mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
Post Reply
Message
Author

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)

#2 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:49 am

mid90s, Jonah Hill's directorial debut AKA Jonah Hill Has Seen Kids

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#3 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:58 am

That title is just brutal, and the trailer makes the 90s (which weren't any great shakes, don't get me wrong) look like the most drab, uninteresting era in semi-recent history. Eh, come to think of it, perhaps it was.

black&huge
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:35 am

Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#4 Post by black&huge » Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:14 am

domino harvey wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:49 am
mid90s, Jonah Hill's directorial debut AKA Jonah Hill Has Seen Kids
Ew. It's too easy to cringe at that trailer because of the try hard angle of using 90's nostalgia as a symbol of millennial youth. "I just wanna skate and not give a fuck" is basically what one character says but it's padded by naive gibberish about not being understood because they don't care about anything. Now while this is nothing new there's something extra weird about it since it's all coming from an actor who grew up in a well off family. This is the same kinda superficial crap that spawned We Are Your Friends a film whose trailer basically said "I'm struggling because I have too much fun".

tl:dr get ready for a buncha kids touting this as a "deeply understanding film".

User avatar
The Elegant Dandy Fop
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)

#5 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:11 am

I grew up in Los Angeles in the mid-90s, and this world looks absolutely foreign to me. Every film about white boy skaters sounds like poison to me.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)

#6 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:34 am

That said, any movie that leans upon a "hey, remember this guys?" form of nostalgia has to work harder to get my attention back, because it's often a crutch in cinema about the semi-recent past (or television, like Stranger Things) to just mash in people's cozy nostalgia buttons in lieu of providing a compelling reason for the existence of the film. Anyone can just fire up I Love the __s and get that fix in a less convoluted and more intellectually honest way.

If Hill has a story to tell here that's worth being told, this could be something, but if it's a bunch of signifiers from his youth not in service of anything, why not just watch Kids like Domino said?

User avatar
Luke M
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:21 pm

Re: mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)

#7 Post by Luke M » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:07 pm

I didn’t feel any nostalgia in that trailer. It just sorta reminded me of an unfunny, soulless Dazed & Confused which while taking place in the 70s now feels like a quintessential 90s movie.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)

#8 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:52 pm

This is getting some of the best reviews out of TIFF, with only an NPR podcast host's tweet (which I won't reproduce here because her 'characters speaking to one another using era-specific profanity in films should be eliminated because the filmmaker might be enjoying hearing the words' logic is absolutely the stupidest thing I've come across this festival season) as a truly dissenting voice, along with Jason Bailey of The Playlist, who said it's just too much like Kids.

Beyond that, though, it's got 100% on RottenTomatoes and critics seem to consider it a minor triumph for Hill

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)

#9 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:23 pm

If you would have told me last week that between mid90s and Roma, the more compassionate and compelling poverty narrative would be this one, I would not have believed you. But I was so impressed by this film, with the choices Hill made in the communication between his actors, while eschewing the sort of shock value that colored so much actual 90s filmmaking in this milieu (this isn't a 'look at me, Mom and Dad! Aren't I a bad little boy?' Harmony Korine joint), and more importantly, the voyeuristic leering of a Larry Clark teen fuckfest. Instead, Hill just aims to show us the sort of group of friends that we may pass right by without realizing what they mean to each other, building trust and affection through a need for escape from their assorted domestic problems, real or exaggerated. Hill tells more of the story with what he leaves out, with what he doesn't show us, than what he does - it's the mark of an already mature filmmaker who isn't interested in provoking, but instead just creating an authentic mood in which he can let these very talented young actors play off of one another the way Hill has done so well throughout his career as a comedic actor. mid90s is a small film in every sense of that word, but about as good of a small film as I've seen in quite a while. It doesn't re-invent the wheel, but it never tries to. It just wants to hang out.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)

#10 Post by domino harvey » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:55 am


User avatar
Brian C
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)

#11 Post by Brian C » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:34 pm

I was impressed with this film too, although I can't see it as a "poverty narrative", since only one of these characters (Fourth Grade) appears to actually live in poverty, and even in his case, we're told how poor his family is but don't really see it.

At any rate, what I really liked about the movie is that it shows kids doing a lot of stuff that, in a lesser movie, would be intended to shock people over what the kids are up to these days, or at least were 25 years ago. But Hill takes a much more honest approach, a kind of matter-of-factness that makes the movie seemed pitched to the kinds of kids in the movie instead of pruriently appealing to the fears of their parents. These kids do stuff that's pretty stupid and dangerous, but the levels of stupidity and danger are defined by their peers.

