After seeing Into the Wild for the first time last night, I realized how great of an actor Emile Hirsch is, and I wondered why I haven’t seen him in very many things lately. I decided to write a recommendation one of Emile Hirsch’s earlier films that I cherish very heavily, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boy’s, a coming of age film that is based on the novel by Chris Fuhrman. The film center’s around four boys making comic books, dealing with the ideals of the Catholic church. Despite being a coming of age film, I genuinely think that this movie is about the new world order versus old world theocracy.
The logline states:
“Eight-grade Catholic school boys plan a prank on a mean, one-legged nun after she punishes them for having drawn an obscene comic book.”
This film switches from real live action to comic book animation going from reality to the superhero world that the boys in the film create. This makes the film incredibly offbeat, creative, and truthful. This film’s theme is about friendship and bonding together to oppose a common enemy. The story plays so well with the four altar boys because they are incredibly relatable, acting like punk nosed eight graders who cuss and think about girls and superheroes all day long.
It is sporadic that you can see a group of teenaged boys pulls off an excellent acting performance. Emile Hirsch easily carries the entire film, and he does not let the likes of Jodie Foster intimidate him on screen. He holds his own against a two-time Oscar winner. Jodie Foster plays the film’s antagonist who is a nun, which the altar boys hate. But, Kieran Culkin steals the movie in every scene that he is in.
This film has ample conflict and a plot twist at the end, which keeps you engaged. Most importantly, this film will take you back to the stupid crap that you use to do as a kid, making it a perfect blend of comedy and drama. Discover how these four boys create their own world to rebel against their teachings of what the Catholic Church is trying to instill in them while learning that mixing reality and fantasy can stir a pot of trouble.
These four boys represent “progression” and new ideas in the world, so it is exciting to see how they combat their beliefs against theocratic authority. Altar Boy’s is a powerful film and is a must watch for people between the ages of 13 and 17. This film is the 2000’s version of Stand by Me but better because it has a way better ending.
Well, in my opinion.
“The Zos Knows”
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