Thursday, December 30, 2010

Disappointment in VHS land

I've mentioned before that I'm a rabid VHS collector. In fact, at this point, I have around 20 movies on VHS sitting in a stack that I haven't even had the chance to watch yet. As I continue to pick up movies, new acquisitions that I'm eager to watch end up pushing the older titles further down the stack.

The latest VHS pickup that I ended up watching just days after picking it up was the Richard Linklater film SubUrbia (not to be confused with the 1984 Penelope Spheeris cult classic that doesn't have the awkwardly capitalized vowel). I had always heard this film was pretty awesome and knew it never saw the light of the DVD (odd for a film produced in 1996). When I found it for a buck, I was so excited that it ended up finding its way to the top of the stack pretty quickly.

My high expectations certainly weren't met.

The film was a meandering, poorly structured and downright pointless tale of slacker life. I can understand that a movie about a bunch of teenagers whose lives don't have much direction could lack structure, but that doesn't mean it's going to be entertaining. For the first half, I slightly enjoyed SubUrbia, but it quickly wore out its welcome and by the last half-hour took a painfully bad turn toward drama.

I think I can sum up the problem with this movie pretty easily by what I did while rewinding the tape: I looked at the cast on the box and tried to pick out who was supposed to be the character I was supposed to like. I couldn't seem to find one.

A movie full of characters you probably won't end up caring about or liking.

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