Brick - March 2006

Discussion in 'Movies' started by nickGreenwood, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. nickGreenwood

    nickGreenwood Second Unit

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    Written and Directed by: Rian Johnson

    The script took Rian a number of years to get made, apparently mostly due to executives just not getting the material or why this would be happening in a high school or whatnot. And finally just went around to family and begged for money and made it himself and made it roughly on $500,000.
    The film stars Josephy Gordon Levitt, Emilie De Ravin (pre-Lost) and Lukas Haas and a number of other people.

    The film is described as a film noir set in High School.
    The basic plot outline is this: A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.

    The trailer is available at quicktime and in HD:
    Brick - Trailer

    I have a bit of a personal connection to this film, I'm friends with Nathan Johnson, Rian's cousin who scored the film. He did the soundtrack while in England and Rian was back here in the states. Using e-mail and iChat to talk about the soundtrack and mp3's for Rian to edit the film to. Neat use of technology.
    (Nathan has a band called The Cinematic Underground which is a great band, a good mix of music and theater.)

    I'm really looking forward to this film, it looks interesting and it's getting good reviews by a lot of people and some fairly important people.
     
  2. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    So it's getting a theatrical release of some sort? I thought it was coming out on DVD soon. I saw a trailer for it on something I rented recently and it looked interesting. I have it on my Netflix "future release" list.
     
  3. nickGreenwood

    nickGreenwood Second Unit

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    Yeah it's being released in theaters in March. At least in New York and L.A. and then Focus Features will go from there I guess. The DVD is probably nearly ready to go, but a theatrical release will probably help out a bit.
     
  4. ToddP

    ToddP Stunt Coordinator

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    Just saw a trailer for this on Universal HD. It looks really interesting, and definitely caught my attention. I'll definitely be on the look out in the Baltimore/DC area, hoping for a theatrical release.
     
  5. BrettisMckinney

    BrettisMckinney Second Unit

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    Im sure to alot of you americans and so forth this movie is old news, but its just made it to Australia. I was lucky enough to win 2 tickets to an advance screening the other day and its still stuck in my mind.

    This is a great first film for any director and its executed flawlessly. The main actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt just owns this film. Seriously, it just left me in a wow state...it was just so original. Things I loved-

    The music
    The western almost Manga cinematography
    The violence...the fight scenes just really hit you
    The dialogue
    The humour

    Hope people go see it in theatre..it deserves some attention over You me and Dupree!
     
  6. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    I saw it last night at the Wellington Film Festival. Really loved it. The idea of a film noir set in the high school could (and, to be honest, should) have been awful, but it worked so perfectly. The reason it works is that Rian Johnson, who wrote and directed the film, plainly has a real love for the film noir genre, and so (once you move past the obvious setting changes) he plays it absolutely straight. There's no winking at the camera.

    You highlight the violence, which was the thing I was not expecting. There's one scene, where one person trips another person, that 24hours later I'm still cringing at the thought of.
     
  7. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    I've been eagerly awaiting the dvd release of this one (next week, I think) since I missed its theatrical run. Everyone who's seen it has said it's the best crime movie released in quite awhile.
     
  8. Robert Anthony

    Robert Anthony Producer

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    Just saw it

    This movie is sublime. Seriously. It really reminds me of early Coen Bros stuff. Blood Simple/Miller's Crossing type stuff.
     
  9. Elijah Sullivan

    Elijah Sullivan Supporting Actor

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    Just saw it this weekend as well.

    It entertained me a great deal -- much more than I was expecting, more than I have been in a long while. It's not a flawless film, but it's a future underground classic if only for the one-of-a-kind style and tone of the movie.

    The plot is pretty standard stuff if you've ready any Dashiell Hammet or seen films like The Big Sleep, but it only looks familiar in hindsight; I've got to say that I was consistantly surprised by the way the film turned, scene by scene. Good suspense, fun dialogue.

    Actually, looking back at film noir as a genre -- it is pretty immature stuff, for the most part, lots of adolescent emotion built into them. In some ways, the genre actually feels more at home in high-school!

    I'd recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries or offbeat movies, or is interested in independant film -- Brick was made for $500,000 and with lots of the director's family as key crew members.

    Too much fun.
     
  10. nickGreenwood

    nickGreenwood Second Unit

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    yay, the DVD comes out tomorrow, it's about time. The movie never came out near New Hampshire (I think it went to Boston, though) so now I can finally see this thing.

    It looks as though Rian (the director) is already hard at work on his next movie: "The Brothers Bloom"
     
  11. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I saw this at the local arthouse theater a few months back and really enjoyed it. A tightly plotted, quirky little picture.
     
  12. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
    Supporter

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    i got to see this a few days before the dvd release and although it started out slow or probably just didnt get it right away, as i watched it the more i liked it.

    i kept thinking robert mitchem as the movie progressed.

    this could be a bit of a cult type following if word of mouth can get enough to see it.

    much the way a movie like Rivers Edge was.
    or the one that hit dvd about a year ago, Mean Creek
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I just watched Brick. It was a decent bit of work. I can see a slight similarity to Miller's Crossing (an all-time fave) but really only in the lingo, which still isn't nearly as creative as in MC. What I kept thinking through the entire movie was "David Lynch" who was obviously a huge influence, along with the whole classic Noir genre.

