Dave's Rating:


… artless artfulness …

Who's in It: Jonathan Velasquez, Francisco Pedrasa, Milton Velasquez, Yunio Usualdo Panameno

The Basics: Punk-rock skateboarding Latino boys from L.A. meander their way up to Beverly Hills. It's mostly about hanging out, being an outsider and how Los Angeles makes both look like the most romantic things ever. It's effortlessly cool, but there should have been a snooty high-society food fight somewhere before the final credits.

What's the Deal? Director Larry Clark takes kids who are simultaneously oddball and run-of-the-mill, catches them doing what they'd normally do — a lot of nothing — and manages to create a kind of artless artfulness out of hair and clothes and framing and mumbles and gestures. It's kind of like the skating that the kids in the movie do. They make it look easy.

Smart Move: Clark had gone about as far as he could with the teen sexploitation of his earlier films. So this one takes a step back from all that and actually goofs on it, as the boys meet up with a variety of folks who want to get them naked.

Lord Dargis, Meet Milton J. Hoberman: The latter is the name of a kid everyone in the movie calls "Spermball." And just as the recent Garfield sequel invoked the name of New York Times critic Manohla Dargis, this one makes a friendlier shout-out to Village Voice critic J. Hoberman. I can only dream of the next Adam Sandler movie featuring a villain named Dave White.


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