Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Low & Clear - A Rich Visual Feast With A Silent Substance

'Low & Clear' is a documentary feature which I had no idea where it was going to go. As a documentary buff I am always willing explore different avenues and let a story take me on a ride I have never experienced before. Documentaries have so much honesty, integrity and they are able to take you to new directions in your mind where you didn't think was possible. When I watched the first 10-15 minutes of this I was really unsure about this. I figured I was going to dislike it heavily because it didn't have much dialogue and the story seemed very vague. But as the documentary progressed I snapped right out of that mentality and wanted to learn more about our two stars JT and Alex and what direction their stories were going to take me. I have watched documentaries on many different issues, and I am always willing to see a side of a particular story that I either don't know a lot about or haven't heard of. In this instance it is about two friends and their passion for fishing and their tension riddled friendship.

JT and Alex are very different in some ways but very similar in others. While their passion for fishing is extreme their reasons for loving this as much as they are can be quite different from one another. JT really lets the viewer know that fishing is his life, and at times he feels it takes over his whole psyche because it is his whole persona, fishing is who he is. And he does make several comments about wanting to go to a deserted cabin with no electricity and all he would live there and just fish all day every day. However he needs to keep reminding himself it isn't just about the fishing, its the environment surrounding him as he fishes, which I think is symbolic that he needs to have a life outside of the fishing ie; spending time with his fiancé. It means so much to him that he really does take it personally if he doesn't catch anything, it makes him feel like a failure, and when is out fishing with Alex and sees him doing better than he is, it just silently infuriates him more. JT doesn't have to say anything to create a slight tension between the pair when they are fishing together by swearing or yelling, his silent annoyance or feeling of failure says it all. Alex on the other hand is a completely different kind of fisherman because he was seen as a legend of fishing and he is now forgotten, and I think deep down that does hurt Alex. It just seems all throughout his life he has wanted attention and approval in this area so he really does milk it for what it is worth, ie; taking a photo every single time he catches a fish. For him I do believe it is self validation for him because as a child he felt like he really had to prove himself to his dad who didn't take him fishing that much even though he wanted to go so much. JT is very happy and content being in his own world and catching fish and that's all it would take to make him happy, whereas Alex seem's very motivated in showing off what he has accomplished with fishing.

The tension between JT and Alex is very gradual throughout the film when they decide to go on a fishing trip with each other. It isn't a vindictive rivalry between the pair, I do believe it is a very silent rivalry. If one of them doesn't catch more fish than the other person then he is considered a failure or not good enough. As their trip continues and JT really isn't having the same luck as Alex, you see him becoming more withdrawn, silent, and maybe a tad bit resentful which definitely boils over in his long silences, and you would have to be an idiot not to notice that. There didn't need to be dialogue to address the rivalry and tension between the pair, you could feel it boil over onto the screen and into your eyes as you watch every minute. While there are the common passion for fishing, their approaches to it are very different, it's just like the Ying and the Yang. Even though the dialogue between the two is extremely simple it's their body language speaks volumes and I believe does most of the talking.

I found the cinematography to be beautiful, there are some big budget films who can't achieve the same quality even with a green screen. When I watched 'Low & Clear' I felt I was watching a beautiful photograph come to life and play out a story for me, it ran deep. Everywhere the camera panned you could just see the wonderful nature, and how different it is to a normal city life. It is tranquil, at times haunting but nothing short of breathtaking. It is extremely hard not to notice the scenery. I also believe it adds to the story especially in JT's case because of his lust for pure isolation in a beautiful environment where it would be him, the fishes, the birds, the trees and the sky. Everything about the scenery and cinematography just go hand in hand and it comes across as very rich and vibrant on screen, it just adds to the mood beautifully.

I enjoyed this documentary immensely, it surprised me, it turned my negative first opinion in the opposite direction, and opened my eyes to other peoples passion, and why they love what they love, and how different they live their lives to others. I think if you pay attention to the mood of the story and understand the relationship between JT and Alex you will be intrigued to know more about them way after the film ends. This isn't about the dialogue, it is about their emotions, their friendship and most of all their passion.

