6.4/10
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24 user 40 critic

What We Do Is Secret (2007)

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The true-life story of Darby Crash, who became an L.A. punk icon after getting kicked out of high school and forming The Germs with a collection of friends who have little experience with their instruments or playing music.

Director:

Rodger Grossman
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shane West ... Darby Crash
Rick Gonzalez ... Pat Smear
Bijou Phillips ... Lorna Doom
Noah Segan ... Don Bolles
Tina Majorino ... Michelle
Katharine Leonard ... Jena Cardwell
Rachael Santhon ... Malissa Hutton
Ashton Holmes ... Rob Henley
Keir O'Donnell ... Chris Ashford
Lauren German ... Belinda
Sebastian Roché ... Claude 'Kickboy Face' Bessey
Amy Halloran ... Becky Barton / Donna Rhia
Missy Doty ... Amber
Ray Park ... Brendan Mullen
Azura Skye ... Casey Cola
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Storyline

The true-life story of Darby Crash, who became an L.A. punk icon before taking his own life in 1980. After getting kicked out of high school, Darby forms The Germs with a collection of friends who have little experience with their instruments or playing music; Pat Smear, Lorna Doom and Don Bolles. After a few disastrous gigs, the band begins to click and Darby and The Germs soon find themselves the talk of the L.A. punk scene. When hard drugs enter the picture, Darby starts alienating those closest to him and when The Germs collapse, he's at a loss to figure out what comes next.

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Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use, language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Arquette was attached to play Darby Crash when the project was in development. See more »

Goofs

During scene set at LA hot dog stand in late Seventies, huge wall menu in background reflects 2000 era fast food prices and even lists at least one soft drink not introduced until years later. See more »

Quotes

Darby Crash: Everything works in circles. Like sometimes you're doing something, and a year later you're back at the same point. You understand that? So circle one, is what we're doing now, and someday we'll probably do circle two.
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Soundtracks

Shut Down
Performed By The Germs (as Germs)
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User Reviews

 
Jan Paul Beahm (September 26, 1958 – December 6, 1980)
25 May 2010 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Who? Well quite, and that may well be the problem for any casual movie fan who happens to like musical bio-pictures. Jan Paul Beahm during his short run for fame was better known as Darby Crash, lead singer and founding member of Los Angeles punk band The Germs. Firmly picking up on the punk ethic for doing it yourself, Crash and his band made waves across L.A. for a short period of time. Much like The Sex Pistols back in the UK, The Germs were blighted by being unable to play venues as their reputation preceded them. With Crash growing ever more erratic as he tried to execute the various strands of his so called 5 year plan, those around him invariably suffered. Here director Rodger Grossman attempts to tell the "true" story of the life and death of an enigmatic young man on a "crash" course to oblivion.

With low production values and a choppy attempt at being a semi rockumentary, What We Do Is secret is really only of interest to fans of the band or those wishing to bone up on American punk rock circa 1976-1980. Even tho myself, an ageing old British punker, quite liked The Germs, this film only exists because of two major factors. For the facts are that outside of L.A. they were hardly known at the time. It's only because of Crash's subsequent suicide at a young age {on the day John Lennon was shot and killed} and guitarist Pat Smear's future involvement with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, that the band have had a reappraisal. With minimal input cut onto disc, one has to wonder if someone is trying to build up a legend that doesn't actually exist? What can be said with confidence is that the film at least brings the L.A. punk scene to notice. With all the historical talk about the New York punk scene that was born out of CBGB'S and Max's Kansas City, it often gets forgotten that L.A. had its moments too.

The cast here are pretty much the run of the mill performers one expects from such a production. Ranging from adequate (Shane West as Crash) to very decent (Rick Gonzalez of Coach Carter fame as Smear), Grossman's film will not be remembered for any great thesping. And since Crash is not very likable, or engaging on an intellectual level, the finale is unlikely to strike you with a sadness born out of the waste of a young life. However, the soundtrack crackles with punk vibrancy and emotive potency, and definitely some of the concert sequences have the look and feel of the original punk rock era. But ultimately the piece remains only worth an interest to an undemanding and small selection of music fans. Oh and 70s fashion guru's as well one thinks. 5.5/10


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 August 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

То что мы делаем - тайна See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,888, 10 August 2008

Gross USA:

$58,776

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$58,776
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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