Film Junk Podcast Episode #179: American Teen

0:00 – Intro / In-House Stuff
6:30 – What We Watched: Under Siege, Cane Toads, Doomsday, The Protector, Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale, Generation Kill, In Bruges, Someone to Watch Over Me
18:05 – Junk Mail: Batman is a Pansy, Jay’s Die Hard Sequel, Indie Directors Doing Blockbusters, Wolverine Movie, Greg’s Favourite Beards
40:40 – Top 5 Biopics We’d Like To See
49:30 – Reed Farrington Defends The Protector
51:35 – Review: American Teen
1:09:38 – Trailer Trash: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, W
1:17:00 – This Week’s DVD Releases
1:18:32 – Outro

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  • I was thinking all through the review that this film sounded like American Pie and Greg even mentioned it later on in the show. I must say that I’m with Greg on this, I think a documentary should have as its first priority to document the experience of the filmmakers. I know Jay hates to hold filmmakers responsible for anything ‘lofty’ like this, but I seem to remember a discussion when Monster House came out, about how pointless it seemed to do animation that seemed to try and be as completely realistic as possible. It’s almost as if there is no point to it being animated, might as well be live-action then. I feel the same way about the documentary. If you’re going to try and make your documentary seem like a fictional drama, might as well write your fictional drama and do that instead. There’s no point in holding these real people ‘hostage’ to try and tell a story that you think represents your own views, just leave them out of it alltogether. At most, interview them and use the inspiration to base your fictional tale on. From what I heard about this movie, I would much rather watch something like Spellbound to see a side of american teenage life that isn’t represented by hollywood.

    I would very much like to hear more about Seans social insecurities in high school though. I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am that Jay didn’t go for the headsqueeze. Surely, I can’t be the only one to think this maneuvror (sp?) is physical comic genius.

    Greg, I never got an answer to what your favorite beard in the world was. I guess it could be a style of beard on its own, or a certain style on a certain person that was the perfect combination of skin and fur. Anything come to mind?

    And I was completely frustrated that there wasn’t anymore Reed on this episode, but then when the end came about, I was soothed pleasantly.

  • Greg

    Favourite beard would have to go to Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.

  • Henrik, with that approach to the documentary, you’d have to eliminate Werner Herzog’s entire non-fiction filmography. That would be a shame.

  • dirrrtyfrank

    Bam Bam Farrington

  • swarez

    I would love to see a pic on The Guns and Roses.
    A good friend of mine used to tour with them at the height of their fame and film everything that they did. He is sitting on hours and hours of footage and the stories he’s told are amazing. I would love to see this stuff one of these days.

  • Somehow Greg totally missed what an asshole Colin’s father was. You’d think from his continual mandates that Colin gets a scholarship or gets shipped off to the military he would have noticed it. You are complaining about the kids but the parent’s continually come off as far worse then their kids, and it is clearly evident that the parents inability to act like adults is fucking up their children.

    And I find it interesting that Greg lauds the one kid who is clearly terrified of his father yet trashes Hannah, the one who actually aspires to be something more then what their parent demands they should be.

  • I think Grizzly Man accurately documents Herzogs experience with watching Timothy Treadwells tapes. If not, if he wasn’t being honest in that film, he did a good job pulling one over on me.

  • You’ll have to go beyond Grizzly Man.

  • Yeah but that’s all I’ve seen so far.

  • Matt: I agree that the parents are an interesting part of this movie as well. I don’t think any of them seemed to be doing a good job.

  • Reed Farrington

    Werner Herzog should do a documentary on Henrik’s obsession with Film Junk and Reed Farrington. (If it wasn’t for Henrik, I’d probably stay in bed all day.)

    Where did “dirrtyfrank” get “Bam Bam Farrington” from? Was he listening in to our taping of Cantankerous?

    Let me do a promo for the next Cantankerous here. This will be the best Cantankerous ever! (OK, granted we’ve only had two previous podcasts.) I had Jay and Sean rolling in the aisles with my shtick. I mean, they were genuinely laughing! (So they were laughing at me, but I can spare a laugh at my own expense.) I’ll admit that buying a toy monkey is funny. Especially one that can hug you and suck your finger.

  • You make me sound like I’ve got problems man. When Reed Farrington tells you that you’re obsessed, you should look into your habits.

  • Oh, I did see My Best Fiend as well, and that also feels pretty genuine. I’m sure there are some of his celebrated works that aren’t genuine, but I think your notion of ‘entire’ is misplaced. If he indeed does do ingenuine(is that the word?) films, it seems he is capable of both types of documentaries.

  • Here’s a hot tip for ya’ Henrik; Little Dieter Needs To Fly

  • Greg

    Matt,

    Colin’s father didn’t have the money to send him to college. That doesn’t make him an asshole. He was also the only parent that realized that maybe he pushed a little too much. I never said he was a great father, I said that Colin was the only one that seemed to listen to his father.

