Sunday, February 01, 2004

Happy Birthday Alan

I'm sure I'm not the first person, but here's hoping I'm the first blogger to say it. Here's a little present for you on this special day:

The Battle of Shaker Heights

War is hell. Especially if you're a teenager. Shia Laboeuf plays Kelly, a teen with an odd hobby; he reenacts wars. Of course, that's just the window dressing. The movie tells the story of a kid coming to terms with life, his life. Realizing that people make mistakes, and that it's what you do after that that really counts. (I stole that line directly from the movie...) This is the second film from HBO's Project Greenlight, and it's a damn good one. Shia is an up-an-coming name in Hollywood, and very much reminds me of a young Tom Hanks (without the looks). It's also got Amy Smart (The Butterfly Effect) and Elden Henson(The Mighty, and oddly enough, The Butterfly Effect too) along with a few other familiar faces. The acting is great, but the script is what really impressed me. Erica Beeney captures life as a misguided teen perfectly, and deals with all of those problems (bullies, crushes, friends, parents, and virginity, which sadly got taken out of the movie) the "unpopular" and popular alike had in high school. No, it's not the best movie I've ever seen, but as far as teen dramas go, it's one of the best made in quite some time. The coming-of-age elements seem toned down (like the virginity factor getting removed) but all in all I think it's a fine movie, and a valiant effort by all involved. Sadly the DVD had nothing in the way of special features. The inclusion of some commentary by the filmmakers would definitely enhance the film and shine some light onto why some of the harder elements were toned down, and insight by the actors on their roles would've been great. Hell, even a documentary that chronicled the making of the film (since one already exists) would've been great. However, it's quite worth the rental fee.

Yeah, it wasn't really a present, I just didn't want to have to write out another post. I'm lazy.

Anyway, have a great birthday Alan, here's wishing you 38 more.

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