Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The Three Musketeers: Part 1 D'Artagnan (2023) opens Friday in the US

Before I get to discussing the film proper there are two things you need to know:

First this really is the first part of a two part film. I say this because there is a cliffhanger ending.

Secondly there is a brief mid-credits sequence that isn't required viewing but simply priming the pump for part two.

With that out of the way.... 

Martin Bourboulon's version of THREE MUSKETEERS has the basic framework of the story and the main characters from the novel, but it radically rewrites the story into less a romance and more a political action film. 

You should be warned that there are lots of changes to the details to the story to the point that the novel's plot has been greatly added to with Athos being framed for murder and an assassination plot involving his brother being shoe horned in. On its own terms the plot mostly works, but if you are looking something as faithful to the novel as the Richard Lester films look elsewhere. If you can just go with it the cast, the look and the incredible action will make your heart sing.

To be honest the problem with the film is that there is too much going on. There are too many plot threads to the point that things frequently feel under explained. The creation of a number of characters wobbles things are well since we really don't know who many of them are or why they are there.  I suspect that they will come to play in the second part (which opens in France a week after this part opens in the US). And because so much of this is new we can't crib understanding from earlier versions or the novel.

Until I gave myself over to the film, about the time of the duel scene ("but I'm fighting him"  "At Noon"), I wasn't sure what I thought of the film. However once the musketeers become four friends I was hooked, I was like "to hell with it" and I just went along  since I effectively had to do that with Paul WS Anderson's and Peter Hyams versions of the story. You simply have to let this film be it's own thing.

As I said above the action sequences rock. The duel sequence is magnificent, as are all the others.They are so good I want to see them on a truly huge screen. If nothing else the action keeps you watching because you want to see the next great fight.

The cast is across the board great with my only negative comment being I think some are under utilized- but we'll see if that's still the case with part 2.

And having to wait for the second part is a problem. Instead of ending in a sequence similar to the Richard Lester film, this film pushes on to end with a kidnapping cliffhanger. We are left hanging, which is fine in that we know part 2 is coming, but is also disappointing because until the second part really arrives we are left twiddling our thumbs to see how this version comes out.

As it stands now I kind of loved this film on its own terms. It is imperfect and not the novel, but that's more than okay.  My feelings for the film may change after I see the second part so expect a review for the second film when I see it and then another piece concerning the whole things. 

Definitely recommended if you like swashbucklers and even more so if you can see this on the big screen.

Poor Things (2023) opens Friday

Yorgos Lanthimos version of Alasdair Gray's novel is the current front runner for the Oscars. Set in a steam punk version of the 19th century the film tells the story of Bella Baxter (Emma Stone), a young woman who was resurrected by  Dr Godwin Baxter (Wilem Dafoe). We watch a as Bella goes from being a child and turns into a woman. Told with Lanthimos' sense of bent reality and silliness the film is destined to be talked about for decades.

I liked this film. Its a hell of story that seems scattershot for a while until it starts to pull itself together into a deeply moving story. It's also a film that is weakened by some of the choices the director made.
The problems with the film are largely do to Lanthimos' choice of always being off kilter. He insists on playing a lot of this for laughs, and while its very funny, it frequently under cuts the emotion. There is a point where the silliness should have fallen away. I should have gotten misty not giggly at the end. It's not fatal, but it is lessening.

Additionally the film has a couple of bumps in it;s construction. There is a tendency to repeat certain tropes over and over (Bella's customers for example- we don't need to see as many as we do) and at other times details are left out or are unclear (Where was the ship going since its headed to Athens, ends up in Alexandria and the couple are dumped in Marseilles) don't get enough time with certain characters- particularly those who knew Bella when she was Victoria. 

Of course most people won't care, they will simply love the certain to be award winning delights.

This film is going to win almost every technical award under the sun. The world the film creates is magical. The costumes and in particular the sets are just pure joy. The moment when we get to Lisbon and see that we aren't in our world is one of the truly great reveals in cinema. 

The performances are going to dominate the acting awards.  Dafoe, Ruffalo and especially Stone are certain to be nominated if not win every award.  Stone's performance is beyond words. It's an arc of a life and I have no idea how she fashioned it, especially if this wasn't filmed in order. How did she know which degree she needed to be at? It's destined to be a career defining performance.

