Weekend Weeviews: Jawbreaker, Real Genius, Primer

There are three reviews this week, because I neglected to review one which I watched earlier. I’m also trying to decide whether the links at the end are of any use, and whether it’s useful to syndicate this to Planet Debian. Feedback is encouraged! ;)


The whole premise of Jawbreaker gets laid out right at the beginning - after a opening sequence in which we see the title candy being made, a couple of girls kill a friend by surprising her and using a jawbreaker as a gag. The movie then degenerates into a formulaic nerdy girl gets to be pretty storyline. Unfortunately Jawbreaker doesn’t pull it off as well as Mean Girls does, and ends up falling pretty flat. One saving grace of this movie is that it is very short at just 87 minutes. One small treat is that Rose McGowan is playing a decent role, although I do have a much older vision whenever I see her from her work on Charmed. One thing which keeps bugging me is how the movie reminds me of But I’m a Cheerleader, even though the plots and premises are very different. The soundtrack is very well done with good placement of good songs. Jawbreaker is bittersweet at a 5. (imdb, amazon)

Real Genius

I have always heard good things about Real Genius, but never saw it all the way through. Supposedly this is a tragedy. Apparently [lj user=”ceilingsarecool”] saw it before, but didn’t remember a bunch of the plot. A whiz kid enters college early and starts working for a professor. The premise is setup in the first 10 minutes or so, which is that Herr Professor is really corrupt and working to provide a laser weapon to the military. This leaves ample time for the comedy in the movie to play out, as Whiz Kid gets to experience all the wild antics of college with a high-IQ twist. Lasers are used fairly extensively in the movie (mostly as part of the plot) and get a nice chunk of credits in the end. The movie unfortunately doesn’t really age well with time, unless you’re a fan of 80’s movies. There are no less than 2 montages with music, and the ultimate 80’s end-of-movie song “Everybody wants to rule the world” by Tears for Fears is playing at the end. Real Genius still is smarter than many movies you’ll see nowadays, so it burns in a 7. (imdb, amazon)


Small budget films are usually interesting to watch, because either they are simple masterpieces, or they try to be way more than they can be and end up being a trainwreck which you just can’t stop watching. Primer is the rare gem which found a happy medium between complex and simple. At the start, a garage business is introduced with four tech friends making a bit of money selling to hobbyists. Apparently they have some sort of deal about who gets to pick the next thing they try, and one of them wants to try something related to physics. Two decide to attempt it on their own and they create a device which apparently lowers density, or gravity, or something. Then they discover it does much more than that - it can manipulate time. Fortunately there is still much of the movie left after this. The acting is not top notch by any means, and comes off as cardboardish, but it seems well-placed in this script because most techies that I know are not the best with social skills. It’s important to note that the main focus doesn’t lie on the device, but on the implications and ramifications. As the movie approaches it’s end, the pace and convolution increases quickly. A rewatch is in order for Primer - and even then you still may be missing parts in the giant puzzle which is laid out before you. Shane Carruth directs, writes, and produces an amazing film, especially considering the sub-10k budget. Primer scores e2.30258509. (imdb, amazon)