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Ken Park (2002)
Real sex? no problem. Violence is far worse!
I HAVE seen this movie. I wouldn't say that I enjoyed it, but that's not really the point. Enjoyment is not the same as experiencing something. Cinema is a story-telling medium. It's not just about art, it's about story-telling, and there were several stories in this movie that needed to be told. Stories that I would rather have presented to me in movie form than to experience personally in life.. and that's what movies are all about.. making you experience something you wouldn't normally experience. It's just part of being human. No one wanted to be on the real "Titanic".. but everyone wanted to read about it and hear about it. The same with September 11. I'm sure there will be movies made about it soon enough, it won't be an enjoyable experience to watch, or to relive.. but I'm sure there will be a worldwide audience for it. Why should this movie be any different?
Many have criticised the storyline on "Ken Park", but it must be remembered that stories don't need to have a beginning, middle and end. They can be just events, anecdotes. People need to remember that they can move on from fairy tales that begin with "once upon a time" and finish with "they all lived happily ever after". This movie certainly proves that. "Ken Park" is more documentary in it's approach.. there is no snappy Disney moral to be drawn from the story, no character arc, no conclusions to be made.. but then again, there aren't any in real-life either, are there?
Yes.. this movie shows teenage characters participating in experimental sex. So? You can see more sex in a National Geographic animal special. Is that a problem? I personally think it would have been ridiculous to fake the sex scenes in "Ken Park" or to shoot above the waist. I've read several reviews on here complaining about the masturbation scene and it's conclusion. So what.. we all masturbate! It's usually a private act.. but so is crying our eyes out in an emotionally draining part of our lives. I am more upset at seeing that on screen. Actors must use all their skills of observation to bring a character to life. They put their own private lives on the line every time they cry on screen, drawing on past experiences of pain and suffering, to shed real tears. Why should it be any different to masturbate on screen or to actually have sex with someone else.. and not fake it? Nudity is something we confront on a daily basis in front of a mirror, why should that be a problem? No one's being forced.. no one's being harmed. And what's so unnatural about showing a penis either flaccid or erect? It's life.. we are humans and that is what life is about. I was more confronted and disgusted by images I saw on an episode of Jerry Springer where a morbidly obese woman was running around in the mud with just her underwear on! That was gross! What these young (and older) actors did in "Ken Park" was nothing in comparison. To see a human being that obese was far more unnatural (and inhuman) than seeing young people enjoying sex with each other.
I'm much more upset at seeing violence on screen and off, and yet most Americans barely notice it. I read a review here on IMDB recently stating that "Hart's War" is a movie more families should watch with their children. That reviewer obviously was not upset about seeing a person's head being blown off, in close-up, in an early scene! Oh and yes, I closed my eyes and covered my face during the violent scenes in "Ken Park". One reviewer on here said he was haunted by the memory of seeing a young boy masturbate. That's nothing compared to seeing a violent act. Grow up.. sex is about enjoyment and creation. Violence is about pain and destruction. I know what I'd rather see any day.
The subject matter in this movie was far more confronting than the images shown. We should be more upset by the abuse parents perpetrate on their children physically, mentally and sexually. That's the real message of this movie.
If you aren't prepared to see a slice of reality on screen don't bother to see this movie.
A disappointing hip sermon.. as funny as the bible.
A great (mis)cast, an interesting concept.. BUT.. way too wordy, and definitely unfunny! I'm sorry, but I didn't find anything to laugh at.
Jesus.. black? God.. female? Cliched.. and not funny. It's about as funny as the bible. I'm not a catholic.. so it's a bit hard to laugh at something that has no relevance to my life. For all the furore and accusations of blasphemy.. this is nothing more than a hip sermon, with all the trappings of youth culture, excessive swearing (was THIS much really necessary?) drug use, and sex references. As for the gratuitous violence.. it's just a little more graphic than the bible. This is a very pro-god movie.. the pope himself could have written it, including the overuse of strong language. I can just picture him saying.. "hey, the language is not for me, but it'll hook all those kids.. so I'll make F*** every second word." It's a "Good News Bible" for the new millennium. "We're the catholic church and we can be hip! It'll offend the easily offended and strengthen their faith, and bring in a whole new young, hip congregation. We can't lose! Cover all the bases." A bit like Disney launching the Touchstone label, and buying the Miramax label! People can't swear in a Disney movie, but they can in a Touchstone movie, and they can say F*** every second word in a Miramax movie!
It seems to have been written by a 'lapsed catholic' who still has faith, but not in his view of current organised religion. Violence in the name of god triumphs over violence in the name of the devil. Yeah yeah.. since when is that breaking hollywood formula? Maybe people taking responsability for their actions, and not thanking god for the good bits and blaming the devil for the bad would produce better human beings? (.. and much better movies). Strengthen morals.. over blind faith.
The story goes all the way from A to B, then back to A, but with a lot of violent imagery in between, and the inevitable hollywood revenge scenario. We wonder why society is so obsessed with violence, but almost every movie compels us want to see the good guys exact a horrible and bloody revenge on the bad guys. Is it any wonder that people with a warped sense of justice seek to exact their own violent and lethal revenge, instead of learning to deal with the fact that we're not always going to get things our way? How many more mass murderers see themselves as 'hero' and because someone taunted or teased them at school, think it's okay to go out and kill them, and anyone else who happens to be there? Hollywood makes it ok for 'good guys' to kill whoever they see as 'bad guy' every time.. not just bring him to justice. The hero is always allowed to be judge, jury and executioner. In real life, these so-called heroes would end up in jail for murder. Especially the ones who say they have god on their side!