Thursday, August 16, 2012

Random Review (SLC Punk)

Growing up, a lot of my movie interests were formed by my sister.  She had a ton of movies sitting in her room and I basically used that area as my own personal Blockbuster.  I'd slide on in there and grab a bunch of movies I thought looked interesting and would watch them.  One flick that was in there was SLC Punk but you know what?  I never watched it.  The side of the VHS box was just some spikey haired punk kid and I just assumed it was some music documentary.  I never grabbed it.  Fast forward many years later to my 2nd semester of college in my film studies class.  We had to do presentations on different movies, namely controversial ones.  The girl I was partners with said she really loved this movie and thought it would be perfect for our presentation, so she let me borrow her copy and I was instantly hooked.

If this is your first Random Review and you're wondering what the fuck I'm doing, I just randomized my DVD collection and decided for shits and giggles, I would watch each one and review it.

File:SLC Punk.jpg
SLC Punk is an independent movie, part comedy and part drama, made in 1999.  It stars Matthew Lillard (from Scream) who plays Stevo and Michael Goorjian as "Heroin" Bob - even though he never does any drugs besides alcohol.  The director is James Merendino who isn't some big shot Hollywood director, thinking he knows the punk culture and can profit off of it.  No, this is a true punk fan and someone who lived in the culture.  He is able to take his knowledge of the hardcore scene and really implement it well into this movie.  It's genuine and authentic and really adds to the overall presentation and theme of the flick.  I can't say enough about how well the director made this movie.  I'm no punk guy, hardly a hardcore person, but it seems like a movie a hardcore punk fan could get into - ya' know, provided it doesn't make him a dreaded poseur or anything.

It's a very wordy movie, very much in the same vein as a Kevin Smith movie.  What I mean by that is, you don't have slapstick joke after joke being through at you.  There aren't amazing/ridiculous chase scenes or things blowing up.  The dramatic music with intense camera shots are nowhere to be found.  It's simple.  There's a camera, possibly a few zoomed in shots, and some people talking.  For some reason, I really enjoy this type of film making.  It puts such an emphasis on good script writing and good acting.  The words need to be crisp and meaningful while the actors need to be on point with emotion and inflection.  SLC Punk has all of that.  The amount of rants that Matthew Lillard's character goes on are endless and his delivery and the content of it all is priceless.  There's one, in particular, where he goes off about the feud between the American and British punk scenes.  Here it is:

Sure there's a lot more punks than there was four years earlier, but there was also as many poseurs. Poseurs were people that looked like punks, but they did it for fashion. And they were fools. They would say "anarchy in the UK," you see, poseurs. "anarchy in the UK," what the fuck is that? What good is that to those of us in Utah, America? It was a Sex Pistol thing. They were from England, they were British, that's what they did. They were allowed to go on about anarchy in the UK. You dont live your life by lyrics.
I mean that's all you ever heard from these trendy fucks. Like uh, did you hear the new Smiths album? It's fucking terif. Kids walkin' around Utah sayin' 'terif' with a stupid little English twang. See what I mean.(points to a jacket) What the fucks up with the English bullshit? Yeah, I knew a girl who would only have sex with a guy if he only had a fuckin' accent. Can you think of anything more ludicrous in your life? Cuz every asshole in Salt lake City, and let me tell ya, plenty of assholes in this general region that wanna do a little a this will get her drunk and put on some kinda stupid fuckin' accent like, 'hey mistress d'ya fancy a shag?' Then she would, fuckin' knees to the sky, which was sad, it made me really sad, poor girl had no self-respect. See to me, England was nothing more than a big fuckin' American state like North Dakota or Canada. You gotta look at me and you gotta say, hey buddy, why are you so mad and I'll tell ya, cuz for all the following that went over to the English bands from the SLC. Those fuckin English chaps can only say shit about us Americans, all we were to them was a bunch of hicks. Well you know what, I'm not a fuckin' hick. I don't wear cowboy boots, I hate the fuckin rodeo, horses smell like shit to me, and I never fuck anyone in my own bloodline. By definition I am not a redneck and goddammit I ain't no fuckin' hick. Oh the sun never sets on the British empire, well the sun never sets on my asshole.
Another thing that pisses me off, talking about who started punk rock music. Was it the Sex Pistols in england, was it the Ramones and the Velvet Underground in New York? It was the Ramones, it was the Sex Pistols. Who cares who started it, it's music. I don't know who started it, I don't give a fuck. The one thing I do know is that we did it harder, we did faster, and we definitely did it with more love. You can't take that away from us.

It's such a good rant and it's fairly early on the movie.  It's right where I became hooked.  This movie is all about two punks living in Utah who believe in anarchy.  They're both out of college and trying to figure how they can live their lives without giving into the so-called American agenda.  They go to parties, get into fights, steal shit, and find themselves in a lot of trouble at most points throughout the movie.  It's all good, though, because that's what they want.

Throughout the movie, Stevo becomes more and more self-aware.  His character changes before our eyes with every single major event.  It's the type of movie that breaks the 4th wall.  Stevo is not only the main character, but acts as a narrator as well.  He can stop the movie at any time to talk directly to the audience.  It's a way for the director to really drive his point home and makes sure every passing moment is fully understood by the audience.  It's a tool of film making that I adore when done well and these guys do it perfectly.

I can't say enough about this movie.  It's fantastic and one of my favorites of all-time.  I loved the commentary track provided by the director, Lillard, and Goorjian.  Merendino knows his stuff and is able to provide so many interesting tidbits to all the scenes.  I love Lillard and he entertains me to no end.  This is one of those DVDs that I am absolutely thrilled to own and could watch it whenever.

My Rating - 8/10

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