Lyle Jensen is subject to sudden and violent outbursts, and he is committed to the juvenile wing of the Northwood Mental Institution. Several other youths are there with a variety of ... See full summary »
Fifteen-year-old Howie loses just about everything and everyone in the space of a single week, but ends up finding himself in the process. His mother has just died. His father, a building contractor, can barely keep tabs on his young girlfriend, let alone his own son. Thusly, the teen must navigate his adolescence virtually unsupervised. Floating towards an ill-behaved existence, Howie and his crowd begin robbing houses in the middle-class neighborhoods off the Long Island Expressway. Together, he and his best friend Gary break into a place belonging to an old guy named Big John, a local man who is a respected pillar of the community. When Big John fingers Gary for the crime, Howie learns that his pal has been leading a secret, dangerous but also alluring double life. Subsequently, we also discover that Big John has secrets of his own. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The poem Howie recites in the car is "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" by Walt Whitman. See more »
When Marty parks his car to confront Howie and Gary in the parking lot, he obviously parks it in a vacant lot (no other cars are around). However, when he returns to his car a few moments later, several cars have now appeared in the parking lot although there hasn't been time for them to arrive and park. See more »
L.I.E. Long Island Expressway. You got the lanes going east, and you got the lanes going west. And you also got the lanes going straight to hell. Lot of people died on it. Harry Chapin, Alan Pakula, the movie director. You probably heard of them. But you never heard of Sylvia Blitzer, my mom. She died on a crash on Exit 52. I really miss her. It's taken a lot of people and I hope it doesn't get me.
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Howie Blitzer is having some serious trouble dealing with the death of his mother. His father is never around and is constantly with other women and his only friend is Gary, another troubled kid who Howie is sexually attracted to and who leads him and a couple other misfits to houses to steal from. Eventually, Howie and Gary rob the house of a pederast named Big John(Brian Cox). Big John finds Howie and at first sees him as another teenager that he can fool around with. However, upon meeting Howie, he realizes that Howie doesn't needs a father figure more than he needs a sexual partner.
There is one single flaw with the film. That is the ending. The film ends in heartless violence. It would have been better to end ambiguously. However, even that single flaw doesn't make me love the film any less. This is one of those films that is so honest, so pitch-perfect in the people it is depicting, so fearless in what it's willing to show, that, to me, it is almost required viewing.
This film really spoke to me. I can really relate to it in a lot of ways because I had a terrible time back when I was fifteen since I had been bullied around and didn't really have anyone to talk to. I had experienced the loss of people I loved as well, and I dealt with those bad feelings for a while. I can really relate to the Howie character. I think we all, at one time or another, felt a little like Howie Blitzer. He's a great character. Despite his problems, he still is a good writer and he still appreciates art and the things that matter to him.
The performances are remarkably natural and extraordinary, the cinematography is top-notch, the script is both hilarious and heartbreaking, and the whole film has such a strong sense of intensity and ferocity that it's really difficult to stop watching it once you start. It does everything a film is supposed to do. It's extremely entertaining, challenging, and bizarre. It's one of the best films of the 21st century.
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