Wassup Rockers

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Larry Clark is one of those directors, like Spike Lee and Woody Allen,
that deserves our $10.50 no matter what because they have produced such
great work in the past and even if their new stuff is a let-down,
there will still be one or two classic scenes in every film. That
being said, I went and paid and was let down…big time. This is
officially Larry’s worst film to date… I would probably watch
Teenage Caveman again before sitting through Wassup Rockers a second
time.

It starts off pretty average. A drive-by shooting seems a little
forced with squibs that are splattering a comic book amount of blood
against a graffiti ed wall. One of the first things you notice is
that the film was shot on HD video. Usually I totally embrace video
but in the case of Wassup Rockers, I actually miss the aesthetic of
celluloid especially with the close-ups of the young faces and the
warm Cali sun. I always thought that you could extract any frame from
kids and it would make a great photograph..not the same with this film
unfortunately.

What makes this film fail entirely is its downward spiral in to camp
and silliness. We’ve never seen these kids before on screen. Why
turn it in to a 3rd rate Warriors meets Last American Virgin wanna-be?
(Basically, after the first half of the film, the kids have to make
their way from Beverly Hills to South Central, facing obstacles along
the way.) I left the theater really pissed off because I felt Larry
lost focus of the film and didn’t care at all about the audience.

There is one fantastic scene however worth the price of admission.
When the kids get to Beverly Hills High to skate, there is a montage
of mess-up after mess-up. I was laughing out loud in the theater.
Great stuff. Actually very reminiscent of Jackass. Followed by a
beautiful sequence in which the kids skate to a blaring punk
soundtrack while on the run from LAPD. See it for these ten
minutes!!! But it can wait for DVD.

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