The real reason that the film works is because of the  spine of the script. The tale of a woman growing up and becoming her true self is a strong one. Its one that we can relate to because in its way it is the arc of our lives. The fable like quality to the details (say having people who want us to be something we are no loner) is  what makes it so universal. This is a script whose construction will be studied.

You all should see this film because it;s really good- though be warned it is full of sex and graphic gore.

(Addendum- Hubert Vigilla has suggested that POOR THINGS should be double featured with BARBIE and he is absolutely right)

The Activated Man (2023) Dances With Films 2023

THE ACTIVATED MAN is about a man dealing with the grief of losing his best friend as well as his dog. He suddenly finds that he is being hunted by a mysterious figure known as the Fedora Man.

I'm not sure what I think of this film. One part horror film, one part self-help film, it never gets the balance quite right. The film lifts riffs from any number of mysterious stalker films (Freddy, Candy Man, ect) and mixes them with notions of self-help. The solution to being something to do with finding inner strength. Apologies if I'm not entirely forth coming but I kind of drifted off.

While not bad, the film is more superficially interesting (it looks good, has a great cast and has a couple of good ideas), the reality is film lifts too much from other places from other places and doesn't dress them up enough to seem new.

Worth a look for horror fans.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Zombie Wedding (2023) Dances With Films New York 2023

A New Jersey couple decide to marry despite it being the zombie apocalypse and he is a zombie and she is a human. Of course the tabolids are there and we see everything through the eyes of a film crew from the Weekly World News.

This low brow comedy is either like the humor that you enjoy or you its something that is going to make you crazy. It's the sort of thing that you you know where the jokes are going to land. That isn't always a bad thing but after a while I kind wished it tried to be a little more clever instead of repeating similar jokes about the differences between zombies and humans.

What saves the film is the cast  who play it more or less straight and sell it to the point that you are willing to go with it even though the film isn't doing anything new. Hell, anything that Kevin Chamberlain can never be all bad.

Though thinking about it, I think I would have liked the film more if it was played straighter and less like a live action cartoon.

OUR SON (2023) opens Friday

Long entrenched couple (Billy Porter and Luke Evans) find their relationship cracking over the strain of life and how best to care for their son. As the relationship breaks will they be able to do what is best for their son?

Very good family drama is entertaining despite being somewhat by the numbers. We've been here before any number of times and thanks to a killer cast this film always makes it compelling viewing. Luke Evans and Billie Porter knock it out of the park as the couple at the center of the drama. They are clearly enjoying each other's company so much that it's hard to imagine that they would ever break up. Even during the arguments you see the love in their eyes for each other and you find it hard to see how they would leave each other (Watch the final scene and the way they look at each other).

As much as I enjoyed this film it isn't all that remarkable except that it marks the moment where Hollywood has given us a story of a break up where the fact that the couple at the center is gay and no one anywhere in it blinks. Years ago this sort of film would be Oscar bait and involve lots of hand wringing because it had a gay couple. Here it just is and we are better for it. (And honestly it's such a non issue that I didn't want to mention it, but some of the promotional material mentioned it)

And  please forgive my kvetching, but the film is being inflated for Tribeca. Frankly I just wish I had be able to see it with out the hype and take it for what it is, a lovely tale of family break up

Worth a look

District of Second Chances (2023) Dances With Films New York 2023

This is a look at several people in the District of Columbia who were sentenced to life sentenced at a young age and were given a chance to get our under program to give them a second chance.

Every year I get a offered a lot of films about crime and punishment. There are tons of films on all sides of criminal justice, however this is the first one that I've seen that not only looks at a program to get people second chances and to follow them for more than a short time.  I could be wrong, but this was the first time I really got a sense of the program and the people in a way that no other film ever gave me.  I love that we really get a sense of change that the men made to be able to be released. I really felt as though we were getting a full portrait of everyone.

This film was a joy. It's a hopeful portrait of a program we need to consider across the country.


Sunday, December 3, 2023

SPACE BABY (2023) Dances With Films New York 2023

SPACE BABY is a one of a kind film. Seemingly aimed at kids its full of adult notions about life and the universe. It is a one of a kind do it yourself fantasy with more eye candy than ten Hollywood films.

The plot has Sam, a young boy, getting the blueprints for The Holy Grail, a walkie talkie to the universe. Aided by an older ex-baseball player, a six year old girl and a bunch of lady bugs Sam works to save the universe.