Southern Comfort

Don't you hate when so many cinematic gems get lost out there in that foggy midst of Oscars, box office successes and just overall bad timing? There are so many films which are the 'face' of a genre. You know the ones I mean, when it comes to Science Fiction/Horror everyone knows Alien is ahead of the pack , and how majority of people associate 'The Godfather' as the definitive Gangster film. And when it comes to intense survival drama films most people would probably choose 'Deliverance'. I have found 'Deliverance' to be one of the most intense films, with such great pacing because you just know something bad is going to happen and the journey into that dangerous abyss is an eventful one. I love this film a lot, and I think it is one of the most grimy films of the 1970's, and one of the most definitive 'Guys Drama', but there is a film which I was put onto recently which has definitely been forgotten and not exposed to the likes of 'Deliverance'; that film is 'Southern Comfort'.

Here is the run down. There's a group of 9 in the Louisiana Army National Guard and they are just spending the weekend running through manoeuvres. But they have hit a little snag and need to cross this swamp and that is where they find a couple of canoes that don't belong to them and so they decide to take them and they are caught by their owners who happen to be Cajun locals. And as they guys are trying to negotiate with the Cajun's in bringing them back PFC Stuckey decides to fire blanks at the Cajuns...yep...they are not amused. And from that moment on, this gang of 9 need to get out of the swamp before they get killed. It's definitely a manhunt. I believe this storyline with the cat and mouse trail works really well for this film even though the story has been recycled in hundreds of films. It actually reminded me a lot of 'Predator', because although you couldn't exactly see the Cajun's you knew they were around and they were going to teach them some survival manoeuvres that they wouldn't forget.

'Southern Comfort' was perfectly cast, enough said. I thoroughly enjoyed what everyone had to offer. No matter what their role was, they made it significant in every way that they could. While some are not in the film for too long, they definitely let you know what kind of person they are portraying so you get a real sense of who these men are, and what they about. And as the film goes on you can see how people cannot handle the pressure, the intensity to the point that they are a ticking time bomb, so you can only imagine what will happen to them. Keith Carradine plays PFC Spencer, and from the first impression I thought that he was a boy in men's boots, he just seem very cocky, sure of himself, and I truly believed I would dislike his character, but I was so wrong, because throughout the film you will see him grow, take initiative, support the group regardless of whether he likes them or not, all he wants is what is best for them, he was someone you could totally admire. At first you would look at him and think he was all talk and a coward but that all changes when things start to go sour. Powers Booth plays CPL Hardin who has been transferred from the Texas National Guard, and he does not like his new crew one single bit. He is very mysterious, it is clear he doesn't want any trouble, or anything to do with the arrogance that is shown in this squad of 9, but he makes it clear he is not a force to be reckoned with. I enjoyed Booth's portrayal of Hardin because you can definitely see a serious BADASS living underneath this calm, mysterious exterior, he looked like he had seen some messed up shit, so you can always tell that these kind of characters always have a 'beast' inside them waiting to come out. Fred Ward portrays CPL Reece, who definitely has seen some shit in his previous life, however instead of being calm, and being more of a thinker, he is a definite hot head, who does not listen to anyone, and cannot admit when he is wrong. His character is enjoyable because you can see the turmoil inside him, of wanting to be leader, wanting to take over the gang, and wanting some stone cold revenge on the Cajuns. But if you follow narratives very well it doesn't take a genius to know what happens to the hot head of the group.

This film made me feel quite on edge and at times uncomfortable, but not to the point I needed to turn it off, it made me feel uncomfortable to the point I just couldn't look away. It always found ways of pulling me in deeper and deeper to the point I felt I was there with them. This is the kind of film which can make you so uneasy because you are travelling into the unknown. Think about it you are with a group of guys who don't exactly get along, in a place you don't know how to get out of, you barely have anything to survive on and a group of Cajuns are hunting you for sheer pleasure of it. It's quite a sick game of hide and seek isn't it? What I loved about the Louisiana Swamp setting is that no matter where you turned you could barely see the sky because of the trees, there didn't seem to be any openings, you were just taking pot luck of where you were going. This film reminded of what Spielberg did in 'Jaws', where he made sure you could not see anything surrounding the Orca like the shore or other boats, it made you feel there was no way out of the situation, and that is what was done in 'Southern Comfort'; and it was done perfectly. When I was watching this it also reminded me a little of 'The Warriors' because of the whole cat and mouse concept, the chase, the longing to get back to your turf or your home. And then I realised that Walter Hill who directed 'The Warriors' also directed 'Southern Comfort' and he also produced all of the 'Alien' films, so he definitely has a taste for these kind of stories, and he conveys it will on screen.

