Oct 23, 2018
Welcome back to Takeover Tuesday. I met today’s reviewer while competing in the completely unofficial #DLMChallenge in 2017. I don’t know if he ever made it to 365, and I’m not sure if he does, either, but what I do know is today’s review will probably land better in a select few of these United States, or maybe with our neighbor to the north in Canada. Either way, I’m proud to welcome Brennan Conley aka StonedHenge Comedy for today’s review, even if he forgot that today’s film has a Metacritic rating of 69, the absolute easiest number to make a joke with!
Anyway, here we go!
Oh hey, everyone! My name’s Brennan Conley from StonedHenge Comedy doing your guest review for One Movie Punch. Where you’re always One Movie Punch away from a good time. You can follow me personally on twitter @StonedHengeCom and at facebook.com/kegsneggs.
Today’s stoned movie review is “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys” (2002). It’s a ThinkFilm dramedy directed by Peter Care, and written for the screen by Jeff Stockwell and Michael Petroni, based on the book by Chris Fuhrman. The film follows a group of young boys in Catholic school as they learn about choice and consequence, life and death, and sex and love. They go on a journey of self-discovery both in the real world and in the comic book world they’ve created to escape reality. Due to the duality of this film...
I’ve paired “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys” with a delicious hybrid ...called Lucky Charms. I rolled up a fat blunt of the fruity hybrid, tasted its suh-weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet sweetness and melted right into this coming of age story.
Now let’s get into it. (bubbling) OK, now let’s get into it.
The film sets out with a group of four boys in Catholic school, it centers on the ridiculously talented Kieran Culkin as Tim Sullivan, a troubled teen who has had to grow up way too fast, and his best friend Francis (Emile Hirsch), a young man with a wide eyed look on the world at the cusp of maturity. The two, along with their other two friends, Wade (Jake Richardson) and Joey (Tyler Long), create a comic book called the “Atomic Trinity” to escape the strictness of the Catholic school system led by a stone cold performance from Jodie Foster as the strict one legged nun Sister Assumpta. Yes, that is a real thing. And that craziness translates well as Francis draws himself and his friends as superheroes with exaggerated strengths and weaknesses from the boys’ personalities as they battle the evil Sister Assumpta.
This is where this film truly finds a unique pace and its duality, as the story splits off into animated segments of the comic Francis is writing, mirroring the experiences he and the other boys go through. By the way, the animation was done by the awesome Todd McFarlane, and it’s insane. The boys deal with a number of issues that brought me back to growing up in an age without cell phones and Facebook. How they get into trouble and pull pranks just to keep themselves occupied. Smoking marijuana for the first time. The first time they deal with death. The time a friend in the group gets a girlfriend and she takes over his life and he disappears. In this film, it happens when Francis falls for classmate Margie Flynn (Jena Malone). Her character comes with baggage as well, and maybe the darkest backstory of the bunch, which leads to an absolutely haunting scene involving the two and a ghost in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, the boy’s comic eventually gets found at school leading the boys’ attempt at the biggest and most insane prank they’ve ever done... tranquilizing a cougar and transporting it in a handmade cage to Sister Assumpta’s office. Both sequences of the comic and real life play out in beautiful fashion, and the stakes getting higher and higher, by the minute, escalating to a heartbreaking conclusion that you’ll have to see for yourself.
And as for the direction of the film, the director Peter Care does a great job. His background in music videos really shows as these kids glide through the scenes making me remember what it was like to hang out with my friends at that age. I almost feel like some of those scenes could be music videos on their own, including the trippy drug sequence in the film. He also gets technical as the scene involving the ghost I mentioned earlier, could have come off as corny but was completely haunting and beautiful, due to how it was shot. And his rock hard music video attitude also translates well to the animated sequences again done by the amazing Todd McFarlane. It just really boosts the energy of the film and I was just the right amount of stoned to cheer along with their superhero alter egos.
All in all, this movie entertained me, and hit me emotionally, as I sat there melted to my chair with the help of me Lucky Charms. The deep themes of mortality and friendship are so relatable, and it definitely brought me back to the days of growing up, although, to be honest I’ve never tranq-ed a cougar and kidnapped it. I’d fight a bear though... I actually moved to Colorado this year to fight one... but the closest I’ve found is a website to sleep with one.
Anyways, if you have not seen this film... wait until you have a night to yourself, cozy up with your favorite herb, spark up that special bong, and get ready for one hell of a satisfying emotional ride. “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys” is one of my favorite coming of age stories, and I feel like it could be yours, too. I give it a One Movie Punch Rating of 8 out of 10.
“The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys” has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 77%, is rated R and is currently available to rent and purchase wherever you enjoy movies.
I just want to thank you again for listening to my guest review for One Movie Punch. Please check me out on twitter @StonedHengeCom for all StonedHenge Comedy has to offer including stand-up, shorts and stoned movie reviews. With a website coming soon. But not too soon. Keep smoking and keep watching movies.