Hot Summer Nights
Action / Comedy / Crime / Drama / Romance
Hot Summer Nights
Action / Comedy / Crime / Drama / Romance
WEB: same quality as BluRay, but ripped earlier from a streaming service
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In the summer of 1991, a sheltered teenage boy comes of age during a wild summer he spends on Cape Cod getting rich from selling pot to gangsters, falling in love for the first time, partying and eventually realizing that he is in over his head..
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Aug 15, 2021 at 09:48 PM
grade Movie Reviews
The main issue I have is the lack of focus on the time period. The clothes felt 80s. The music 70s, sometimes early 80s, and worse Scorsese 50/60s music. But it actually took place in the 90s. It's a real problem when you have people making films from a period they weren't part of.Too many characterThere was too much forced weirdness, but realistic stuff. Plus it was too slow moving. The whole premise just felt derivative. Cliche scenes and characters, and way too many characters.Then we had the phony kisses, and the blatant rip off of Goodfellas. Too many "director moments" slow motion shots etc to hammer a point. Don't need that. After an hour I just wanted it to end. The scenes are starting to repeat themselves.. Relentless, like on a loop without any point. Too many side stories without any need to.And do you really expect an audience to believe that no one from the "small town" told the brother that Danny was hanging with his sister? These people must be really stupid. It was so implausible and unbelievable.Danny actually wears a Jesse Jackson 88 cap? That was hilarious.
Stylish but shallow
If given some other writer's screenplay and a directive to restrain himself, director Elijah Bynum could probably make an excellent film. It's true that he blatantly rips off other directors here (Martin Scorsese and P.T. Anderson, most notably), but in doing so it's undeniable that he has proficiency and panache with a camera and, more importantly, a fine ability to work with actors. I'm sure he'll earn an opportunity to direct a second picture soon; although this movie was a critical failure, I can see this being a big hit with the teenagers it's clearly intended for.The flaws of Hot Summer Nights all derive from its erratic screenplay, which is derivative, juvenile, and incredibly hollow. Bynum has chosen to have the film be narrated by a mostly unseen fringe character--a 13-year-old with a preternatural omniscience concerning the town's gossip. This narration is obnoxious and unnecessary--the best stretch of the movie is the 50 minutes or so where the narration disappears completely--and all it yields are unfunny riffs on sex that belittle the movie's female lead; an air of legendary, larger-than-life status that doesn't quite match the actual movie we're presented; and some incredibly trite observations about class consciousness in a New England tourist town. That last one is worth thinking about for a moment. The film is introduced as a conflict between haves and have-nots, with townies opposed to summerbirds in a vein similar to Breaking Away or The Outsiders. We're shown preppily dressed vacationers with "white clothes and white teeth," and we're meant to focus on the advantages these privileged people have over our main characters. But the division as presented in this film never rises above mere cliquishness. There's no real material difference that's ever explored in any meaningful way--which is to say, even the "townies" seem pretty well-off to me.That's one thread that never goes anywhere, but if you start pulling at that thread then the whole thing starts to unravel and you realize you've just got a pile of old rags that was temporarily gussied up to look like something more impressive. Bynum knows how to blend impressive camerawork, solid performances, and a fun soundtrack into something entertaining, but he's put extremely little effort into developing his characters or crafting a meaningful story. That's a shame because Timothée Chalamet, Maika Monroe, Emory Cohen, and the rest of the cast are all very talented and compelling young actors. They nearly succeed in making it seem as though their characters have plausible motivations and consistent personalities, when ultimately what's really going on here is that Bynum just wanted to remake Goodfellas with teenagers.What drives Daniel Middleton? What does his father's death really have to do with anything? Why does he make the reckless decisions that he does in spite of sound advice to the contrary? What exactly is he trying to prove? What other paths are there for him in life? What other desires, interests, fears, and influences does he have? If you start trying to understand Daniel's character, you see that there's absolutely nothing beneath the surface. Likewise with McKayla. Hunter is given a sliver of nuance, but the action climax--which steals directly from Boogie Nights and Goodfellas--renders all of that moot. This is a movie in which the last word will be given to a 13-year-old speaking wistfully about his sex fantasies. Stand By Me this ain't.
It's not perfect!
Tonight I choose to check this film out. Honestly, anything A24 releases is always good! That said, I really liked this film. However, it's not perfect. I really didn't understand the main characters initial motivation for why he was doing, what he was doing, girl aside. His thirsty choices didn't really make much sense to me. However, on the technical aspect of the movie. I really loved the flow of the film and the editing. Also, the soundtrack is sweet! the cinematography, colour, and acting was spot on. This is a film I would still recommend and would give it another watch even with the minor flaws. Because it's entertaining and has a real summer nostalgic, crime, a dark coming of age feel to it. I'd give this a 7 out of 10.
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