'Southern Comfort' is a film I wish I saw earlier, and a film I recommend to everyone! I enjoyed it because there was not a single hint of romance, or saving a damsel in distress, it was just a real GUYS film. It was about survival of the fittest, every man for himself. If you found 'Deliverance' as an intense film that really exposed to you the vile nature that some of us pick up and nourish ourselves with, then you will definitely love 'Southern Comfort'. It isn't a rip off, of 'Deliverance' and it doesn't try to be like it either, 'Southern Comfort' stands on it's own two feet and grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. Don't look past this gem, I put it off for weeks and my boyfriend kept telling me I needed to watch it because of how awesome it was, and what can I say he was right!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Benny Loves Killing.

I love being given the job of watching a film, which is so new, fresh and nothing like what is being circulated on the big screen. From the moment I started watching the opening of 'Benny Loves Killing', I was hooked. The story itself has a mysterious quality about it, which just made me stare at the screen, and I couldn't look away. The camera lured me into Benny's eyes, making me wonder what was running through her mind to make her appear to be in constant deep thought. There are not many directors or actors that can pull of such close and intimate camera angles and not make me feel claustrophobic. But director Ben Woodiwiss captured Benny's vulnerability through her eyes, and I felt every natural emotion that I was supposed to. Ben Woodiwiss really brought out the best of Benny through actress Pauline Cousty. Ben managed to capture the story without dialogue a lot of the time. You didn't need dialogue, you just needed the emotions, the musical score, the silence.

Here is the run down. Benny is at film school, and she is working on a film within a film, as part of an assignment, yet doing a practical assignment was not what was required of her, and she may lose her funding. She wants to get her point across the real way. she wants to portray the visuals because actions speak louder than words. Benny doesn't want to be like everyone else, and she really isn't. She is quiet, a thinker, socially awkward. But underneath that is a film maker and horror film lover waiting to burst out of the shades of grey, black and white and become something with colour. You see this colour come through when she snorts cocaine, tries on different coloured wigs, and wears unusual make up. She is trying to live and breathe her role. But what is this role? Her relationship with her mother played by the amazing Canelle Hope, is a strained one. But it is natural, you really do believe that they are mother and daughter. There is honest emotions in every look they give to one another and in every word they say. It feels authentic. Sometimes watching Pauline and Canelle together on screen, didn't feel like I was watching a film; it felt real. As the film progresses, we notice Benny having surreal dreams, which slowly unfold, and what is great about these dreams is that you can interpret them anyway you like. And as the dreams continue, so does the downhill spiral of her life.

There are two scenes in particular I have to mention because they are so vital to film making and it was so interesting that point being made in a film. There is a scene that Benny is shooting and she makes a point of making sure that the camera has to be on the victim in the film, and she says this interesting quote and I have never heard it been said like this ever so here it is; “When you’re watching a horror film and the camera is in the eyes of the killer, who do you identify with? The mind of the killer whose eyes you’re looking through or the girl you’re looking at? Both? You sympathise with the girl you’re looking at not with the eyes you’re looking through, that’s the kind of way it works”.  That is so spot on, and correct because when do you ever really see the eyes of the killer. You see the victims, because you want to see her last seconds of life on screen, you want to see her last breath. The killer is completely irrelevent in those scenes, it is all about the victim. Which then brings me onto a scene a little later in the film. Benny is at a party and she is in the bathroom and she gives some cocaine to an unseen man. The camera is right behind him so all you see is the back of his head and Benny's face. At first things seem fine when she shares the cocaine with him, but then he threatens her and I think he rattles something inside of her at this point. While watching this scene you think back to the other scene where she is explaining how we have to sympathise with the victim through the eyes of the killer. And now we are sympathising with her. You don't see this man's face, you just hear his voice, and it is very calm. Seeing that scene just screamed Giallo for me. As a big Giallo fan, I get so excited when I see those kind of elements in new films, and this was done to complete perfection. I can't fault it. I think having being rattled up inside by this stranger, changed a course of action in her life and how she wanted to lead it. Does she want to continue her downward spiral or is she ready to let the confident person she has wanted to be, finally come out.

