Alpha Dog, Little Miss Sunshine and Guide to Recognizing Your Saints

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Three films that I coulda, shoulda scanned.

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okay guys… forgive me..trying to learn photoshop


Alpha Dog

This film has been made twice before… both times better. “River’s
Edge” and “Bully.” However, this film is quite enjoyable and I
recommend seeing it. Like “Bully”, I see no reason to cast these
films with extremely good looking people when the true-life
participants in this case were ordinary kids. If Southern California
is seriously this loose and full of gorgeous 18 year olds who think
about nothing but partying and fucking, then I’m moving tomorrow.

Timberlake is a fine actor but just mis-cast. He just isn’t the
thug/bad-ass that he’s trying to portray and it’s so obvious. Just
like Nick Stahl was physically not capable of being the lead in
“Bully.”

Also, Nick Cassavetes over-stylizes this film. I know that just has
to do with taste but still did he need the compressing set to show
that “the world is closing in.” C’mon!!

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Ben Foster, although playing it way big, is the reason to see this
film. Like Glover in “River’s Edge”, he steals every scene with his
intensity. Crazy bastard..I love him.
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Little Miss Sunshine

Wow.. it’s really sad that this film got as far as it did. It defines
mediocracy. Has possibly two laughs, if that. “Napolean Dyamite”
ending. Cliché after cliché. What really upsets me is that I was a
major fan of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. For their music video work.
“Tonight, Tonight” by Smashing Pumpkins, “Freak on a Leash” by Korn….
I’ve been looking forward to their feature film debut for years.
And this is what we get? Thanks.

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Guide To Recognizing Your Saints

OMG!! What a pretentious piece of crap. Well, I shouldn’t be so hard
on it… it was trying. But once again.. a miscast mess. Shia LaBeouf
is NOT a thug from Astoria!!! And this is supposed to take place in
the early 80’s yet everything looks like 2006. And it’s supposed to
take place in Astoria but half of it looks like Ave. B. And somehow
over the course of 20 something years, Shia becomes Robert Downey Jr.
and Melonie Diaz (Victor Vargas) becomes Rosario Dawson. Um, is it
just me or Rosario 20 years too young to play this part? Good score
though.

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There is one scene in which all the characters stop and look in to the
lens and say something that defines their character…. like the
character of Diane saying “My name is Diane and I want to fuck.”
Scored to Cat Steven’s “Trouble.” I’m sorry “Trouble” has already
been used in one of the greatest films of all times and unless you’re
Micheal Moore, you ain’t going to get away with re-using this
soundtrack.

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No Responses to “Alpha Dog, Little Miss Sunshine and Guide to Recognizing Your Saints”

  1. Junktape says:

    Love the photoshop attempt.  Gotta start somewhere!  Yeah, all sounds meh.  Got the dvd you sent me, THANK YOU!!!  I will check it out…

    On Sunshine, it just stuck out at the festival.  they wanted to distribute it because of Carell and Kinnear.  It’s not terrible, just very very mediocre.  The ending suddenly is a real betrayal of tone in my opinion.  The movie rides on the edge of dramedy for most of the film, but then kind of throws integrity out the window so that everyone can just dance.

    It’s like National Lampoon’s Vacation without any jokes.  But it does have a charm if you’re just in the mood to watch a veteran like Alan Arkin steal a scene.  And the Carell character is an interesting one, at least at first, but they never take him to any real conclusion.  Kinnear has something of an arc, but none of the characters live up to the potential they seem to have when you first meet them.  It never really amounts to anything but coasts by (both in terms of quality and commerciality) on casting.  I can understand why people responded to it but it’s just “one of those movies” that was in the right place at the right time.

  2. Roger says:

    To quote Alan Alda, “YES!!!” I felt exactly the same way about Little Miss Sunshine.

  3. Fat Ass says:

    Didn’t see Alpha Dog, but I saw the other two. Both of which came to me after huge recommendations and both of which didn’t stir me even a bit. I liked Little Miss Sunshine, but it felt a lot like an exercise in screenwriting class: Here’s how you make a character arc in 1-2-3 easy, predictable steps. And Saints was just way, way too self-important and, yeah, Rosario Dawson was laughably miscast.

    If you want to see a fun, warm, sweet film– basically, if you want to see what you expect Little Miss Sunshine to be– see Waitress. Much, much better. Tho not on DVD yet.

  4. Junktape says:

    Totally agree about waitress – the total definition of a charmer.  Very memorable characters and dialogue, just a warm movie all over.  It’s the same kind of formula but so much more deftly executed.  While on the previous subject of wasted potential, the loss of Adrienne Shelly is so grossly tragic that I was struck silent at the end of this film.  All the actors are wonderful and always natural and in the moment.  The sunshine in this movie is the real deal.

  5. Lekker Ding says:

    So refreshing to read all your opinions about Little Miss Sunshine.  It seems like every time that movie comes up I’m the only one who was underwhelmed.  I don’t even want to add anything because you all said it so well.

    Alpha Dog – zero interest.  Nick Cassavettes is a hack.

    Saints – Although it’s flawed, I actually enjoyed it.  More for the kids than anything else.  Liked seeing Martin Compston (who is awesome in “Sweet Sixteen” and “Red Road”, liked Channing Tatum, and surprisingly (this may be the one and only time I ever say this), liked Shia (although I hear he was a little punk on set, like Renfro was on Bully).  Yes, I liked Shia a lot in this. 

    Also, always enjoy watching Eric Gautier’s cinematography.

    As for the adults.. whatever.  Probably Robert Downey Jr.’s most boring performance ever.

  6. Bake Snaker says:

    Yeah, there are enough other must-see films out there to be wasting your time on Alpha Dog.  It’s just hitting me now that that was Martin Compston in “Red Road”…jesus he looks totally different.

    OH..if you like Eric Gautier…see “Clean”..very nicely shot.

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