I’ve wanted to see this movie for a while. During LOST’s seasons 1 and 2 [y’know, when it was actually good] I loved the character of Claire and loved Emilie De Ravin so that was the main reason I wanted to see this. That and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is hot. As a former film studies student, I really liked this film. I don’t think its for everyone, to be honest but it really works if you do, if you catch my drift. If you are currently doing film studies and you need a movie to analyze, this is your film. I can assure you that by analyzing Brick, you’ll get a lot to write about and very high marks.
First shot is of a teenager/young adult who is looking, in shock, at a dead body of a blond woman. Questions immediately popped into my head; who are they? Why is she dead? Do they know each other? What happened? It’s a great opener as it gets the audience interested straight away. Then there’s a phone call in the beginning is quite powerful and it sparks more questions! I don’t know why but I’d get the feeling that it gives the audience a bit of a wakeup call because normally, the beginning sets it all up in a ‘this is our character, this is their life, then this, then this,’ but this goes straight into being confusing. In a good way, not LOST-season-4 way. Sorry. This post may turn into a LOST bashing, I’ll try to avoid it!
I’m a huge Heath Ledger fan and I love that Joseph Gordon-Levitt looks exactly like him! Its like having him back on our screens! Obviously, Gordon-Levitt is a different actor in his own right and Ledger has a slightly different screen presence but if you just pause the film, you can pretend he’s Ledger.
I loved all the different camera angles. Not a single scene was shot the same, they were all at different levels, different angles, different techniques, and so on. You’d think with so many varied techniques that you’d think that maybe he was trying to hard to be ‘artsy’ but its not like that at all, it really works and its makes it all so interesting. I also loved the used of jumpcuts and fade in/fade outs. They’re simple techniques that you can accomplish on Windows Movie Maker but they’re effective. I love fade in/fade outs if they’re done properly. Sometimes it can look lazy but if done right, it can add a whole new layer of atmosphere. I also loved the use of lighting, especially when the sun would reflect off the camera lens. Its works in noir films like this. Sorry, technical film crap ends here!
Throught the beginning [and throughout the whole movie, really] I was constantly thinking “so how will this link to Emily’s [Emilie De Ravin’s character] murder. We figuring it out with our main character, Brendan which is one of the most American boys names ever. Seriously, you’ll never get an English boy called Brendan. Or Trey. So American, I love it.
Normally, if the opening shot is something in the future, its re-seen at the end so we go “OOOOH! So that’s how it links” but not with this one. We see the opening shot again only 24 minutes in. That’s good because we know what’s happened, we see what happens after that opening shot then we see the aftermath. However, the aftermath is still finding out why the hell she died but its still good. Confusing but good.
Now, we have this how ‘detective’ story going on which we’re used to seeing in like CSI or Numb3rs or something and its even cheesy in them shows so you’d think with Brendan only being in high school and try to solve a murder in a drug circle would be just awkward to watch. However, this movie, I don’t know how, does it right. It doesn’t feel cheesy at all. It feels totally real and believable. At least that’s how I felt though I may just be ignorant. It just didn’t feel like I was watching some crap child detective show. On the other hand, I believe it was bad casting and a bit of bad directing that didn’t make the ‘bad guys’ all that scary. You have Pin and Tug. Pin is the brains behind the drug circle and Tug is like his little bodyguard type person. Anyways, Pin isn’t terrifying at all, he’s actually quite laughable and Tug just looks like the kid from Home Alone and has a funny walk. These two could have been casted so much better. They just weren’t scary at all, just pathetic wannabes. I suppose they are but I just get the feeling like the director was trying to get you scared of them and it just falls flat on its face.
It does get a bit confusing about 1hr 26 minutes in but you slowly start to understand. Just a little warning there.
I think that this is probably what the director was trying to do but whatever. I thought it was good that Tug’s thugs and Pin’s ‘men’ where all given milk to drink as they waited for Tug and Pin to sort something out. I felt this was a little reminder that these are teenagers and not adults. I suppose it is kind of easy to forget that drug circles can be quite young.
I loved one particular part of a scene very much which was when Pin, Tug and Brendan are in the basement and suddenly they hear loads of commotion up stairs and their eyes look up at the ceiling and follow the sound as it makes its way from one side of the room above them to the other side. The other side is the side that has the only entrance to the basement so it’s a hint that they’re coming for them. I just thought it was brilliantly shot and let the audience use their imagination of what was happening upstairs.
I liked this movie visually, the storyline could have been a tad bit more simpler and there could have been a bit better casting but all in all, it was a good movie. And like I said before, if you’re studying films, this would be a good film to study.