|Index||4 reviews in total|
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
when we're in a group, and when we're with you and I, 13 March 2013
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
The kind of movie you either will like or you won't. I liked it quite a
bit for what Michel Gondry was experimenting with, which was a cinema
that is both very real and yet fantastic at the same time; when the
kids tell their stories, be they funny, dramatic, sad, strange, it
carries those qualities Gondry can bring to elevate the material
through his grungy-magical (is that a term? I just made it up so there)
aesthetic. When we see the teenagers driving a beat-up old car, it's
shot to look a little warped as if from a camera phone, but not just
This isn't reality TV. It's writing and filmmaking and while you won't get stellar acting across the board from these non-professionals, all acting under their own names, some of them are quite good and are able to bring the text to life. It's almost like Speed meets My Dinner with Andre, if that makes sense - you're stuck on this bus for the long haul, and it'll be suspenseful... there will also be a lot of talk, and buffoonery, and, really, genuine emotion at this turning point of the end of a school year with some betrayals and bewilderment going around.
And while the first two-thirds are mostly a lot of fun, the final third, when the bus crowd thins out, becomes even more interesting than it was before when it focuses on Michael and Teresa, and another kid who we haven't seen much of (wrapped up in a comic-book and in headphones), and that scene in particular is great for these guys having (or thinking they have) grown up just on this bus ride alone. It's a heart-to-heart scene that shows after all of the bluster and big talk from the group- in-the-back, being down to earth is the tough part and what makes kids into the outcasts and bullies and bystanders and so on.
It's sometimes rambling, sometimes unfocused, but that too is part of the charm. And, in a sense, this becomes Gondry's most surprising feature in the sense that he isn't with star-power team-ups (Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Gael Garcia Bernal, Seth Rogen, etc), or with his large grab-bag of surreal/magic-fiction camera and mis-en-scene tricks. Not to say there aren't exceptions - at one point, if I'm not mistaken, Jesus comes on to the bus to break up what could be an escalation-cum- fight on the bus - but it's really just a bunch of slices of life strung together, maybe not too unlike Spike Lee's Get on the Bus but without the baggage of the Million-Man-March message. What is it like to be a teenager, not just in the Bronx but anywhere? Teenagers especially would do well to watch a movie like this, which paints a more captivating and, for me at least, entertaining portrait of life than an MTV show could do. It doesn't stop for a chance to be funny, sometimes with ridiculous results, but its got a big heart and that's what is always wonderful about this director.
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Bumpy Bus Ride In Da Bronx, 12 March 2013
Author: Daniel Jordano (firstname.lastname@example.org) from New York, NY
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Have you ever been riding along peacefully on the good old MTA, when
all of a sudden at the next stop, a mob of kids just out of school
fills the subway car or bus with raucous noise and energy? Often this
can be quite an unnerving experience, to say the least. It was a
similar experience that led French director, Michel Gondry, to make the
fresh and original, dramedy, "The We and the I" which opened March 8th.
It's the last day of school, and a quiet city bus is transformed into a quasi detention center as it is filled with a gaggle of inner city teenagers getting ready for summer vacation. Gondry does not paint a glossy picture here. A group of bullies occupy the back row, where two elementary school kids are threatened, and an elderly woman is ordered to give up her seat. Near the front of the bus, a self absorbed princess (Laidychen Carrasco) agonizes over her sweet 16 party invitation list, and soon what seems to be a troubled young lady (Teresa Lynn) appears with a new blond wig only to encounter the relentless mockery of her peers, as she pines for one of the mean kids (Michael Brodie) . Vignettes make up the bulk of the largely plot less film. Save for the flashbacks, most of the action takes place on the bus.
The unsympathetic framing of the students works very well at first. Gondry cast real life New York teenagers from The Point, a community center in the Bronx, to give us a non judgmental glimpse of the world of these teens. Apparently Gondry spent three years work-shopping the story with the kids and it shows. Gondry's facility with the teens is impressive. The cast seem very relaxed and natural, and it almost feels as if we are fellow passengers on the bus as we eavesdrop on the various goings on. Gondry's visual style, used to such effectiveness in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is used to great effect here as well. The exploration of the teens use of video, texting and cell phones is done imaginatively in various flashbacks. The film has comic, almost magical realistic moments, for instance, when Laidychen's brother comes, Jesus like, onto the bus to settle a dispute, or when one of the nerdier kids lays it on thick about partying with Donald Trump.
Not all is sure footed here. With all of the jumping around between stories, many of the characters seem only partially realized and even cartoonish. More reflective scenes seem forced in the third act. Gondry also treads dangerous racial waters (a la Birth of a Nation) when all the kids lasciviously eye a beautiful white girl, riding her bike in slow motion. Also, I couldn't help but feel uneasy when I found out at the screening that a pivotal scene, where one of the boys breaks up with his lover, was actually an unscripted, and all-too-real moment captured on film. Ethical questions of exploitation did cross my mind--which begs the question if this could not have been more affecting, if it had been a straight documentary.
The attempt to connect us to the characters ultimately falls flat, and we, notwithstanding the attempts of the filmmakers, still feel like the "other"-- unable to relate to the stereotypes that are left on the screen. Perhaps this is what motivated Gondry, (very awkwardly) , to put a narrated letter at the end credits from the mother of some of the students, expressing gratitude for the kids participation.
Yet still, the energy and freshness of the teens, and the ambition of Gondry to communicate the journey from peer identity to self direction make this bus ride very worthy of the swipe.
7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
unrealistic beautiful carnival!, 7 March 2013
Author: luraz from Malaysia
I'm hardly write a review, but I feel weird why this Gondry's movie doesn't have any. He is the greatest director of the 'Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind'. So, this movie is about a bunch of school kids who just done their job and this will be their last bus ride as a school kids.Many things happen and what's fun is everything happen on the bus, love, bullies, forbidden chit-chat, family and many more in this 110 minutes movie. For me, this movie is just simple, like just an experiment of Gondry to make something different in teen movie. I love to hear their conversation,as real as their use their real name. Some scene look predictable and stupid but it's still fun, I'm enjoying myself. This unrealistic beautiful carnival!
1 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
maybe it's a good film but i just can't finish watching it, 15 March 2013
Author: rightwingisevil from United States
i have to say that all the kids who played roles in this film just looked natural and performed well. but when i watched this film i also felt deeply disappointed and in despair. watching those kids riding a bus to their high school and what they did and talked to each other or among them only proved one thing: no wonder our American's public high school education is a total failure. looked at those kids in this film, they just looked like a bunch of thugs-in-progress, males or females, they were all the same. there was no one in this film looked well educated. there's nobody in this film worried about their future. those boys, they were a bunch of bullies, young thugs or just lamers. those girls, their conversation really gave me a nauseating feeling. water bras? this is American higher education in the making? is this what we got from high school education? i've tried so hard to sit tight to keep watching it, but every scene, every word or sentence of the dialog disgusted me to the extreme. i just wondered why we have to pay for these thug-like, hole-like kids with a daily free bus ride to school if they didn't and couldn't learn anything from it? this was one of the worst viewing experience i've ever had, maybe just because it was so true, so ugly and so purposeless of our public high school education. i think that only the kids from such bad high schools would enjoy it completely, because it's what they are doing every day right now, not just on a school bus. i was told how bad the education systems in other countries are, but at least they didn't produce so many young thugs like what we saw in this film. there are so many kids in lot of countries they couldn't have normal education when they grow up and really want it, but we American kids just waste it for nothing.
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