Dazed and Confused (1993) follows a group of high-school students
of the 1970s.
In 1976 in an average town the students of a high school are attending the
last day of classes. One of them, Kevin, has organized a party in his house
because his parents are leaving for a trip.
Slater is already addicted to drugs.
Tony, a nerd, tells his friend Mike of a strange dream.
Don and Melvin hang out with the brute Benny.
A girl, Jodi, asks Benny not to be tough on her little brother Mitch at the hazing ritual.
A coach asks all the athletes to sign a pledge sheet not to use alcohol and drugs: the rebellious Randall throws it away.
Mitch asks to be released early from school but the teacher is secretly amused by the panic of the kid, knowing what expects him after school (the hazing).
Mitch and four friends sneak out avoiding Benny and the other two seniors and get in a car but they are promptly chased by the trio of seniors in a pickup truck.
Mitch and his friend Carl make it inside Carl's home and his mom shows up with gun to defend them from Benny.
Meanwhile, a senior female student, Darla, is harassing junior girls, leading
the corresponding hazing ritual for females.
Senior girls led by Darla humiliate the junior girls spraying sauces, flour and
nuts on their bodies and then drive them in a car wash so they get showered, while
the more mature Tony and Mike watch disgusted by the silly ritual.
Darla even forces a girl, Sabrina, to propose to nerd Tony.
Sabrina's reward is that she gets invited to the party.
Randall and Slater visit their friend Kevin whose parents are leaving.
His parents are clearly very straight, but Kevin instead sells drugs out of
his bedroom. His parents are surprised to see a delivery of a keg of beer:
the delivery boy is more than one hour early. Kevin's father guesses that Kevin
is having a party and decides to cancel the trip and stay home.
The harassing trio finds Mitch at a baseball game. Their heckling cause him to lose the game and then they grab him after the game and Benny beats him up with a paddle.
Randall arrives when the harasser are leaving and gives Mitch a ride home.
Randall invites little Mitch to hang out with them later in the evening.
Other kids are cruising around in the evening.
Tony and Mike are in the car of her fellow intellectual friend Cynthia.
Mike confesses that he doesn't want to go to law school: he wants to dance.
Randall and his older friend David pick up Mitch and drive to a billiard hall
where some of the other kids are congregating.
Kevin, Don, Slater and another kid drive around smoking pot.
Benny's harassing trio catches three junior kids and beat up the one they grab.
Four girls in another car run into them and watch amused.
A sophomore girl, Julie, is driving around with Mitch's older sister Jodi. Eventually Julie and Mitch meet and strike a conversation.
Randall and Mitch join Don and Kevin in Kevin's car and Mitch tries pot for the first time.
Then they have fun vandalizing garbage cans and mailboxes.
They ask Mitch to throw a bowling ball on a car, thereby smashing the car's rear window.
They get in serious trouble when a man approaches them with a gun: they smashed
his mailbox and he wants to call the police. They escape but he shoots at their
Then they return to the billiard hall.
Mitch buys beer, pretending to be over 18, and then meets the other junior
kids who have just been harassed by Benny. They plot to exact their revenge.
They use Carl as bait and set a trap for Benny.
Then they dump paint on Benny in front of many other amused kids.
Tony, Mike and Cynthia are getting bored. Cynthia has doubts about her intellectual life and would like some fun. They even try a hamburger drive-in.
David and Slater invite them to the "moon tower" where many other kids
Mike is attacked by a violent pot smoker, Clint, and saved by Randall.
Kevin challenges Mitch to climb the moon tower and he climbs it with Slater and Randall.
Tony runs into Sabrina and they are both shy but start chatting.
Randall is confronted by another athlete who is upset that Randall is throwing
away his chance to become a pro because he doesn't want to sign the pledge.
Kids are getting drunk and high all around the moon tower.
A drunk Darla tries to humiliate Sabrina but tony encourages her to stand up:
Darla swears revenge.
Mike suddenly attacks the same Clint tho confronted him earlier and of course
gets beaten badly.
He is saved by Randall and David.
Jodi catches little Mitch flirting with an older girl, a friend of hers.
The intellectual Cynthia is flirting with older guy David.
Then David drives Slater, Don, Randall and two girls to the stadium, while
Cynthia drives Mike, Tony and Sabrina away. Tony and Sabrina kiss before
dropping her off at her place.
