7.50pm – Time to watch my first ever James Dean movie! How bad is it that I’ve loved films for so long and never seen a James Dean movie!! The shame!
11.20pm – I really enjoyed this movie! Its not your typical high school movie! Yeah we’ve got the normal angst but its deep and realistic and the reaction isn’t just “I HATE YOU AND I HATE MY LIFE”. Well, it is but there’s more depth. And there’s a psychopath in it! Wahey!
I haven’t seen James Dean in a movie, I’d only ever seen images and those images did not do him justice! These were my exact notes on first seeing him “OMG HE’S CUTE!” Anyways, Jim [Dean’s character] falls quite gracefully to the floor to a wind-up monkey and its so cute watching him wind the monkey back up and hold it and then try and tuck it into ‘bed’ with a newspaper and a leaf. He’s clearly drunk but he’s an adorable drunk, kind of like a 5 year old again. And then he tries to sleep next to the monkey in the middle of the road. I don’t know why but I found this whole beginning to be hilarious even though I know that if any other actor did it, I probably wouldn’t find it as funny. Except Robin Williams, obviously, who could make drinking orange juice funny.
Jim gets taken into the police station and they try to take the monkey away but he’s so cute and says ‘no!’ and they let him keep it. Then he starts to imitate the sirens on the cars. It sounds lame but its pretty funny. I didn’t expect to laugh in this movie, though to be honest Jim being drunk is the only really funny part but whatever.
We’re kind of introduced to this boy who’s at the police station because he killed some puppies so we know immediately that he’s a psycho but I actually forgot for the rest of the movie because he seems so normal and just wants friends. Then shit breaks loose in the last 20min and you remember he’s mental. It’s a clever storyline, I think there should be more psychos in normal high school movies rather than the horror ones.
I loved how Jim’s first day at his new high school was shot. Its just so awkward and I just cringed in my seat for ages! I really felt like I was there and living a first day too. There’s this really horrible group of people [The Dickheads as I like to call them, every school has them] who think they’re funny by being horrible to people but they’re just funny to themselves. Anyways, they’re on this school trip and The Dickheads make jokes and Jim joins in [doing the same joke style as they were doing] and they rip him for it! Its horrible, I just wanted to hug him! And to top it off, the lead guy tries to slash him open with a knife! Thank God my brother’s first day wasn’t like that. I suppose the British accent helped him a bit!
This movie’s underlining theme is about families, especially father and child relationships. We have Jim who’s parents argue until his father gives in and that angers Jim because he wants to see his dad be a man and grow some balls. Then there’s the leading lady, Judy, who just wants to be loved by her father but he never shows emotion to her. Anyone who’s had family problems can relate to this and I think that they would relate to the characters and their emotions.
The Dickheads challenge Jim to this car race thing and when he arrives, the main guy Buzz is surprisingly civil to him even though about 5 hours ago, he was slashing him with a knife. I thought it was very weird and out of place until Buzz says that he actually likes Jim but that the other group people need ‘entertainment’ so that’s what this is about. Which is fair enough, but it would have been better to of said that earlier rather than me going “wait, what?” for five minutes.
There was one part that I really didn’t like which was that Judy and Buzz were dating then he dies [sorry] and she gets over him in an instant and falls in love with Jim. I know it’s a movie and it needs to be done quick but jeez, Disney would do better than that!
I laughed again when Jim, Judy and psychopath/Plato are in the abandoned mansion and Plato looks like he’s pretending to be a house salesman and Judy and Jim are ‘newly weds’. it’s a cute little roleplay which shows James Dean’s comic side which I think, if he’d lived a little longer, he should of gotten to show in a whole movie. There was one line that really made me chuckle which was he’s on the diving board [which is over the abandoned pool which they pretended was a nice area to lock the children up in] and he pretends to wobble and shouts “AH! FILL UP THE POOL!” and falls. Sorry, I know I keep saying this but it is funnier on screen than I’m making it out to be. it’s a shame Dean didn’t get to flex his comedic muscles in movies, he would have been brilliant.
I think the character of Plato could of fallen completely on his face but he was written perfectly, in my opinion. He has all the subtle hints [I suppose killing puppies isn’t that subtle…] of a psycho but you forget because he just seems like a normal boy who just wants a friend and someone to look up to. It felt like something out of Criminal Minds only less gruesome.
I’m so glad that I can now say I’ve watched a James Dean movie and I’m even happier that I can say that I really liked it! I thought it was very cleverly written and Dean was awesome and cute.