Jam packed full of kitsch and whimsy  this film is going to delight many. In its way, it a perfect kids film in that it looks like something a kid might make. The sweetness and saccharine nature of some of it will no doubt turn off neigh saying adults, I think many people, those young at heart, will warm to SPACE BABY’s considerable charms.

Is it perfect. No. It’s a little too sweet, and little too jammed with things and ideas- which while not really bad, does result in a kind of sensory overload.

Worth a look.

TALLYWACKER (2023) Dances With Films 2023

Jeremy Dubs and Chris Goodwin play versions of themselves in TALLYWACKER, the story of two friends in the titled band, who find their friendship is tested when one of them is asked to go on the road with a well known star.

TALLYWACKER is the best film that I've seen from this year's Dances With Films New York. It's also one of the great finds of the year. Full of great music, witty lines and characters you want to give a hug to despite of their being dicks. I smiled from start to finish.

Dubs and Goodwin make a winning pair. They have the ease with each other that only good friends have. You feel it bleeding off the screen. It doesn't seem like acting. Actually the whole cast is that good. Everyone feels like they are the actual people. The relationships feel genuine.

Everything in this film feels spot on. the characters  are people. The wisecracks aren't forced. The music feels organic.  In its way this is the perfect film in that it captures the essence of life even with all the rough edges.

What I love about the film is that you like everyone, even the jerks. Dubs' character can be a dick (there is even a song about it) but you still like him.  In an age where people are trying to make films where we are forced to like unlikable people (I'm looking at you SALTBURN)  but where other films use tricks TALLYWACKER just lets everyone be themselves and as a result we find something to love about them.

This film is an absolute joy.  It's one of my late 2023 favorites.  I can't wait to see it again.

Highly recommended.

FIRELINE (2023) hits VOD December 5

FIRELINE focuses on three firefighters ( Justin, Riley, and Travis) from the Cal Fire Lassen-Modoc Unit of fire fighters in California, and their  experience fighting a megafire for 36 hours. (And the reality is they didn't stop for another 24 making for a 60 hour shift)

Once we get out into the field this is a frightening film. The filmmakers are truly there on the front line and what we see will scare anyone with any sense. Sure it looks eerily beautiful, but at the same time we should not be having these fires happen. Yes there is climate change and it is making things worse.

I was raised as a fire kid. My dad was a volunteer fireman and for many years I wanted to do that for a living. Because of that I was drawn into this film. I wanted to see it because some part of me is still fascinated by those who fight fires. As such this film really impressed me.

Of course if you aren't a fire kid this film will impress you since the images are hypnotic. They are so impressive I wish this was getting a theatrical release instead of a VOD one.

See this film- and try to do so on the biggest screen possible.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

First thoughts on Godzilla Minus One (2023)

First thoughts on GODZILLA MINUS ONE which I saw earlier today.

In 1945 a legendary monster   rises from the deep and destroys a base set up to repair broken kamikaze planes.  A surviving pilot returns to Tokyo and tries to get back to life with a woman and baby he meets along the way. When the monster returns in an even more dangerous form the pilot must step up and fight for the future.

Simply put this is one of the greatest films in the 70 year history of the Godzilla series. To be certain the film is overly melodramatic (it's intentional and there to heighten the emotion), but it contains some of the greatest sequences in the series (and thus cinema history)  and it is a kick ass meditation about hope and the future.

I don't know where to begin or how much to say. There is so much here and I am still piecing it all together. 

I have to say that Godzilla's first appearance is the greatest first reveal in the series.

I love how the film plays our emotions. The film is structured as a melodrama. The structure is there to make us hyper aware of the emotion and the themes. Notions of  survival, of survivors guilt, of the role of the Japanese government in the war, the FU attitude of the US government toward the Japanese people,  the notions of the family and the celebration of humanity to fight on when it counts are all rolling around in this film. By increasing the emotion director Takashi Yamazaki forces us to confront more than just the giant lizard. 

In an age where Hollywood makes films that are full of false nostalgia in order to get knee jerk reactions and to fill the box office I love how this film doesn't really use nostalgia until it finally finds the perfect moment and hits the volume level to eleven. Since the film is essentially a stand alone there aren't many references to the earlier films, and almost all of them are fleeting. However there comes a moment when film goes all in, with the score kicking in the door when the final battle between Godzilla and the humans begins in earnest and  the emotion soars as the music of Akira Ifukube fills the speakers.  It is one of the greatest needle drops I have ever seen.

