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Thread: A movie called "Manic"

  1. #1
    Soccer Kicks Balls cali's Avatar
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    A movie called "Manic"

    Has anyone here ever heard of a movie called "Manic"?
    It is my understanding that it will be on video soon, and didn't get a lot of attention during it's theater run.

    When I try to look for info on line I get a lot of hits for depression (not that depression is a funny topic, but I can't get anything else). I'm curious to when it comes out on video. Any help would be cool! Thanks.


    *****only read the following if you give a crap as to why I want to know about it****

    Any way, I have no idea if it is any good or not, but I was at a wedding this weekend and was talking to a woman I haven't talked to in ages (she is a friend of my cousins). I was looking through her art portfolio, and mentioned I knew her work was on Buffy. She told me ALL the art work from Manic was hers, so I figure I would check it out.... Only now I can't find any info on it.
    "Rice is great when you're hungry and want 2,000 of something' -- Mitch Hedberg

  2. #2
    FORT Fogey eldee's Avatar
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    Cali,
    This is what I found in Google with the search of movie "manic". It does look good.

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing Lyle (foreground right) and Cody Lightning as Kenny (background) star in "Manic"
    Click for larger view


    Manic
    Stacie Hougland

    A violent teen is forced to confront his issues of rage and frustration when he is placed in a juvenile mental institution against his will.

    Story
    It's Anger Management without the comedy, or One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest without Jack Nicholson. Sounds cheerful, eh? Lyle (Third Rock From the Sun's Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a quiet but rage-filled 17-year-old, is committed to a juvenile mental institution when he beats some kid senseless with a baseball bat after being teased relentlessly. Unlike the other kids in Dr. Monroe's (Don Cheadle) therapy group, which includes rich Goth kid Sara (Sara Rivas), bully Michael (Elden Henson) and bipolar Chad (Michael Bacall, who also co-wrote), Lyle is stoic and silent, refusing to discuss his problems in any other way than with his fists. Lyle is increasingly attracted to the equally silent Tracey (Zooey Deschanel), who wakes the ward up every night screaming from nightmares, and sympathetic to his painfully shy roommate Kenny (Cody Lightning) who has been raped by his stepfather. Despite Lyle's determination to hold on to his anger, the doctor's words and advice slowly seep in. He begins to discover he has an inner strength that not only helps him learn to deal with his own issues, but also gives him the desire--if, sadly, not the ability--to help others.

    Acting
    Gordon-Levitt owns this film, doing a 540-degree shift from his lively Third Rock teen and demonstrating there's way more to this young actor than first meets the eye. Instead of chewing the scenery (as most actors playing angry people are wont to do), his Lyle is understated and forceful, his seething fury at everything--including himself--masked by an unnervingly calm expression. You've no doubt that he's pissed as all get out as he whales on bellicose Michael for insulting Tracey without blinking an eye. As the wide-eyed and sweetly damaged Tracey, Deschanel is quietly effective, as is Lightning, whose Kenny is heartbreaking without saying three words throughout the movie. The dialogue, even that tossed off by the bit performers, is so authentic that for a minute you could be convinced you're watching a documentary. Of everyone, Cheadle is the least realistic as he spouts trite plastic-chair psychology and panders to the troubled teens ("Why are you here, Michael?" "What makes you angry, Chad?") while remaining strangely MIA during their biggest freakouts.
    Direction
    If big studio films are to commercial radio what indie films are to college radio, then IFC's Manic could be the latter's Sonic Youth (which in fact would be appropriate, given that the band's founder Thurston Moore provides music for the film). Director Jordan Melamed's debut has been on the shelf since it screened with some critical success at Sundance in 2001; two years later Melamed's Dogme95 style of absolute nonconformity (he follows the rules laid by directors like Lars von Trier by not using any fixed cameras, special effects or anything that would peg the film to an existing genre) seems dated. From the get-go you're dizzied by jittery cinema verite camerawork that might once have seemed edgy but now is just flat-out annoying. In addition, some of the metaphorical imagery is way too obvious--Van Gogh artwork, birds, the books the kids read. However, Melamed pulls out some fascinatingly understated performances that are just restrained and youthlike enough to be startlingly believable (helped, no doubt, by being filmed in an actual abandoned mental institution).
    Bottom Line
    Manic showcases superb, complex and deep performances by all the young players involved, particularly that of young star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and works as an excellent character study of troubled youth.

  3. #3
    FORT Fogey
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    Here's another link with lots of information about it:

    http://us.imdb.com/Title?0252684

    And it's pretty current (from 2001).

  4. #4
    Soccer Kicks Balls cali's Avatar
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    very cool.

    Thanks.

    I don't know why I can hardly ever find what it is I;m looking for

    **more blah, blah, blah**

    Yeah, I knew it was current. Beka (the artist) has been creating (mostly paintings, but other things on canvas as well) For YEARS (mom has one she did in the early 80's as a teen), but her art has just recently been "Big time" (read expensive as crap). Pretty cool though, and it's funny, as her a good bit of her art is very "manic" so it will be interesting to see what peices are in the background on walls in the Drs. office, and which peices are "works in progress" or "by" the kids in the hospital.

    Don't read that as me thinking she is not talented, as she is
    "Rice is great when you're hungry and want 2,000 of something' -- Mitch Hedberg

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