And just generally speaking, I thought the atmosphere and pacing of the film felt very natural and unforced. The dynamics within the group are complicated and dynamic, but the characters never feel pigeonholed into their particular roles within it. And even Katherine Waterston's mom character feels like she's allowed to make up her own mind about what's happening - she has a moment late in the film that I thought was a very warm gesture on the part of the filmmakers.

I suppose the nicest thing I can say about it is that I'm not someone who was roughly the same age as the older kids in the group at the time the film is set, but was never remotely interested in skate culture. But the movie makes a very persuasive case for that culture and why its characters would be so single-mindedly devoted to it.

phantomforce
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:01 am

Re: mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)

#12 Post by phantomforce » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:44 am

The Jonah Hill has seen Kids reference is apropos, especially the scene with the girls talking about sex right after Sunburn gets his first time in.. Skate Kitchen was a little more blatant in its Kids copycatting though and Mid 90s obviously gives more homage to the skate scene in general viewed via VHS.

I grew up in the valley as a skateboarder with some of the 'cameos' in the film and the film is definitely nothing like the mid 90s skate scene I experienced. There was a skate shop in Culver City around that time near Motor, but I dont think thats what It was called and I think it was more of a surf shop. Here we had Val Surf and eventually in the Aughts Brooklyn Projects and Supreme. Of course Redondo / Hermosa / etc had their scene with World Industries, Blind, 101, etc and further south was Bones / Birdhouse etc, but LA is not NYC, everything was the wild west. I never remembered any of these skate territories that are shown in Mid90s, the street was the playground.. of course the one thing the film got right was the school playgrounds after hours, moving benches around but that is stuff you can just see in skate videos from that time.

As someone that grew up around a lot of these skaters that sold me my first boards and are now legends / celebrities / ceos (in the mid 90s most of these pro skaters that they talk about like the girl / chocolate skaters only made money selling boards and still worked in skate shops like val surf, not as big of a deal as they make it seem in the movie) I did see a bit of an exploitative element in the film, but it still has heart as in the talk Ray gives and the reaction Sunburn gets on his first little ollie.

The partying, smoking etc that was all authentic, but the one thing i didn't like was that there were no consequences in the film. There are many pro skaters that died tragically and people around them put in prison, at young ages and I felt the film should have handled this a little better and not as juvenile, but i suppose we are seeing things through young Suns eyes.

Either way, it was a fine film nostalgically, with heart and the cameos were pretty cool, especially D-E-L as the homeless guy who was unrecognizable. I was a little concerned about the music by Trent and Atticus which was nothing more than the opening credits and credit theme, still good.

I recently saw that big brother magazine documentary and jonah hill is in it, and I still wonder how much into skating was he really, other than a kid that walked into a shop and picked up a magazine and world industries trilogy or toy machines welcome to hell video and got off on that.

I'm always weary of these films based around cultures. I grew up in the skate scene mid 90s and then got into the rave scene late 90s and as a budding filmmaker people always told me, dont exploit the culture or talk about it. An outsider will judge or an insider will hate. You can't please everyone. This film kind of solidified that for me. It needed more than just mimicking what you could see in a skate video. Still, I give it a 3 out of 5.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)

#13 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:14 am

Brian C wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:34 pm
I was impressed with this film too, although I can't see it as a "poverty narrative", since only one of these characters (Fourth Grade) appears to actually live in poverty, and even in his case, we're told how poor his family is but don't really see it.
We see dozens of impoverished and otherwise socially displaced people regularly throughout the film. Kids having conversations with homeless people, with one another about their parents' shortcomings, and one particularly heartbreaking moment where an abused child doesn't want to give up his favorite shirt as a tourniquet lest it be forever bloodstained. Poverty isn't at the surface of this film, but it is very effectively (and mostly unspokenly) woven through its fabric.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)

#14 Post by domino harvey » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:20 am

Interesting personal connections, phantomforce, thanks for sharing!

User avatar
Mr Sheldrake
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:09 pm
Location: Jersey burbs exit 4

Re: mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)

#15 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:43 am

I thought Hill handled his inexperienced cast well but his screenplay was too focused on how much physical and mental abuse his 13 year old could endure, doubling down in a couple of areas. Curiously the kid seems for the most part unfazed except for the over-the-top outburst with his mom, and that felt like an acting exercise. I would have preferred more skateboarding.

Post Reply