Tuesday, June 26, 2007


After a rough day at work at Monday I returned home and upon checking my mailbox found a DVD from Netflix that I forgot was on my queue. This film, "A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints" was nothing short of enthralling (how's that for an adjective) not to mention a welcome surprise.

Though it's been said to be similar, if not derivative of "Mean Streets", "The Basketball Diaries", "Kids" or any other coming of age narrative films that concern fucked up youth growing up in New York City, I will go on record that this film stands on it's own.

Over and above any other sub-genres defined or not so defined in the cinematic medium, this type is one that always fascinates me. I really also appreciate non-linear editing/story-telling, and though it may stumble at times, I cant help but admire the effort that went into it's making.

Character driven films have always held my attention more so than plot driven ones, and this is a perfect example. The story exists to serve the characters, and the actors chosen to fulfill the roles are amazing. The casting, editing and cinematography are exceptional.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the casting and more than competent acting of Channing Tatum. Normally I am dismissive of jocks-turned-models-turned-actors, but, wow, he was really well cast and his performance was powerful.

The cast including Robert Downey Jr. (once again reminding me why he's in my Top 3 Favorite Actors of all time), Shia LeBeouf (that kid has serious skills), Dianne Wiest (her eyes are so expressive), Rosario Dawson (daaaamn, I'd hit that, though she likely wouldn't hit me, haha) and Chazz Palminteri (so, so good in this role) all turn in career worthy performances.

OK, I need to stop gushing and return to the book I'm reading. If you enjoy quality cinematic experiences, I urge everyone to check this out. Here's the trailer:


J.R. said...

Hmmm, I'll check this one out. I haven't been impressed with Tatum so far (acting-wise or looks-wise, call me crazy), but I'm still willing to give him a shot as I have a friend who just worked with him on a movie who says he's terrific.

Just curious, who are your other two "Top 3" actors?

Nothing Golden Stays

Dee said...

OMG... this trailor looks amazing.. I will be looking for this video now. Thanks for the clip.

JUSTIN said...

@JR: Gael Garcia Bernal and James Dean. Benicio del Toro is a favorite as well.

@Dee: If you don't like it I'll buy you a drink the next time I see you. You can't lose!

Silly Billy said...

Wow, I will have to check this out.

One Lil Aussie said...

I hired it so Will & I could watch it a couple of months ago. He was adamant that he didn't want to see it, but in the end I think he was pleasently suprised. Very grim, but good nontheless.

exile_grrl said...

I thought that movie was awesome. It perfectly captured growing up in Queen's in the 80's. I actually have the CD that Ditto's band "Gutterboy" put out. It's not bad.