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Movie Review: Paranoid Park March 10, 2008

Posted by judylobo in Movie Reviews.

reviewblogpic1.jpgMovie Review: Paranoid Park

Alternate Title: Dead Man Skateboarding

Story: I like director, artist and writer Gus Van Sant but I hated this film. Based on the novel by Blake Nelson, Van Sant covers terrain that has been his signature on the big screen. You all know his characters – the disaffected, dispirited, withdrawn, outsider teenage boy filled with angst, ennui and in most cases, without an on-screen reason that is discernible to the audience.

Young Alex’ parents are going through a divorce. He finds solace in skateboarding. He accidentally gets involved in a murder and the film rewinds several times to go over what Alex does after the incident. It is a long, arduous rewind. It is not a revealing depiction of what someone might do if faced with this predicament.

I found the character of Alex to be self-indulgent, deadpan and without any redeeming qualities. It us hard to have any empathy for a character who has no character.

True, I did not like the film but I did like the music and the cinematography. That said, I am not giving up on Gus Van Sant but cannot recommend this film to anyone but boys around the age of 16.

Acting: First time actors are everywhere and it shows. The camera rarely leaves Alex (Gabe Nevins) and it should have.

Predilection: I like Gus Van Sant.
Critters: A black dog in a brief cameo on the beach.
Food: No time to eat on a skateboard. There is a frappucino and apple pie.
Sex Spectrum: A quickie first time sex act – without any emotion.
Soundtrack: The soundtrack is the most interesting part of the film.
Opening Titles: White type in the upper left hand corner of the screen superimposed over a bridge in Portland.
Visual Art: There is some interesting camera work but not enough to take the focus off of the bad film.
Theater Audience: A handful of Gus Van Sant, skateboarding or teenage boy fans.
Weather: It was gloomy in Portland.
Sappy Factor: 0
Quirky Meter: 0
Squirm Scale: The accidentally murder was very hard to watch.
Drift Factor: Oh my – I was totally adrift.
Predictability Level: I did not care after awhile.
Tissue Usage: 0
Oscar Worthy: No – but it did win something at Cannes.
Big Screen or Rental: Neither. But for some of Gus Van Sants’ better films, you could rent: Elephant, Gerry, Finding Forrester, Psycho, Good Will Hunting, My Own Private Idaho, Drugstore Cowboy
Length: A very long 90 minutes.




1. zippyfish - March 16, 2008

Nice review. I’m still quite looking forward to seeing this one despite your 3-howl warning. I like your summary system at the end of the review. Perhaps under ‘critters’ you could also list the vacant sixteen-year-old skateboarders.

2. finding forrester - March 21, 2008

[…] also has appeared in movies, including &quotShaft&quot and &quotFinding Forrester.&quotap.google.comMovie Review: Paranoid Park Movie Review: Paranoid Park Alternate Title: Dead Man Skateboarding Story: I like director, artist […]

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