I love this film and I can't wait to see it again.

I will be returning to talking about  this film when I finish processing it.

Until then just go see this film

SHERYL (2023) Dances With Films 2023

Sheryl is dating and the partner of a serial killer. When she is dumped, she goes on a spree to make herself more lovely. In the process she begins dating the cop investigating the killings.

Good black comedy horror romance is surprisingly entertaining. Normally when you try to combine too many genres beyond comedy and horror then you normally get into trouble, here writer director Justin Best largely manages to walk the fine line without tripping over it. 

I dont know what to say beyond that. After spending a couple of weeks covering DOC NYC during which I saw over 80 real life films, SHERYL was a delight. It's not high art, it's just entertaining.

Worth a look

Friday, December 1, 2023

The pilot for the web series XANDER (2023) Dances with NYC 2023

After his only friend dies Luke is left a genie in a bottle. Luke doesn't realize there is a genie inside the jar sometime later. The genie is a nice guy who will grant him one wish- but if wishes the genie will leave and he will lose his only friend.

This is very good short. It's full of great characters and solid writing. It's one of the few recent non-genre short films I've seen recently that wasn't all blood and thunder on recent events or set in a restaurant or featuring a young couple. This was an effort to just tell the story of a young man with no friends and his genie.

And I hear you saying but this isn't a short film, it's the pilot for a web series and you would be absolutely right... to a point. The trouble is that as the film exists now it kind of ends with things kind of resolved and not leaving any real place to go next. I'm sure you could but it isn't like most first episodes which end with a sense that there is more of a story to tell. While I would love to be wrong I don't know where this would go.

Uncertainty of future episodes aside, what is here is choice and worth a look.

Tapawingo (2023) Dances With Films New York 2023

John Heder plays Nate Skoog a misfit who ends up acting as a bodyguard and taking on the bullies in his town.

Ever wonder what Napolean Dynamite would be doing 20 years on? This film will answer that, not officially but that's what this is. Heder is playing this exactly like Dynamite which is going to make it a make or break thing for several people I know.  If you like Dynamite odds are you'll love this, if not this film may make you crazy.

If you are on the fence know that the cast includes Gina Gerson, John Ratzenberger, Billy Zane, Chris Gethard and other great actors who sell the nonsense for more than it's probably worth.

Yes I enjoyed the film. No I hated Napoleon Dynamite. That said I'm not sure what your take will be since the mannered comedy is not for everyone.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Sane Men (2023) Dances With Films New York

Two sisters whose mother has a problem with finding good men, all her boyfriends tend to be abusive. When she hooks up with a recently released wife killer, the girls have to decide whether to prevent history repeating it self or not.

Good black comedy is two steps away from being a great film.  The first problem is the film is a bit too mannered. There is too much knowingness to the proceedings. There is nothing wrong with it but it didn't work for me (it might work for you). The other problem is that the film is much too short, things feel a tad rushed. Honestly there is a feature film here.

Over all this good.

Pianoforte (2023)

This is the story of the recent Chopin Piano Competition in Poland. It follows a swath of performers as they prepare to play and interact with each other.

This is a very good  look at a nice group of people competing for the gold. It's full of great music and it's certain to make you smile.

And right about now the people behind this film are trying not to swallow their tongues because I'm giving sort of general non-detailed remarks concerning the film. I'm sorry about that but as good as this film is and and as enjoyable as it is, it suffers from one serious problem - it's very by the numbers. While I completely understand how the film won hearts at Sundance and awards elsewhere, the fact is that the film is structured very much like every other music competition doc of the last few years (The first one that comes to mind is MAESTRA about female conductors). It's so much in the mold that I left to go to the men's room and when I came back I knew exactly what was going on.

Does the run of the mill nature make it a bad film? No, it doesn't, I smiled from ear to ear from start to finish, but at the same time it will also make you wish it had a few more twists to make it stand out from the crowd.

My reservations aside this is worth a look if the subject interests you.

It’s A Wonderful Knife Film (2023)


"It's A Wonderful Knife" is a holiday horror comedy set in the fictional town of Angel Falls. With a name like that, what could go wrong? Except everything. 

Winnie Carruthers (Jane Widdop) has her world turned upside down when everything she knew, everything she loved was taken from her. Her life just got a little more complicated. 

