Sunday, July 3, 2011

Bully (2001)

"Bully" is a true story that happened somewhat nearby where I grew up in South Florida. I think my sister knew of some of the real kids, probably far down the line through a friend of a friend etc. They definitely capture South Florida in all its seafoam green and coral color scheme, swamp-like sweaty conditions, and the mind numbing boredom of having nowhere to really hang out except the mall. At least, that's how I remember it growing up.

Since this is directed by Larry Clark, there's an extreme amount of gratuitous behavior; nudity, sex, violence, and oh, the f-bomb about 300 hundred time apparently. The book this movie is based on is just as shocking and a great, page-turner of a read. I kinda laughed at the casting of Rachel Miner (who was married to Macaulay Culkin for 5 minutes) since the real "Lisa" is overweight, and they still refer to her as "fat" in the film even though she's probably 110 pounds. Hell, you can see her ribs poking out during the many sex scenes she's in. 

For me, it was weird to see Leo Fitzpatrick in this as the phony "hitman". When he starred in "Kids", I remember hearing a rumor that no one was a real actor in that film, so I just assumed he was being more or less himself. He plays a good moronic teenager. 

Poor Brad Renfro (who plays Marty) died just a few years after this movie was made. His death was sadly overshadowed by Heath Ledger's in the press.

According to Wikipedia, all the kids' jail sentences have changed from what we see on the screen at the end of this film. Marty is no longer on Death Row, but still in jail, and some of the others have actually been released.  

I saw this movie when it first came out at the movie theater in Ft. Lauderdale (I can't remember its name)  nearby the beach that has a real marquee. That part of town was a spring break landmark in the 1960s.