BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003748Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Brick
DVD disk
08.29.2006 By: Jason Adams
Brick order
Director:
Rian Johnson

Actors:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Nora Zehetner
Lukas Haas

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After his ex-girlfriend is murdered, a quick-witted high school student is forced to navigate the different cliques and “turfs” to infiltrate the drug ring he believes to be responsible. And once he finds out who killed her and why, he’s bringing trouble like two brass knuckles in a roomful of faces.

If Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler ran a high school, this would be it.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Who does Rian Johnson think he is, making a movie this awesome his first time out. There’s no reason that a film noir set in high school should be any good, let alone one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. If anything BRICK gave me flashbacks to Joe Carnahan’s NARC, not necessarily because of the subject matter, but because it puts an inventive and energetic injection of style in to a genre that desperately needed one.

I’m a sucker for a good film noir and BRICK was like crack-candy to me. All the vital elements are here: you’ve got an engaging detective mystery at the core, great hyper-stylized cinematography, and a handful of memorable and well-defined characters. There’s even the trademark “too cool for school” spitfire dialogue, chockfull of the requisite slang and metaphors. After a few minutes of getting used to, the outlandish speech and rhythms actually sound pretty natural and fun coming from teenage mouths.

However, the reason BRICK ultimately worked for me, even in its unlikely setting, is because it takes itself seriously. There’s no self-referential jokes or hokey winks at the genre ala SCREAM; it’s just a straight, confident noir that happens to be set in a high school. (The final scene is something straight out of THE MALTESE FALCON.) In fact, the setting actually makes sense when you think about it; what ruthless place is riper for seedy behavior and double crossing than high school? (Especially in this day and age…)

BRICK also sports a perfect jazzy score and some truly creative editing. And I’d be remiss to not give props to the relatively unknown cast, especially Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Who’d have thought the kid from ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD would grow up to kick ass and take names? I was also mucho impressed by Nora Zehetner’s femme fatale Nora—played with just the right amount of beauty, mystery and allure. And, c’mon, how can you not want to go to a school where Richard Roundtree is the principal?
THE EXTRAS
I dig the bonus material that’s on here, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see some more.

Commentary with director Rian Johnson and “Guests”: Johnson tries something different and runs the commentary talk show style, bringing in various guests to speak about their part in making the film, including actors (Noah Segan and Nora Zehetner), producers and production and costume designers. It’s a pretty clever way of getting different opinions and input, without forcing the audience to listen to an entire two hour track by a costume designer, for example.

Deleted and Extended Scenes (22:33): This is actually a hybrid of eight cut scenes and some behind the scenes footage and photos. You get some extra dialogue, alternate versions, as well as an admittedly awful fantasy sequence. Each one comes with an introduction by Johnson

The Inside Track: Casting the Roles of Laura and Dode (3:14): A few minutes of audition footage of Zehetner and Noah Segan.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
After being a hit at Sundance in 2005, BRICK is finally getting a release on DVD and I thought it was well worth the hype and the wait. If you’re a fan of film-noir or detective stories like THE BIG SLEEP, definitely check this one out.

And once again, darn you Rian Johnson for a job well done.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

Best Selling

| June 2016 More Best Selling
  • 1
    Batman v Superman
  • 2
    Zootopia
  • 3
    13 Hours
  • 4
    Captain America: Civil War (3D)
  • 5
    Kung Fu Panda 3

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting