Thursday, August 10, 2006

'Thick as what all.

I think I surprised even myself when I decided to get dressed and catch the 9.40 screening of Brick. The clincher was the fact that I had ran out of toilet paper. And since the supermarket and the cinema is in the same building, I decided to make it a two-for-one run.

Holy ba-jesus. It was everything I thought the movie would be, with the added bonus of really tight editing and effective visuals. For those of you to lazy to download or even click the IMDb link below, here's my attempt at a brief summary and review.

The movie follows Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a scruffy-looking, bespectacled, highschool loner through, what can only be described as the most hell-ish week of his life. It starts with a phone call from his ex-girlfriend, Emily, who he has severed all contact with after their break-up three months ago. Played by Emilie de Ravin of Lost fame, she is hysterical and non-sensical on the phone, spouting code words that escape the vocabulary of Brendan. After two days of trying to track her down, he finds her dead under a tunnel with no explicit reasons. Unsettled by her sudden demise, Brendan sets out on a no-holds-barred quest to find the a reason, any reason, behind Emily's death. Relying on his accomplice, The Brain, he spins a web of half-truths, false-bluffs and witty quips to discover the truth, but finds that all is not clear in these murky waters.

Made with a budget of US$500,000, first time writer/director Rian Johnson, certainly put every single cent into good use as established in the tight frames and the even tighter editing. The cinematography plays up the suburban-esque qualities of Southern California with a twist: where the sun don't shine, the gritty surrealism lies. Brick is created within the neo-noir genre and the gutsy scenes and Shakespearan-like quality to the script is a true testament to that. Of coruse, having said that, I should probably add that the only noir-related anything I have to base this on is Veronica Mars and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. Does Dick Tracy and Roger Rabbit count?

I cannot rave enough about this movie. I have waited a while for it to screen on cinemas in Australia, and it has delivered on all fronts matching my extremely high expectations for it. The casting is perfect. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the only 'big name' in the film proves that he is one of the few mid-twenties actors of today who is willing to look past 'ball&tits-type-PG13 Hollywood movies' that plague too many screens across the world and pursue meatier roles. To be fair, maybe he lacks the all-American jock look. Or maybe he just exercises a little wisdom in choosing roles. The others in the film are relatively unheard of, but they deliver solid nuanced performances that add to the overall viewing pleasure of the film.

Top marks. I'm going to watch it again next Monday for the cheaper ticket prices as the dialogue was a bit thick to swallow in some parts. Anyone who dislikes watching movies alone is more than welcomed to come.

After watching the show, I had twenty minutes to do my grocery shopping. I came out with snacks and serviettes (cause they're cheaper than actual tissue paper. I'm a cheapskate. Go figure) and naturally, I forgot the toilet paper. Serviettes may be effective for not breaking when blowing my nose but they're surely damn rough on the ass. (Fourth time? I AM GOD.)