's a plodding mess with no narrative, dialogue that sounds like the child actors wrote the script themselves, and no point. The filmmakers say they were inspired by Terrence Malick's great 1973 film "Badlands". There was a slight difference between this and Malick's film. "BADLANDS" HAD A PLOT!!!!! I don't know what else to say except don't believe the hype and wonder why most of the critics didn't see this wolf in cheap clothing for what it was. If you like watching sod grow tune in.
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