Angels are known for their spiritual presence. They're supposed to protect you, keep you out of harms way. This angel must have missed the memo because they've gone bad. 

There is universal question that everyone asks themselves from time to time. What would life be like if I was never born? Would everyone around me better off? This film answers that question. This story gives you a glimpse into what life would look like without one on our main characters and I’ll let you in on a little secret. It isn’t good. 

One of my favorite characters is Bernie Simon (Jess McLeod). Bernie is a nerdy, misunderstood character that is incorporated into the story in a meaningful, thought out way, and is given a genuine reason to be there. This is rather rare in cinema these days. More often than not, these characters are added strictly for comedic relief or to over exaggerate the actions of the typical “bully” character. 

Justin Long has made a name for himself within the Horror genre. I hadn’t seen a film of his that I didn't like. Until now. His portrayal of Mayor Henry Waters is very strange and rather uncomfortable to watch. I'm not sure if it was the Ross Gellar - like self tanner, the blinding white teeth, or the fake, over the top accent but it just didn’t work for me. His acting was very cartoon like. It felt like he was trying too hard and although I tried to overlook it, it was very distracting and seemed so out of sync with the rest of the story.  

Jane Widdop shines as the likeable Winnie Carruthers. You may be familiar with her work on the popular Showtime series "Yellowjackets". Without her stellar performance in this film I don't think I would have found it as enjoyable. She has the ability to express her emotions in a way that is realistic and relatable. I find myself having trouble connecting with characters in modern Horror cinema but she reeled me in. 

Katharine Isabelle is an actress I have been a fan of for years. I first discovered her when she played trouble teen turned werewolf in 2001's "Ginger Snaps". She may have a smaller role as Winnie's loveable aunt, Gale, but she makes every second count when she's on screen. She's a great addition to the story. 

Joel McHale is an incredibly talented actor. Best known for his role as Jeff Winger in the Dan Harmon Television series, Community, Joel plays David Carruthers. Winnie's father and a beloved member of Angel Falls. It's great to see him in a role so far removed from what he's best known as it really shows his abilities as an actor.

Overall, I enjoyed "It's A Wonderful Knife". Despite a few minor hiccups here and there it was an entertaining watch. Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, I didn't. Holiday Horror films tend to get silly. Fast. It's so easy to get lost in the theme and forget about the plot. I'm happy to say that is not the case here. Writer Michael Kennedy (Freaky) knows how to create an enjoyable watching experience for his viewers, while Director Tyler MacIntyre (Tragedy Girls) has a knack for helping actors express their deepest fears in a believable way. 

"It's A Wonderful Knife" is available on Shudder on AMC+ and all movie rental platforms starting December 1, 2023. I highly suggest you tune in for a little holiday fright. 


Possible last DC film before the James Gunn remake of the universe concerns Jaime Reyes who bonds with a mystical scarab and becomes the Blue Beetle. As a result he is hunted by the widow of Ted Kord, an earlier Blue Beetle,. Kord's widow wants to use the power of the scarab in order to make a legion of super soldiers.

I know that this film got mixed reviews, but once things were set in motion I had a good time.Xolo Maridueña  is excellent at the Beetle, George Lopez is funny as his uncle and Susan Sarandon is fantastic villain.  This isn't to sell the rest of the cast since they are all great especially Adriana Barraza  as Nana who creates such a kick ass character whose back story we need to hear.

If the film has any problems it's that the film has some bits that are repetitive superhero nonsense (origin, it all reduced to guys in super suits). It's not fatal, after all the cast is that good, but it makes you wonder what this could have been had they been allowed to go free form and not start at the origin.

Regardless of my reservations, this is a fun film and worth a look.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

John Woo's action satire Silent Night (2023) is a dog

This is an almost dialogless film about a father trying to avenge his son's death on Christmas Eve on the Christmas Eve of the following year.  This is an over the top, overly melodramatic to a ridiculous degree look at what might happen if a regular guy went out for revenge.

Not to mince words, John Woo's latest is an action movie satire and it is really bad. It's bad from the first frames as Joel Kinnaman is seen running in close up slow motion in a blood soaked sweater after the gang bangers who shot his son- except its clear he is running in place because the background never changes position.