 The camera work on this was nothing short of perfect, you can really feel the tone of the film and feel the characters emotions through each angle. It's as if each camera angle is personal, and brings out the personality of everyone, no matter how small or big their roles might be. In several scenes there isn't any music which I think is just as dramatic as having a musical score. In a lot of films silence can be awkward, whereas in this case, I can't imagine this film having an intricate self indulgent score, because sometimes that can be just as damaging to a film than anything else and it can be off putting. I overall enjoyed the story and loved where it went, and loved the journey I went on discovering more about Benny and her life and how she feels.

'Benny Loves Killing' is one of the best films I have seen of 2013. Big call right since there have been quite a few gems this year. But what this film did to me was suck me in from the beginning. It new exactly what it was, and where it was going, and it makes you think. The ending some might say is a 'cop out' because it isn't closed. But just because you don't have a closed ending, doesn't make the film any less brilliant. Having endings which make you think several things could happen, is a big risk. Especially for an independent film maker getting his foot in the door. I think it worked, for me there are so many answers that there could be, it was like a choose your own adventure type of story, and I totally loved the hell out of it. It's definitely an ending which not everyone will agree on with what happened to her, but at least it is a hot topic of discussion; how many amateur films with substance can do that?  If any of my readers decide they do want to watch this and get the chance to, please do not be put off by the silence of dialogue in several of the scenes, it isn't meaning to be pretentious with the silence it's just trying to set the mood, and letting everything be about Benny and how we see the emotion she is feeling through her eyes. Ben Woodiwiss did a great job and really used his knowledge with the right tools and created something really detailed, strong and different. He is definitely a film maker to look out for in the future!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sweet Jane - Depressing but meaningful

Every now and again there are some films which just depress me. You know the ones I mean, the ones that unfold very slowly and make you feel like nothing god can come at the end of this film. And once you have finished watching it you have this strong sense of realisation that everything is messed up in the world, and it drags you in quite a depressing mood. Sometimes as viewers we need to watch films with more of a realistic take on life, to bring us down to earth a little, to give us that kick up the ass or maybe to even kick us off our pedestals and let us feel something.  That is how I felt after watching 'Sweet Jane'. I had never heard of this film before, not up until a month ago as it was a recommendation, and I am glad I got the chance to find a copy of this film and watch it. After I watched 'Sweet Jane', it gave me a little glimpse into the life of a junkie. I have seen a fair share of drug related movies involving junkies, most of which are so overly dramatised and romanticised that it makes me get to a point when watching the film, that I just wish the junkies would die and then the film would end...cold right? Whereas in 'Sweet Jane', I felt something so different, I actually felt sympathy and even though I knew how the film was going to end, I just wanted a happy ending, but alas tragic stories like this just doesn't happen like that.

Here is the run down. Jane(Samantha Mathis) is a junkie who has overdosed and winds up in hospital, and is given the news that she is indeed HIV positive, yep so as you can see not the most positive note to start the film on. We then cut to a scene of Tony (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)a young kid who is being forced to take his medication much to his dismay. We then cut to Jane escaping the hospital and Tony following her. When she realises he is following her she makes it clear she wants him to leave her alone, but after much persistance she just lets him tag along. At this point Jane is trying to do whatever she can to get money for a fix of heroin, even starring in a cheap porn film but gets herself out of it before shit got really real. But as we get say 40 minutes into the film we start to see Jane and Tony bond, and become close, something that Tony wants yet Jane is relearning how to let her guard down. As the story unfolds more and more, we learn a lot more about Tony and the film focuses a lot more on him. Obviously knowing more about his past really says a lot about him, and shows he has gone through a lot for such a young kid. The film is under 90 minutes long, so it isn't a film which drags it's story out for ages before we learn anything vital about the main characters, everything is pretty well structured and fairly quick paced. I think if it was a tad bit longer, we could have learnt more about the characters, because even though the characters were developed well, I still think there was a chunk missing from the film. I think they needed to have a bit more layers in the context and not just make nearly everything surface value.

