Larry Clark has been heralded time and time again for his stunning and raw teenage characters chasing drugs, punk rock, and lust. Through his career, he has presented us with unflinching portraits of teenage rebellion and sexual freedom, such as KIDS, Ken Park, and Tulsa. With the recent untimely death of Brad Renfro, I have decided to dig Bully out of the garbage for a review.
Bully is one of those films based on "factual" events but presents them in such a preposterous way which is far from the real details. Instead of casting appropriate choices, Clark decided to cast hunky white males who love to take their shirts off as the lead, and to repay the audience for making Bobby a skinny white prick. The real Lisa Connelly was actually a fat chick, not skinny and sexy as we were lead to believe. Not to mention, the real Bobby was Iranian and was a muscular man, not a teeny-bopper boy who resides as a sidekick to Freddie Prinze Jr.
His "descent into teen sub-culture" is a failed one at that. All the characters were given these quirks to give them depth but backfire and make them seem inept. From Bobby's fascination with gay porn to Ali's fetishes, these have no effect on even the most vulnerable viewer and should be over-looked. Michael Pitt's character was, arguably, the most well-acted, albeit "fucking retarded." Pitt's character is comparable to a ten year old boy on a sugar high, but then again, knowing Larry Clark, that is probably what he was aiming for.
The plot of this film involves Bobby and Marty. Marty is a loser and bends up Bobby's car so Bobby punches him in the face. Marty gets pissed off and cries about this. This leads to deep psychological damage due to his "abuse." Bobby then, "rapes" Bijou Phillips, which leads to the groups set-up of his murder. When i put rape in quotations, I mean that the rape was about as consensual as the rape in Straw Dogs.
Larry Clark's tag line for the film "Where were the parents?" is a boisterous claim, especially coming from arthouse's sweetheart pedophile himself. The parents were probably preventing their children from watching this stagnant piece of filth. Tell me, why does Larry Clark have pointless shots zooming into a woman's crotch for no apparent reason? I'll admit, nudity is pretty awesome and so is violence, but this is past the point of ridiculous. Larry Clark has always been known for his amazing realist factors to his film. Who knew that all evidence of this would be to vanish after KIDS and suddenly reappear with the release of Ken Park?
Without Harmony Korine, Larry Clark is nothing. He might be capable of filming disgusting Mexicans with their shirts off or take still pictures, but with video, he's not so good. Perhaps the strongest thing going for Bully, was the performance by Leo Fitzpatrick. Too bad he is so rare to see nowadays. Thank god I watch My Name is Earl. For his guest appearances, It makes that show that much worth it.