Monday, July 09, 2007

After stewing over the decision for an absurdly long time I finally rented Brick. I have an ongoing list of movies I need to see, and like many people that list completely leaves my mind the moment I walk into a video store. Maybe it’s the thin boxes all staring out at me; I just can’t seem to think when I see them. The colors, they scramble my eyes and destroy most motor functions. I become a zombie standing mouth-agape, limps dangling like sausages, a dead look in the tired eyes.

Ah, but Saturday I had a written list. Success! I found Brick and took it home, very late and after a long day of no note. I made tea, finished off the last of some leftovers and slid into bed, laptop ablaze, the DVD inserted and ready.

Man, oh man, I was bowled over. Sure, the idea seems cute and clever at first: a Dashiell Hammett style mystery set in high school starring that kid from 3rd Rock From the Sun. And Lucas Haas, for fuck’s sake. Before long anything close to affection has drifted and you’re left with a dense and absorbing plot. And Richard Roundtree!

The dialogue is straight out of Hammett. Not Chandler, Hammett, the real hardboiled writer, the guy who certainly knew how to write loner detectives, shady ladies and dialogue so tight and hard you could strike a match off it. I was thrilled.

Funny aside: I mentioned the film to a coworker today who agreed with me that it was quite good. He did point out that he felt old since he did not understand some of the teenage slang in the film. I had to tell him that he was really too young, since all of those expressions— “bulls”, “yage” and so forth—were older than his parents. Yeah, when the protagonist refers to a tough as “the ape” it was straight out of the best of the hardboileds.