Thursday, October 2, 2014

Buddy Boy or HBO's Prequel to The "Wire", "The Carcetti Story"

8 of 8 Viewers "Liked" "Buddy Boy" (1999, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

The Great Hornito - "I loved everything about this movie. The cast was great. The story was really creepy and mysterious. I loved the pace and tension. This movie had cool twists and the ending didn't disappoint either." - 5 Stars

The Berkeley Blazer - "This slow-burn meditative potboiler explores the darker corners of powerlessness & Catholic guilt. Strong performances and competent direction make this a worthwhile sleeper." - 3 1/2 Stars

Book Wyrm - "It felt too long & made my head hurt but I didn't dislike the film. Very confusing but also intriguing." - 4 Stars

Lord Battle - "This dark apartment drama plays out like "Repulsion" mixed with heavy Hitchcockian themes. Definitely a worth a look, even if only to see Tommy Carcetti in a new light." - 4 Stars

Huntress - "More movies should have awesome interesting sets like this one did. The over the top slumminess of Francis's apartment made it feel way more surreal." - 4 Stars

The Impostor - "Buddy Boy is a disturbing, bizarre look at the troubled life of a lonely man. But not all is what it seems, most of the time I was on the edge of my seat trying to map out the film. The ending still has me wondering what is real and what wasn't." - 4 Stars

Johnny Ocelot - "With a cadre of zany characters this off beat abstract piece will distort your senses. I felt it was pretty straight forward but appreciated the themes of paranoia and social dread. To me, Buddy embodied a lot of things I like in film but didn't quite hit the mark. I don't fault the film, it may be my exposure to like films of the genre." - 3 Stars

Ice Giant - "I usually hate movies with a huge twist but this one pulled it off great." - 3 1/2 Stars

I couldn't get an embed trailer to work, so below you'll find the whole film! Enjoy while YouTube still hosts it.

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

I purchased this film used almost a year ago from an FYE for $2. The reason I picked it up was one of the tag lines made me laugh out loud (or Lol), it read: 

"Combines the creepy intensities of
   David Lynch and Roman Polanski."
                                                    - L.A. Weekly

I knew any film boasting this would either be a pretentious flop or a "worthwhile sleeper" (as perfectly described by the Berkeley Blazer). I found this film to be the latter. 
superficially "Buddy Boy" does resemble a David Lynch film but only with its use of blaring contrast, both technically (video equipment) and narrativly (use of light/shadows). Saying this film has a Polanski pace is basically just saying it's slow, although the film would fit right into his apartment trilogy, for obvious reasons. 
"Buddy Boy" seems to spark a lot of questions from viewers, mainly along the lines of "What really happened?" and "What did ------- scene mean?". To me, films that leave people clueless are a ton of fun and offer each viewer some liberties with the story. This isn't always a good thing, in fact some films totally alienate their audience by including too many loose ends. So rather than try to answer all the questions this film leaves us with, I'd like to point out a major theme, "Beliefs".
Beliefs doesn't sound like much of a theme at all, let alone a major one. But if we take a look at the driving motivations for our main characters, it all comes down to what they believe to be true. Without spoiling everything in this film let me just offer a couple suggestions when applying this theme. Francis has his faith but as the movie progresses what really motivates his choices? When dealing with Gloria, don't get caught up on her diet so much that you don't hear what she's saying... The other characters practically come out and explain their issues with reality or lack or it.
I find myself writing and erasing a lot when it comes to discussing this film. Mainly because I don't want to ruin anything.
With that said, please feel free to ask questions in the comments section. I and many other reviewers would love to share what conclusions we've come to and hear yours as well!
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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