    I don’t think that Colin was ‘terrified’ of his father either, just like Megan wasn’t ‘terrified’ of her father. Neither one wanted to disappoint them and that’s a pretty natural relationship to a parent. I never once wanted to disappoint my Mom so I worked hard in school, but I was never ‘terrified’ of her. Were you of your parents?

    I harped on Hannah because she was a crybaby and the whole ‘woe is me, I’m scared to go to school crap’.

  • dirrrtyfrank

    as for Bam Bam Farrington … it was an amalgam of Reed Farrington and Bam Bam Bigelow (R.I.P.) … who had crazy flame tatoo all over his body and onto his shaved head .. similar to jay’s description of your tribal flame tatoos .. to which I can attest are quite radiant for those of you who have never seen them

    amalgam inspired quote:
    “That’s great, that’s great. You know, you got a lovely family, and I’m a goddamn amalgam! ” – Parenthood

  • Reed Farrington

    Holy coincidental synchronicity, dirrrtyfrank! (Sorry for spelling your name wrong in my last post.)

    When the topic of caveman sperm came up in our next Cantankerous, Jay made a reference to Bam Bam (Fred Flintstone’s son)! I don’t know who this Bam Bam Bigelow is, but since Deuce Bigelow is my favourite comedy movie of all time, the coincidences are simply piling up.

    I predict that when the universe ends, all will become as one.

  • Some music comments:

    Greg, I listened to The Trews and to use one of your own expressions, it was audio diarrhea.

    Sean, the opening tune for this weeks show is fucking catchy. Good stuff.

  • @Jay: The Protector was not horrible….ok, the story was. But I have to bow to Tony Jaa: he’s a last glimmer of true physical achievement in action scenes that is the anti-thesis of Wanted that you’ve been wanting. He did some great shit (although not as well choreographed as Jackie Chan or Gordon Liu). He was too unstoppable maybe…

    But yeah the story was stupid and it should have been otherwise. And Jaa is just not the personality that (insert kung fu star here) is. The point is I was entertained. I just dont see how the action scenes weren’t enough for saying that it was at least ok!

    @Reed: You should of stood up for Tony Jaa and destroyed The Urinator!

    @Greg: I’d surely have shit taste in music to you…but I finally listened to The Trews on iTunes…they should just call themselves Generatron-5000! But then that is one thing that would actually make them less generic than they are. I haven’t seen American Teen btw but I’m sure I would have had some of your sentiment that those kids were weak subjects (thats how it looked in the trailer at least).

  • Colin’s father didn’t have the money to send him to college. That doesn’t make him an asshole.

    Except their are plenty of options besides sending your kid off to war or demanding he get a college scholarship. Those were the only options he gave Colin, and it seemed pretty evident that Colin was scared shitless of being sent off to Iraq, as he should have been. Any parent that would hold that over their child’s head is an asshole. And his father’s only claimed he pushed too hard after Colin got his scholarship, which is a total dick move. One quick sentence doesn’t make up for a year of passive-aggressive behavior towards your son.

    As for Hannah, sure she was overly dramatic but what HS aged kid isn’t? Plus, I think she at least had a legitimate fear that Megan would make her life hell. Christ, Megan prided herself on that kind of behavior.

    And I’d argue Megan was scared of her parent’s as well. Her and Colin’s were especially cruel to their kids but shoving such weighty expectations on them, and Megan clearly was fucked in the head because of it. That scene where she broke down after hearing from Notre Dame was flat out frightening. She only cared that much because her parents made her entire life up to that point utterly dependent on that result. That’s just sick and cruel behavior by supposed adults.

    And a kid should occasionally be scared of their parents. They are authority figures. But parents shouldn’t abuse that fear by holding it over their kid’s heads to manipulate them from ever becoming their own person like several of the parents in American Teen clearly were doing. Of course I’d also argue that Hannah’s family and Jake’s parents weren’t exactly doing them any favors either. The whole movie seemed to me a great way to show people how not to parent.

  • @ “Colin was scared shitless of being sent off to Iraq, as he should have been. Any parent that would hold that over their child’s head is an asshole.”

    that’s a good point dude. Greg, you probably didn’t put it together because you don’t have the iraq war in canada.

  • Greg

    @Rusty – I’m not sure if that was supposed to be funny..but it made me laugh.

    @Matt Gamble – Whatever, dude. I didn’t think he was an asshole. Agree to disagree I guess.

    @Trews haters – I’m glad you guys gave it a listen, there are tons of people that look at bands and just dismiss them without giving it a chance. Not everyone has the same taste. They put on a good rock show and that’s all I need.

  • Reed Farrington

    Sean, was it you in this podcast who mentioned that he would like to see a biopic of Roman Polanski? One got released recently: “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.”

  • Yeah I knew about that one, but it is a documentary. That’s kind of what made me think a biopic would be interesting as well.