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Tag: Josh Peck

QuickView: Drillbit Taylor (2008)

Drillbit Taylor poster

“I was discharged — unauthorized heroism.”

Drillbit Taylor

This is a mirthless “comedy” that marked the first serious misstep from Apatow Productions, which seemed to have perfected the recipe for modern raunchy comedies through likeable three-dimensional characters and a dash of sweetness whilst avoiding over-sentimentality. The core concept to Drillbit Taylor — bullied highschool kids hiring an ex-military bodyguard who infiltrates their school to protect them — is promising, and ripe for satire. Its chief problem is lazy writing that not only forgets to insert any humour but fails even as light drama due to its flimsy caricatures of nerds who are simultaneously too stupid and shallow for the audience to relate. Even the charismatic Owen Wilson seems present solely for the pay-cheque. The film’s saving graces are that Wade’s throwaway romantic subplot is cute to see unfold, and it is always fun to see bully’s receive their comeuppance, no matter how ill-earned.


QuickView: The Wackness (2008)

The Wackness quad poster

“In June I graduate. And then I go to my safety school. And then I get a little older. And then I die.”

Luke Shapiro

Set in the summer of 1994 against the backdrop of a now-unfamiliar incarnation of New York, The Wackness is a disarmingly tender drama that unfolds with the heightened reality of a hazy memory. My own recollection of the trailer had led me to expect a coming of age story as Luke experiences first love in the summer before college; in fact the film belongs equally to Ben Kingsley who revels in the flamboyant role of Dr Squires, with whom Luke trades drugs for therapy sessions and develops a friendship. It is telling that the mumbling, drug-dealing teenager demonstrates greater maturity than most of those around him, even as he navigates virgin emotional territory; the film’s adults appear to illustrate the failure to come of age, or at least the fact that maturity is a continuing process. There is a tonal clash between the off-kilter humour in The Wackness and its more serious intentions, but not enough to derail this beautifully shot musing on embracing life’s painful splendour.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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