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I saw this movie at the Waterfront Film Festival, and I loved it! The story is set in 1995, with an incredible soundtrack from all the "alternative rock" bands of that year, and the characters are well-developed and believable. The story centers around three friends who are brought together to attend the funeral of a friend from high school. Kip Pardue and Eddie Kaye Thomas are both very good, but the surprise performance for me was given by Josh Cooke. He gives an amazing performance as a self-destructive rebel in this film, and I hope to see more of his performances in the future. See this movie as soon as possible.
I saw this at the Waterfront Film Festival in Saugatuck, Michigan.
This was a pretty good movie. Like many of the other films I saw at the festival, it's about old friends reuniting after having been away from each other for a while. But this time, it's because one of the friends died. I guess it wasn't really what I was expecting. I thought it was gonna be about a bunch of friends reminiscing about their pal with some laughs and tears involved, but instead there wasn't much mention about the friend and his death. Instead it was about college guys returning to their hometown hoping to have some of their good times, but in the end realizing that they've grown up.
Each of the characters didn't really have a distinct storyline, there wasn't a goofy friend or a tough guy friend or a nerdy friend, they were just regular guys, so I guess it was pretty true to life. The actors did a good job, Eddie Kaye Thomas (Finch from American Pie) does a nice job with his character, as does Kip Pardue (Victor from The Rules of Attraction0. Newcomer Josh Cooke also did a great job playing the friend who is hiding his emotions.
In the end, it was a good movie, I liked that there weren't a bunch of scenes where the characters each tell why they miss their friend and blaming themselves for his death, we've already seen that in countless movies. But, as I mentioned before, the characters don't have a lot of distinct characteristics, so they don't come off as very memorable. But then again, that's how most people are in real life, so it's not much of a flaw.
So, the film is honest and real and worth seeing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What were they thinking? Aa the AVGN would say... this is what came to
my mind after i watch that movie. When you buy a movie call "Wasted"
that star Eddie Thomas in it(American Pie) you would expect a movie
about booze and weed, teen getting ... WASTED right? Well this movie
does have that part, but unlike any teen comedy in that area... it
forgot one important point... THIS IS A MOVIE... we want something to
get out of our lives...
Here the characters are presented as the typical stereotype sex comedy teens...the nerd that can't get laid... the jerk, the player... and the outcast of the gang that would do anything to get in...
Thing is... when the movie end(spoiler), they all resume there stereotype unlike the usual movie of that style. The jerk end up in jail, the nerd still dosen't get laid but return to his former best friend(a girl) that didn't wanted him as a boyfriend, the player just go back to his wife(from what i saw... we never really see her) and the other dude just live is life...
I mean everything in that movie is pretty much 5 days in the life of any stereotype American...
When i watch a movie like this, i hope the player will get dumped because he is an asshole that just do random girls, the jerk usually realize he IS a jerk and do something that please a random girl, and the nerd always seduce the hot chick and finish in her bed....
Im sorry if i want stereotype to remain stereotype, but i watch these college movies because i love imagining i am in there feet... instead in this movie you realize if your pathetic you will remain pathetic... DAMN...
Anyway i guess this movie was not aimed at me...but well with a title like that and finch in it... you would think so... Another movie in the same line i saw lately that delivered was "Take me Home tonight" and i preferred this one.
This movie is derivative in that we've seen this crowd of kids and type
of movie before ala "Big Chill", "American Graffiti" and even a little
"Donny Darko" and "River's Edge" too. Here are some high school buddies
from a middle class suburban California town who went to the same lame
middle class suburban Catholic jock high school, the home of the
"Crusaders" the team the destructive jock of the trio played on. One of
their mates dies in some silly drunken swimming accident and they all
re-unite to relive their aimless cruising, partying and soft core
punkish ways for a long weekend.
i won't bore you with another synopsis but what I liked about it was that there was no real big arc. It avoided melodrama like extreme violence or major drug overdose, but we watched the jock who is now a stoner drunk provoke a fist fight over nothing. The sensitive one gets dumped but he meets up again with the school beauty, natch named Kelly, and they seem to be going somewhere. The golden boy college lady's man hooks up with a senior in the aforementioned high school for cheap car sex while she snorts coke and tells him how she had a crush on him when she was a freshman. They all have some darker issues that we get introduced too but they are handled in a low key way. Of course, the audience will relate to the suburban cruising, wasting and meeting the girls stuff, but that is not the focus of it either. There is some FM AOR DJ who provides the mood over the weekend too, but not like the Wolfman. There is a quiet desperation about it that gets expressed appropriately since none of these guys are suffering too much nor act like it, but they are unhappy for various reasons.