 Samantha Mathis did a great job in portraying junkie, Jane. You could see she was a lost young woman, who only found solace in the heroin she let flow through her veins. She felt challenged by nothing in her life until she is told she is HIV positive. And even when she is, she tries to ignore it by getting her hands on more drugs. We see her character doesn't like to be close to anyone until she really starts getting to know Tony, but we don't really find out why she is the way she is, surely something out there had to have spun her into the direction of being an emotionally cut off junkie. I think the only time she really feels anything is when she is high, she looks dead without it. Obviously in the second act of the film we do see her feel emotions without being high, which is interesting to see, but at times I found it to be a little unbelievable how quickly you can bring down those walls that you have had up to guard you for so long and be vulnerable and actually feel pain. In my own experience years of putting up walls takes more than just a few days to bring back down, but hey maybe I shouldn't look too far into it because it is after all just a movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt played his character of Tony exceptionally well, and dealt with and portrayed the emotions of his character very simply. You could tell there was always something on Tony's mind, which was important to him, he was a deep thinker. You can also tell in his eyes that Tony had seen a lot and experienced a lot of hardships for such a young kid. In the second act of the film we see what he really thinks come to light and we get an insight into what he went through growing up. I think with his character the less information we know about his back story the better because I think his characters life is more affective on screen when you have to imagine it yourself.

While the film does revolve around Jane's heroin usage it isn't the only thing that the film is about. The film is also about finding that person you can connect with out there, someone who can love you as a friend and accept you for what you are, and try and pull you out of the most roughest times of your life. And even though this film does end quite sad, you cannot help but think these characters help each other and impact one another's lives. I liked this film because it wasn't all about the heroin use. It wasn't portrayed as this glorified drug movie, which went into 'depth' on what happens when you take the drug for majority of the film. Most drug related films portray the users as these invincible rockstars who are far 'too intelligent' for this world so the only way they can go beyond what they already are is take drugs. And I hate the fact you are chastised because you don't see the 'beauty' and 'honesty' in those films. I would rather listen to an actual junkie and let them tell me about why they do it and what it is actually like taking the drug and being actually dope sick. 'Sweet Jane', isn't a glorified drugfest which is 'wild' and 'out there', it's about someone being able to change your life. Even if they are only in your life for a brief moment, the impact they have is great and it is something that can change the route you were originally planning to go down in; so don't get that twisted. If you haven't seen this film, and you want to, don't go in thinking you are going to get this cult film, with a memorable soundtrack and scenes which are 'edgy' because it's not. It's not a glossy production, it's just a film with a solid, simple story, great dialogue and strong emotion. Definitely give this film a watch, because it definitely is a forgotten gem. There isn't much I can say about this film without giving too much away and also the mood after you watch the film just can't be described, it is something you need to see and slowly take it in. If you are having an amazing day however, it may not be the best film to watch especially if you get emotionally invested into films like I do. I watched this along with 2 other films on the same day because if I was going to stick with one depressing film, I may as well keep going with that mood because nothing was going to make that mood better; really not trying to sound morbid or depressed or anything, but I got to experience 3 films which I enjoyed and which made me think. But out of the 3 that I watched 'Sweet Jane' was definitely the stand out film.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Kickboxer 2 : Give it a Chance!

Most sequels in the American Martial Arts movie bubble don't really continue on from the original film, in nearly every single way. And because this a known fact, you would think we could give the genre a break right? Wrong! Apparently us viewers have such high standards for film that we cannot accept a terrible, cheesy, or absurd sequel. HOW DARE THESE FILMS BE MADE TO INSULT OUR SENSES. That isn't my opinion on the genre, but that is the general viewers opinion. Well to that I say FUCK high standards. Lower your standards, your intelligence levels, and give some films from this genre a chance. You lower the expectations, and you know what...YOU MAY BE ACTUALLY SURPRISED. I am a film optimist, I believe if it's entertaining despite the flaws, and it keeps you looking at that screen and it is definitely something you can see yourself watching again, then it's a success...That makes sense right? Not every film gets a crazy budget, especially if it's a sequel of a successful film which doesn't even have the main actor starring in it. If a film is memorable, and enjoyable shouldn't that be enough? Which brings me to this question...why the hell do people dislike 'Kickboxer 2: The Road Back'?

