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April 12, 2006

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100% disagree an just about every point. Brick uses the noir stakes to put you in the emotional state of being a teenager, where everything is heightened and it's all about where you fit in. I found it to be one of the most creative and original takes on the genre since The Big Lebowski.

I just don't see the connection between noir and the "emotional state of being a teenager" - the high school setting just seems like a gimmick. And I don't think it reimagines noir nearly as cleverly (nor as successfully) as The Big Lebowski.

Jeezy Creezy! I'll need a dictionary to comprehend that post. XD
Anyhow I just wanted to say that I disagree with you about the "barely decipherable tough-guy slang,". Mainly because even if you didn't understand the slang like the best example, "I've got knives in my eyes" the next line explains what is being said. "I'm going home sick."
So I thought it was fine.
X)

I've seen The Big Lebowski. Brick, sir, is no Big Lebowski. My main complaint with Brick is the anachronistic dialogue which, in the context of the film, is wholly unbelievable. You yell "BULLS!" at a high school party and, believe me, no one is getting out of the keg line. I've chalked up this wholesale importation of archaic dialogue to creative laziness. Instead of sitting around reading tattered copies of Hammett and Chandler novels, he should have been doing drugs with high school kids. The dialogue of the Big Lebowski, on the other hand, was completely believable. By combining the machine-gun reparte of classic noir with the (forgive me) "parlance of our times," the Coen brothers created a movie that could be enjoyed by all audiences and not just film-student hipsters who are in the know.

Funny... I just happened across this review, and stuck with it because of the comment that it "never really offers an adequate justification for its central genre-transplant conceit." I just finally watched it last night, and was fascinated all the way through, but it left me feeling not only a little hollow but even, in a way, manipulated after the fact. First I thought that that point was that the behaviors should make us more uncomfortable because they're enacted by kids... so why should we be less affected by that behavior by adults, really? Than I thought, no, that doesn't work, because it was played too straight-ahead "adult" in emotional content for that (not that it could have been bent too far in the other direction, either). Then I thought, it's a commentary on how noir-ish disaffection has infected younger and younger folks, and that they're just too comfortable and facile with it. Then I thought, no, that doesn't work, because the characters have far too much emotional reserve for even the wisest and most jaded teenager (except in very rare cases, and certainly not in batches in a public school).
So... yeah. What is the justification of the conceit? I just can't figure it...

I notice a lot of people here attempting to defend what is obviously a very high-brow bit of cinematic failure as some kind of verite with just more intellectual gobbledygook. The film completely fell on it's pretentious ass. We're supposed to believe these high school kids actually think, speak, act and live like this? Even if this is supposed to be a satire of film noir, it fails. I suspect the only people that lavished kudos on BRICK are just other kids that only wish they were this mature and worldwise, so to speak, but are not--they're projecting some kind of fantasy of all the things they wish they had said or done but didn't. That, and that portion of Hollywood that had a vested interest in it--I can't believe this film was so highly received. The film should have been set in a post-graduate, Ivy league college environment--that would have been so much more believable than this bit of high school artifice. C'mon, really.

I take it back...it actually kind of works.

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