Sending up all his cliches in the worst possible way, Woo has SILENT NIGHT play out  like some lesser talent was trying to make a spoof of a John Woo film but fell on their face. Yes, the film is funny, but for all the wrong reasons. We laugh at the film not with it.

Even worse is the fact that most of it is horribly dull with nothing compelling happening after the opening shoot out  until the one hour mark. After that it's just over the top nonsense and riffs on Woo tropes. Actually after the opening it's a silly recovery, a flashback to the  kid's death and silly training for 50 minutes of screen time before a brief fight, then another dead quarter hour before the action starts for real.It's painful. 

What happened to Woo's sense of pacing? He made the 5 hour masterpiece RED CLIFF and the almost as long THE CROSSING, and they never felt as long as this hour and forty five minute stinker.

Joel Kinnaman is awful. His whole performance is just mugging for the camera. He is so bad that it could be one of the worst performances in action film history. This is the kind of performance that I've seen kill a career. I find it odd since he was so good in other action roles (Rick Flagg in Suicide Squad and Robocop). The  creme de la creme  of his badness are his frequent sequences where he is missing his dead son showing us a mushy doe eyed fake sadness. The performance had me going WTF out loud  repeatedly.

I'm at a loss as to what Woo was doing with this film. I've never seen him make this many bad choices. I understand why our hero never speaks, he was shot in the throat, but the fact we only hear two whispered lines from his wife and radio broadcasts makes little sense. Yes I know it's a conceit but it's a bad one. Also bad is Woo allowing his action director to make almost all the car related sequences play out similarly. 

This film is just a huge misfire. It's such a big one that I don't want to know why Woo made this for the John Wick producers, I just want to flush this film down the toilet and then move on to the next thing. 

To be honest if you come in an hour and three minutes into the film and just watch the last 45 minutes of action you are probably going to like it. Yea, the action sequences have some shitty bits in them, and the melodrama is silly, but it's weirdly compelling, in a crappy action movie sort of a way. (Honestly this film was made for streaming because the film has no dialog you  can actually scan through most of the first hour and not miss anything. If this film develops any positive reputation it's going to be with people who scan through it)

Avoid this film unless you must see John Woo's worst film.

Two from Jean Grémillon STRANGE MR VICTOR (1938) and LADY KILLER (1937)

 There were two recent restorations of thrillers from director Jean Gremillon and both are worth tracking down.

Legionnaire and noted ladies man Jean Gabin, meets and tries to woo a mysterious woman- but in not so typical fashion it all goes wrong.

French thrillers of the 30's and 40's always have an intensity that is tough to beat From the first frame you know we are in for a tough ride and things are never going to be okay. Such is the case here. We know it's all going to go wrong, she is above his station and there are the jealousies, we just have to wait and see how it all ends up in the grave yard.

This is one of the best films by Gremillion, an under seen director who was infinitely better at films like this then most in Hollywood. I suspect his unflinching style kept the studios from releasing his films, something that we in the English speaking world are lesser for.

Blackmailed into committing murder Victor thinks he's in the clear when someone else takes the rap and is sent away. Several years later the wronged man returns and things become complicated. 

Another Gremllion gem is one you need to see. A tense film about a bad deed blowing back on everyone, this is another film where you'll be squirming in your seat. We can see from a mile off how this is going to go and no matter what we do we, nor the people on screen can make it stop.

A perfect film for a dark and stormy night when you are going to poison friends.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Bottoms (2023)


In an effort to talk their way out of trouble two queer high school girls say they are starting a fight club for girls, however while it puts the girls of their dreams into their orbit it creates other complications. 

Emma Seligman, who gave us  the wonderful SHIVA BABY, returns with BOTTOMS the story of high school girls just trying to get laid and to graduation. It's a film that heralds Seligman as truly a filmmaker to watch since she between this and her first feature she's pretty much indicated she can do anything. 

Funny in all the right ways, Seligman never short changes her characters. Too many comedies these days make fun of the characters, that's not the case here. Sure they have false veneers, the better to survive the slings and arrows of the other students but, underneath it all, they all are really sweet people. Yes this can be formulaic at times but Seligman bends and twists things in ways Hollywood hasn't seen before. Sure we've had fight club, but not female fight club, nor have we had women who can kick this much ass outside of a Hong Kong martial arts film.

It is so sad that this film kind of got lost when it was in theaters because the film is a delight. It has everything that you could want in a high school comedy.

Highly recommended.