Monday 21 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Documentary · American Teen

American Teen

None August 14th, 2008


Reviewer's grade: A

In "American Teen," documentarian Nanette Burstein trains her camera on high school archetypes "” the princess, the rebel, the geek, the jock and the heartthrob "” and digs into the reality behind the stereotype. It sounds like a simple exercise, but Burstein is an exceptional storyteller. Culling through more than 1,000 hours of footage shot over 10 months, she fashions a riveting narrative that remind us how high school was no place for the faint of heart.

And it helps that the teens of "American Teen" possess plenty of heart, particularly Hannah Bailey, a quick-witted 17 year old who dreams of becoming a filmmaker and getting the hell out of her small Indiana town. Some hand-wringing movie critics have accused Burstein's doc of being largely staged because the kids in it seem so unguarded, but those detractors fail to consider that documentary cameras always impact their subjects. Besides, anyone who remembers high school knows that it's nothing but drama. PG-13

"”Phil Bacharach

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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