The best part is that there is no magic or tragic ending to it, come Monday when they all go their separate ways, their lives haven't magically or tragically changed but they did have some fun and get some insight into their conditions a bit more. It aimed about chest level and that is where it stuck. Nothing really special but a good solid movie about aimless grads re-uniting.
I, too, saw Farewell Bender at the Waterfront Film Festival and this
movie angered me - that's how much I hated it. The movie is about (I
guess) a group of friends who cope with the recent suicide/accident
death of their friend "Bender". I suppose the title is also supposed to
be a clever attachment to a "Bender" - a drinking spree...though, the
characters in this movie do more pot smoking and not as much drinking.
First and foremost I hated every character in this film. There was nothing likable about anybody in this group of friends. If you like Paris Hilton and want to be just like her, maybe MAYBE you will like them. But I'm not a fan of snotty kids with zero personality who treat everybody else like crap and have to deal with a difficult life of partying. Apparently this film thinks such a life and those troubles are really "deep". I don't. A life of partying is not trouble, it's fun. This movie is not fun. It's a film of whiny jerks (mostly guys) with ZERO charm or personality.
Note to director: you CAN make whiny jerks likable, but you did not do that in this film. They are not fun, funny, or entertaining or interesting at all. You made me hate having to spend 2 hours of my life with them. I'm only happy that I didn't have to spend the time you spent writing these characters and then shooting them. If you know people like this, I feel sorry you: these jerks do not merit having a movie made about them.
Actor Kip Pardue (who?) plays one of the characters that we are to identify with. Early in the film we discover Kip's character is a religious instructor who takes his underage student out for a date (which we don't see) which cuts to them ending up in his car for sex, cocaine, and then him telling her she better not expect anything from this because he has a girlfriend. This is one of the guys we should identify with.
Another is Eddie Kaye Thomas, the likable actor from American Pie and Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. He's a fun, likable awkward actor...but this movie made me hate even him. He just comes off as a whiny shallow idiot. AND he is the most likable one in the movie!
I also especially liked how these guys sat around at a funeral of their friend (who we never see them with) angry at the other kids who didn't know the friend as well. What a bunch of self-absorbed assholes, as though they lay claim to the memory of this friend. There MAY be a way to effectively convey their resentments, but again the movie fails and just made me hate them even more. A-holes.
One thing that interested me with this film was that Adam Corolla was listed 6th in the cast, so I was looking for him for some laughs. But we never see him. He is a voice we hear on the radio for a total of about 13 seconds (I'm being generous). Advertising his name with this film is beyond misleading, it's robbery. With Adam Corolla, Eddie Kaye Thomas, and a title like "Farewell Bender" you would expect this to be a comedy: but no, there are no laughs, period.
With all this said, I think the director COULD make a good movie...I do sense visual competence. The use of music is at times good, though at times forced. Anyway, the director COULD make something decent. He just should not write the material. If he is going to write, find some new friends or subjects to write about, not your unlikeable friends.
The jerks (guys) in this movie - they don't even like EACH OTHER. In every scene they are in together, all they do is argue and fight. They never have fun together, and really convey a solid hatred for each other. So why are they even friends? If I had friends like them I would kill myself.
At least now I know why Bender said Farewell.
I just got back from the first official screening of the movie. Wow, it is really great! I mean, the characters are so real. I went with my friend who actually worked on the film and is friends with the director and producer. The director in fact went to my college (for 2 years then he dropped out). But yeah, I really can relate to this film so much. It's not some lame teen movie with a predictable storyline and cheep humor, it's a real life look at a few guy's lives. The director said actually that a lot of the things did happen to him and his friends, and that carries through. Anyways, once this movie comes out, (hopefully it will play in many places) everyone should go see it. If you are a college or just out of college student, see this film.
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