    3.5/5
     
  14. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    I thought it an interesting spin on noir concepts - "teen noir" if you will. As such, it bordered on the precocious but director Rian Johnson managed to keep it reined in. [​IMG]
     
  15. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Just finished watching Brick. I loved the neo-noir aspect, right down to the dialog, as well as the Lynchian storytelling. The movie was put together really well, especially the editing. I wasn't surprised to read that Rian Johnson also edited Lucky McKee's May after watching the movie. Very similar.

    I'm reminded a bit of Donnie Darko. Brick is one of the more interesting, unique films I've seen in a long, long time.
     
  16. nickGreenwood

    nickGreenwood Second Unit

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    I finally picked this up the other night. I can't stop thinking/talking about this film, that's a good thing, I mean it sticks with you. It makes you think about it even days after you've seen it, not since Fight Club have I seen a movie like that.
    Everyone did a really good job in their roles, I hadn't really seen Joseph Gordon Levitt in anything since 10 Things I Hate About You (which I like) and was cool to see him playing something very opposite of that. Emilie DeRavin for the short amount of time she was in the flick did a good job. (I had asked Rian if she was as cute in real life as she was on tv, he said she was far prettier.)
    Nora Zehetner was probably one of the best in the movie and she has a decent sized part, she was cute, innocent, but not, and all sorts of other things. (not to give anything away)

    I was very impressed with the picture quality, I watched it on my Powerbook over the course of a couple of days (I don't get to watch movies till late generally, so it takes me a couple of days to get through them) and the quality was very nice (of course Apple screen's are probably my favorite) no defects that I could tell, the color's were all what they were supposed to be, very subdued unless the scene was a bright and flashy scene. Black's were black, the color blue plays a lot into the movie and the blue's were very good looking. I'm was impressed with the DVD, especially coming from Universal, the only other DVD I was mostly impressed with from them was "Serenity". I was bummed out by the lack of extra's on the disk.

    Rian has stated that maybe in the distant future a Special Edition will come out, but I'd like to see a documentary about the score for the movie (I know most about it because I went to Nathan Johnson's lecture, and I know Nathan so I've e-mailed him about his recording and such) but still I think it would be cool for people to see that the film was scored trans-atlantic or trans-pacific (which ever way you want to look at it), all done via iChat, E-mail on Mac's. And what went into making the very different score. Maybe a little more on the casting, or just an overall documentary about the movie start to finish, Rian talks about it in the commentary a little, but seeing it all would be cool.

    I've listened to like the first 20 minutes of commentary, give or take 5 minutes, Rian's good, he's got a clear passion for the project and what I've listened to he talks about the development of the movie, it was written around 1998 or 99, somewhere in there. His family became the financial backers thankfully, he shot the film on location in the school that he went to as a kid (there's a Easter Egg of a movie he did as a teen at the same school) and it was a friend/family ordeal, with family as producers right down the music, done by his cousin.

    Overall I highly recommend the film, but I'm a bit biased, I know some of his family, his other cousin (I think cousin, could be brother) Aaron Johnson produced The Fray's first album, so the Johnson's are talented family (apparently not excelling at managment or sports, according to Nathan).

    Anyway great story, good dialogue, good direction, good writing, good acting, it's a great way to invest in a story for an evening.

    I'm very much looking forward to Rian's next film, The Brother's Bloom, which his cousin Nathan will be scoring also.

    I'm such a dorky fan.
     
  17. rich_d

    rich_d Cinematographer

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    Nick,

    If that's dorky, sign me up.

    I love film scores and information about the art of film scoring.

    I really enjoyed Brick. I thought it was different, clever and appealing.
     
  18. Jacob McCraw

    Jacob McCraw Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw this over the weekend and I thought it was great.

    I listened to some of the commentary and was immediately moved to watch "Miller's Crossing". The two make a good double feature in my opinion.

    Some have already mentioned David Lynch and I think that is very accurate. I also thought of "A Clockwork Orange" and there was a great noir atmosphere throughout.

    I thought the performances were strong throughout give or take a few readings that didn'd fly, but that is understandable given the nature of the dialogue.

    Highly recommended.
     
  19. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    There's a really interesting interview with Rian Johnson at CHUD, mostly about his next film.

    And, not only that, although Brick was concieved as a film, Rian originally wrote it as a novella, and once he had the whole thing worked he wrote the screenplay. Well, if you visit Rian's website, you can download the original novella (with new illustrations) and the schooting script (with footnotes) for free.

    Which is pretty cool of Rian, I think, since I'm pretty sure he would make more money selling this stuff than giving it to us for free.
     
  20. nickGreenwood

    nickGreenwood Second Unit

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    Rian is one of the most accessible people working in films, more so than even Zach Braff who regularly updates his blog and such. Rian is frequently posting the Brick movie forum and such. I think it's one of the things that makes him cool.
     

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