Movies that are slightly off.
A detective story.
A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.
It's really quite amazing what Rian Johnson can do with an incredibly limited budget. Brick is nothing if not creative—it may utilize genre conventions, but it does so in a unique way. As a lover of inventive cinematography the biggest standout for me was the framing: everything is shot from an extremely low angle, and many characters are defined as much by their shoes as anything else (and speaking of signature imagery, there's a pervasive fear of garbage bags running through the film that definitely gave me chills once or twice). The editing is also phenomenal, constantly pushing the envelope and using every trick in the book to keep you on your toes. The dialogue's snappy imitation-noir…
If there are two types of movies that have been done to death, it's noir pastiche and high school movies. But, in one of the great bits of movie alchemy, Rian Johnson takes these two subgenres and smashes them up with the reckless abandon of someone who doesn't seem to care if anyone likes it or not, even though we all know that's impossible.
Johnson and the cast are all smart enough to know that a conceit like this will work best if it's played completely straight, and with the exception of one (arguably 2) scene(s), it is. And amusement at the idea of high school students living out a Dashiell Hammett nightmare eventually gives way to genuine and shattering…
It's not often we get to see a debut film that is made with such verve, one that truly stands out daring to be so unique. As a whole it is very much a film that delivers style over any meaningful content but what style it turns out to be. This fast talking, sharply edited modern noir appears to constantly challenge itself scene after scene, seeing if it can continue to raise expectations.
The details of the plot are almost impenetrable, the basic premise being that a spectacle wearing loner called Brendan (a rather downsized and far more agreeable Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is attempting to trace an ex-girlfriend who has asked for his help. Beyond that it's a case of suburban…
So now we've shaken the tree. Let's wait and see what falls on our heads.
Brick is a film that shouldn't work.
It actually took me a few tries to get fully submerged into Rian Johnson's bleak neo noir high school drama thriller. Yes, all those words belong in the same sentence.
I've tried several times to watch Brick but every one of those times I've been distracted, disengaged, or the film just failed to pull me in. I finally powered through the film last night and I feel incredibly silly for not being able to finish it. Brick is one of those films whose clawed grip only sinks deeper into your flesh and fills your veins with colder and…
"Whatever befalls you I'll deal with. Just tell me about the trouble with the brick, the pin."
Brick is writer and director, Rian Johnson's, feature debut which he delivered with great craftsmanship and an original and unique vision. Despite having seen Looper first, I think Brick is still Johnson's best film and most impressive one. It has a very original and smart concept which I haven't seen played out so well an any other film. Brick has all the classic noir conventions of films from the 30's like The Maltese Falcon, but it is set in a very different and drastic manner. So in a way Brick has a similar mood and atmosphere of classic film noir, but by setting…
A modern day film noir, but at high school with teenagers. And surprisingly, it works.
Do you remember what high school was like? That was the whole universe. There was nothing beyond it. Nothing. The way the film utilizes these desolate sports fields and empty car parks, as if to suggest there is no life and no world beyond the California hills that frame nearly every setting...clever stuff. There is also the complete lack of the adult beyond the most simple archetype: the mother and the principle, and the fact that, while most of the characters are students seen in or around the school, we never see anyone doing anything even remotely close to school work. To the characters, this is the real world, as the real world is to a detective in the true old film noirs.
A tremendous amount of thought went into this story, and that hard work definitely raises this above a simple gimmick.
Gave me a David Lynch kinda vibe, even though it was much more linear and coherent than something like Blue Velvet.
Every time I see this film I love it more. The plot is so intricate, yet so admirably well-constructed, that even on a third viewing I get the thrill of discovery upon realizing anew how each piece fits into the puzzle. And then there are the subtle but potent emotional dimensions that become more incisive and powerful the more you sit with them.
I love "Looper," but this might be Rian Johnson's masterpiece.
Film noir revival etc, great reviews everywhere but I just did not get it nor did I enjoy it. What??
If this wasn't neo noire it would be like degrassi or some shit
Spannende, frisch inszenierte, wenn auch manchmal gewöhnungsbedürftige Detectivestory.
This movie is full of almosts and sometimes. Sometimes it's funny and sometimes its almost funny. Almost intruging, almost suspenseful but it doesnt quite strike the right tone. Its director is defintelty aware of the possibilites of mindful direction even if his awareness doesnt meet with his execution. Is it kiddies playing mafia for comedic effect or is it communicating how we trivialize youth? After a while that aspect begins to wear a little thin.
Its style, the unique brain at work pulls you in but the mystery is a little flat and pulls you out. With that in mind its an interesting film from a talent with a fresh take on things still growing into himself. Also, the brain is stronger when you treat it like a reliable friend. That was pretty good.
A pulpy, noirish, moody high school drama. Sounds weird? It isn't, it's utterly compelling and marked Rian Johnson as a very unique talent.
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…