Hill’s story suggests equal parts “Freaks and Geeks,” “Kids,” and the adolescent-focused narratives of British director Shane Meadows, but Hill cribs from these precedents with a confidence that injects this lively snapshot of skateboarding reprobates with fresh confidence.
Thought it was a great ride, with extreme highs and extreme lows with great performances and characters. I do think however, this movie will really depend on you, and your past experiences. For me, it hit the mark.
Better than mid90s’ treatment of adults is its evocation of the euphoria that comes from discovering one’s place in the world, and confidence—highlighted by Stevie’s nerve-wracked first sexual experience—as well as the way skating provides a liberating release, and a surrogate family, for these unruly teens.
It perfectly summed up what it was like to be a skater as a teenager. the soundtrack was dope, the characters felt... real. it felt like the movie kids but if it kids had been focused solely on the skaters. there are people talking about how it wasn't cohesive or that it lacked structure and... i mean.. that's kind of the point. the film is about kids who aren't worried about their future and are just skating. why would there be more of a point if that's what the premise is? the anti-climatic ending also made sense... I like that the movie didn't force some **** ending or some stupid "moral of the story" wrap-up. maybe this was just me because that was more or less my exact 15 year old experience but whatever. as far as i'm concerned it perfectly nailed every aspect of what it was like
Jonah Hill's directorial debut is pretty decent, but pretty flawed.
It's like 'This is England', just more 90's American.
While not the most original take on the coming-of-age story and even Jonah Hill agrees, and yet what stopped it from being stale is it's presentation.
The performances and cinematography are the strongest element of the movie. Sunny Suljic was terrific as Stevie. He delivered a humble performance while also displaying a troubled side. Lucas Hedges was great and appropriately casted in the part, especially when he's given the opportunity to work with material that suites him.
However my issues stem from the lack of development from some characters for me to care for them. Not all of the scenes that were suppose to be emotional work for me, because I didn't think it was fully earned to get an emotional response from me.
Despite all that, this is so personal for Jonah. A personal story that might not reflect his life to the fullest, but the desire to fit in and feel less invisible in a crowded room is something that we all craved at some point in our **** even right now.
Growing Up And Skating Down.
Hill's first major motion picture is a typical style over substance case. There is very less to chew on and more to run on or skate on. And being judged by his viewers with both the eyes wide open, Hill is a much more smarter and effective director than he is a writer. This uncouth slick street is the perfect stage for its characters. But, clearly this is already something that we have experienced before. And no matter how jaggedly his vision is on mark, he could not crown them on, in his storyline decoratively. The primary reason to that is his stereotypical and undercooked characters that are misguided under the impression of crafting out the practicality in it.
There is no circle, there is no reason, there is no arc to his storytelling. And even as a series of various episodes, Hill struggling behind the camera, obscurely leaping across the narration leaves you into an uncharted territory, he is not the advisable guide to this inadequate story. Nevertheless, the ferocious pace in his narration and shorter runtime clocks your experience to a satisfactory note. His direction eerily resembles with Malick's camera work at times, and gives you a familiar neighborhood environment where we have played aplenty of times. Each character, driven by their parched two liner note can easily be evaluated within the first act.
Hill's world in here is out of control, free from any bound knowledge, it is intriguing but not competent in its own range. Aforementioned, Hill soars on executing the written words on screen; although they are not something to be replied upon in here, surprisingly the performance is a vital theme to this film. It is scripted to be relied upon the performance and milking out the best from the achieved opportunity, both the younger and older cast manages to mark a stamp on this drama.
Hitting themselves brutally in a wall or in a fist fight or falling over while practicing, the physical sequences are meant to create a long lasting awe and it does but unfortunately, it raises questions on its existence itself. Suljic, the protagonist, is a better performer than his character is, and he is the only strong character involved in this over thought out journey. In fact, his friends wins over a large margin than his family. **** off the nature and the sluggish memories that they are dipped into, Hill's eye on their emotions gives them an absorbing angle to project.
Waterston and Hedges, the major talents and disappointment of the film, are left untouched to feel their skin in the game. Plodding on a familiar structure, fortunately Hill doesn't thrive upon huge antics, his unswerving content, even though flat line, is something to look upon. If he fumbles on delivering a flamboyant storytelling, his knack of keeping the conversations practical and subtle is a promising element, that lifts up this so called arthouse. Hill's memories of Mid90s may be apt, but similar to it, it has both flawed and grandeur moments.
Sunny Suljic plays a 13-year-old who's desperate to fit in with an older group of skaters, while escaping the bullying of his brother (Lucas Hedge effective as a tough guy). Comparisons to Larry Clark's KIDS (which was actually made in the 90s) are inevitable. Writer/director Jonah Hill shot this in a 4:3 ratio to mimic the video standard of that time. It has the same kind of raw style that surrounds a cast of mostly real skaters, jiving, cussing and getting high. While there's not a plot as such, things happen and Suljic creates an earnest, sweet kid in search of friendship. The skaters are completely at home being themselves (or variations). It's a rambling, but genuine and interesting first effort.
Everyone who's ever been a 12-year-old boy has written this story in his head. This film plays like a pre-adolescent super-fantasy, including sexual encounters with hot teenage girls, enough substance abuse to knock out a horse (with no effects whatsoever), and accidents and mishaps that would kill the horse and the whole posse.
I get the impression this was an old screenplay Jonah Hill wrote in film school, and he could now produce (I have no idea whether Jonah Hill went to film school). It has events without consequences (the mishaps, substance abuse, and the film's great tragic event), resolutions without understandable cause (the character-transformation of the kid's brother and the final scene between the mom and the kid's friends), and situations without explanation (Just who owns the skateboard shop? Is there such a thing as school in this kid's life? Just how old is he supposed to be, anyway?).
I expected a sort of gritty-but-realistic portrayal of this life, not some squealing little kid's wet dream.