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Thumbsucker
DVD disk
01.23.2006 By: Sturdy
Thumbsucker order
Director:
Mike Mills

Actors:
Lou Pucci
Tilda Swinton
Vincent DíOnofrio

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A boy deals with his teenage angst by sucking his thumb. Drama ensues when he turns to prescription meds, illegal drugs and sex to kick the thumb sucking.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
If you are, or ever have been a teenager, then you know that all teenagers are screwed up. It doesnít matter if youíre the captain of the football team or the captain of the chess club. Teenagers have issues and every teen tries to deal with those issues in different ways. THUMBSUCKER is the story of a boy that deals with the pressures of being a teen by sucking his thumb. Not exactly a sure-fire way to popularity, but hey, whatever works.

Essentially, the movie is about dealing with problems. Itís a little unfocused and even boring at times. The performances were fantastic, especially from virtual newcomer Lou Pucci. However, the film failed to reach unchartered territory as far as teenage dramas go and reminded me of IGBY GOES DOWN and a dark version of NAPOLEAN DYNAMITE.

I really felt unsatisfied at the end of the movie. I appreciated the arc of the character going from an insecure boy to a guy comfortable with himself, but I just didnít get into the story or the characters. This might be one of those films thatís quality will depend on how much you can relate to the characters involved. For me, I didnít find their plight interesting enough to enjoy the movie. With that said, I did appreciate the performances and the directorial effort.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary by Mike Mills: Mike Mills is a straight forward guy. This was his first feature length film and therefore his first commentary. He was very blunt and honest and he turned out a pretty good commentary by covering a wide variety of topics. This really was a great commentary by a pretty cool guy.

Conversation with Director Mike Mills and Novelist Walter Kirn (41:31): This is an extensive piece with nothing more than these two guys sitting in a theater talking about their movie. Nothing earth shattering, but definitely worth a gander if youíre a fan of the book or the movie.

Behind the scenes documentary (21:46): This is a nice feature with all the major players. It goes into detail about the book and what had to happen to get the film made. More in-depth than your standard fluff piece.

There are also Previews and a Directorís Blog that you can read via a DVD rom.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
There are better teenage angst movies out there and THUMBSUCKER really doesnít hit any notes that havenít been reached before. The performances were great, but the characters were ultimately dry.
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