6.5/10
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25 user 40 critic

What We Do Is Secret (2007)

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A biopic of punk legend Darby Crash and his band, the Germs.

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lorna Doom
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Don Bolles
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Michelle
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Jena
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Malissa
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Rob Henley
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Chris Ashford
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Belinda
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Claude 'Kickboy Face' Bessey
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Becky
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Amber
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Brendan Mullen
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Casey Cola
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Storyline

A biopic of punk legend Darby Crash and his band, the Germs.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use, language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 August 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

То что мы делаем - тайна  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,888, 10 August 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$58,776, 17 October 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the film, Don Bolles is seen as joining the band in September 1977. In reality, Cliff Hanger was the band's drummer at this time, and Don did not join the band until several months later in early 1978. See more »

Goofs

After being kicked out of the Orpium for messing up stage equipment, The Germs introduce themselves as Darby Crash and Pat Smear even though at the time The Germs hadn't come up with their stage names yet. See more »

Quotes

Darby Crash: I just made Robby the drummer for The Germs.
Pat Smear: We can't play with Rob.
Darby Crash: I know.
Pat Smear: Oh, so you're not just killing yourself, you're killing our band. Darby, The Germs are the only thing any of us have really cared about...
Darby Crash: The Germs are dead, Pat. And you know that.
See more »

Soundtracks

Richie Daggers Crime
Performed By Germs
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User Reviews

 
very mixed bag; watch it for the performances, and one or two things
2 December 2008 | by See all my reviews

It's simply this: Shane West, as a singer and performer of Germs songs as Darby Crash in What We Do is Secret, works fine. In the 1/4 of the film where the filmmakers turned their attention to the on-stage performances for the film (or one-time album recording), West does very good work, so good in fact one may be tempted to revisit just those aggressive and loud and messy and amazingly crude songs when the film is broadcast on a loop on IFC (you know it will be). And yet, for all of West's feracity in the part as the singer, when he has to *act* as Darby Crash, it's at best halfway believable and at worst very stupid.

There is a resemblance, somewhere, between West- who previously appeared in such films as, yes, A Walk to Remember- and the grimy and death-by-junk singer who had a real intelligence and some crazy ideas. But at the same time West also looks and sounds and sometimes emotes just like what he is: a good but definite pretty boy. Darby Crash was many things, but a pretty boy assuredly not. And because the writing means to try its damndest to put a lot of the emotional weight on Crash, many moments (though not all) with West as Crash fall flat. Thankfully, by the third act, he isn't as irksome, and it almost turns into a halfway decent portrayal of such a true cult figure (cult in the literal sense perhaps).

And yet I can't put all blame on West, or even for the other competent-to-good-to-not-so-good supporting actors playing other members of the Germs. It's the first-time writer/director Rodger Grossman, who hasn't quite figured out at times how to be very confident with the camera, and at best is most daring (in somewhat predictable ways) during the musical sequences and perhaps one shot where a pool is reflected. The rest is a lot of rote work as far as the dramatic stuff goes - when it comes to the "iterviews" done with the people in the band, the groupies, the b-word "manager/girlfriend/mother" of Darby Crash, they fare much better. Indeed if Grossman had been more decisive with how to take the direction of the film (as a documentary done with actors filling in the parts and going through actual things they may or may not have said), it would have worked better either way as gritty bio-pic or bittersweet pseudo-documentary.

I probably sound harder on this movie than the actual vote/rating would say. Maybe it's because as a big fan of The Germs I was slightly more forgiving than other people may be. For the uninitiated it definitely gives a precisely strange and f***-ed up idea of who Crash was and how he drifted into heroin. And as well the uninitiated will find that it stinks. It's for die-hards only.


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