Now the run down is set a few years after the original 'Kickboxer'. Here we have David Sloane(Sasha Mitchell) who is struggling to keep the family afloat, but refuses to close it down because of the impact that he has on his students. He get's offered to fight in the ring again and initially says no but goes back into the ring and wins, which comes to the attention of a kickboxing manager called Sanga AKA Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. Sanga has his own fighter that he is ready to unleash in the ring against David Sloane's friend and student.  Brian(Vince Murdocco). You may be thinking who is this mysterious fighter from Thailand which is going up against Brian, well I will give you a hint. He paralysed Eric Sloane, assaulted Mylee but got his ass beaten around the underground temple by Kurt Sloane and his helicopter kick...give up? TONG PO!  Tong Po wants revenge on being humiliated the way he was back in Thailand all those years ago, so why not get revenge back on the little Sloane brother. Now I say that is a pretty awesome plot, simple, to the point and it has revenge on the mind, what's not to like?

Now firstly I will discuss my love for the song 'My Brothers Eyes' by Eric Barnett. This song I believe has meaning and has a cool sound and I think it fits in perfectly with the films story.  You may laugh at my opinion and think how can a song like this from an American Martial Arts sequel be meaningful, well let me explain. The fact that David Sloane's two brothers Kurt and Eric are now dead, is something that still eats him up a little, and he also thinks that because the gym is failing financially that he has some how disappointed his brothers. David is a man of integrity and in some ways is a lot like Kurt more than Eric. Fighting is something that all the brothers were passionate about, so every day that he is training himself and others at the family gym, he is going to be reminded of the passion for the sport that he and his brothers had. I think it's a critical song, and yeah it might sound a little cheesy and dated, but the song still has the meaning. So if you have never seen it, check out the song at this link, it is quite amazing.

I really did enjoy Sasha Mithell's portrayal of David because like I previously stated he is a lot like Kurt, so he does have a more nurturing side and an honest quality to him, whereas Eric was very blunt, ignorant and quite full of himself. David cares for his students so much that he will let them train for free, and one of them who is homeless he lets sleep in the gym. David does have a lot of pride though, he doesn't like people knowing of the financial situation of the family gym, as well letting his brothers legacy affect him; in other words deep down he feels like the inferior brother.  I am happy to announce that Uncle Xian from the original 'Kickboxer' is also back and he is still the wisecracking smart ass full of wisdom the second time around. I think it was cool that they managed to get him back for the sequel because I think we need that comedy and wisdom to infiltrate the dialogue and the mood. And of course it was ever so amazing to see Michel Qissi reprise his role as Bolo's evil long lost half-brother, Tong Po...Okay I know Bolo and Tong Po aren't related in any way but because they play such evil roles in 'Kickboxer' and 'Bloodsport' I figured hey they should be related.  Again Po doesn't really say much in his dialogue, he is definitely a man of mystery well not so much a man of mystery but more of a man who kicks the absolute fuck out of people and just doesn't say much unless he feels like insulting you. I think it's clever keeping him relatively quiet in terms of the dialogue, because his eyes, body language and his overall awesome Muay Thai skills speak for him, and I know I wouldn't want to encounter him in a dark alleyway.
I think the storyline is great because I do love revenge stories, and I have found a lot of American Martial Art films and their sequels do have a lot of revenge they need to fulfil, and it is usually quite brutal, so that makes me extremely happy and fired up. I won't lie but the dialogue is a little bit cheesy, and at times gets a little preachy but hey sequels usually have their flaws, and that's pretty much it. The acting I think was great, because you had the seedy kickboxing managers and promoters and just all round bad guys who will do whatever it takes to get what they want. You want those kinda guys in these films because you always love it when they get their karma for being greedy, selfish assholes, please tell me you agree? I think at times this film does look a little dated especially if you watch it next to the original. The original stands on it's own and is just quality, and while the second is still an awesome film, it does lack a lot of the heart and drive the original had.

I say keep an open mind with this instalment, and enjoy it for what it is, no for what it isn't. And I know it's hard to not compare it to the original, but just try not to. I mean the original I found is grittier, darker and well it has Van Damme in it, you just can't beat that. But either way 'Kickboxer 2: The Road Back' stands up on it's own, and it is a guilty pleasure of mine, and I have to say I love the final fight, just hearing the noise of the blood as it drips onto the canvas is a sound I have not been able to get out of my head since I first saw this when I was a child. Lower those standards and expectations and grab some cherry coke, pizza and a couple of awesome buddies and watch this film. I think doing these things don't cloud your judgement when watching the film, but they let you experience it for what it is and enjoy it without prejudice.