The police shows up at the stadium while Randall is smoking pot with his
friends. The police call the coach and detain them until the coach comes.
The coach lectures Randall about hanging out with "losers".
Randall tells the coach that he will never sign the pledge.
Mitch and Julie are making out on an isolated hill while the sun is rising.
Mitch returns home after sunrise and of couse his mother is waiting for him,
but she forgives him.
David, Slater and Randall drive away still smoking pot.
Before Sunrise (1995)
The Newton Boys (1998)
Waking Life (2001)
School of Rock (2003)
Before Sunset (2004)
was a sequel to Before Sunrise (1995).
Bad News Bears (2005)
A Scanner Darkly (2006)
Me and Orson Welles (2008)
Before Midnight (2013) was a sequel to
Before Sunset (2004) that
was a sequel to Before Sunrise (1995).
The very long Boyhood (2014), filmed between
2002 and 2013, follows a child's family from his boyhood till he enters college.
It is impressive how the director managed to grow the characters over the
years without losing the thread of the story, that flows smoothly like it was
filmed in one take.
The most interesting dimension is actually the technological one: throughout the years the devices change, from the videogame played on a computer with the big monitor via Facebook to the video chat on the smartphone.
Olivia is a divorced mother raising two children, Samantha and little Mason.
Olivia has a boyfriend but has not time to date and blames it on her bad job,
so she decides to move to a big city where she can go back to school and get
a degree. She falls in love with one of the professors, Bill, who has two
children of his own. They get married and all the children move into Bill's
mansion. Bill, who drinks too much alcohol, is authoritarian and Olivia doesn't
care because she's busy studying.
Olivia's politically-leftist chronically-unemployed aspiring-musician chain-smoking ex-husband takes his children
out for a day and they like him better than Bill.
Bill eventually becomes an alcoholic and starts beating Olivia and harassing
the children. One day Bill takes all the children in his car and starts
driving like a maniac. Olivia has had enough: she takes Mason and Samantha
and moves out, without even packing their belongings.
They move into a friend's small house.
Olivia's ex takes Samantha and Mason to a restaurant and, finding out that
Samantha has a boyfriend, explains to the children how to avoid pregnancies,
regretting that he became a father so early in life.
Then he takes Mason to a wilderness where they camp.
Mason in his high school goes through the usual routine:
boys bully him and girls are attracted to him.
Olivia teaches psychology at a college and has a boyfriend who is a war veteran,
Soon Mason begins drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and kissing girls.
Olivia's ex remarries and has a baby from his new wife, and seems to have
finally a good job.
He actually likes Olivia's new boyfriend Jim.
He takes the teenagers Samantha and Mason with his wife and the baby in his new
van. Mason is actually disappointed that his father sold the old car: the father
forgot that he promised that car to Mason. They visit his wife's parents who
live in a farm. It's Mason's birthday and the old conservative couple gives
him a special edition of the Bible and a shotgun that has been passed down
the generations. His father has clearly changed, no longer the reckless
liberal but a responsible average citizen.
The family moves into Jim's house, who has a stable job.
Jim, a former soldier who believes in hard work and discipline, disapproves of Samantha's and Mason's manners: Samantha is disrespectul of
her mother and Mason is the bohemian artist.
Mason has a girlfriend, Sheena.
When Mason comes home late, Jim yells at him, reminding him that he's the one
who pays the bills.
Olivia breaks up with Jim and buys a house.
Samantha is in college. Mason works a humble job washing dishes in a restaurant.
Mason and Sheena drive to Samantha's college and crash at her dormitory's room.
Samantha has a boyfriend.
Mason is preparing to go to college, thanks to a prize that he won for
photography, when he breaks up with Sheena.
After a graduation party with the whole extended family,
Olivia, having lost both Samantha and Mason to colleges, decides to sell the
An immigrant recognizes Olivia as the woman who once advised him to get an
education: he did so and now he has a good job and thanks her for her advice.
When they pack to move, Olivia starts crying: the children are gone and she's
going to be alone.
Mason is in college now and bonds with his new friends by hiking in the
Where'd You Go Bernadette (2019) was a mediocre adaptation of
Maria Semple's best-selling novel.
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