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Glory Boy Days

February 16, 2013

Cinequest 2008

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Glory Boy Days was heavily promoted at Cinequest, possibly because it was made by a San Jose State University student, and shot in and around San Jose. The San Jose Repertory Theater was packed with eager viewers and they all seemed very pleased when it was over. I’ve seen the movie referenced as the next “Swingers”, “American Graffitti” and “Dazed and Confused”. I disagree with those comparisons.

Did I like it? That’s a tough one to answer, because I DID like it. But I’m not sure the reasons I or anyone else in the theater liked it will transfer over to anyone else. We were excited to see characters we know in a movie shot at locations we know. Was it a good movie? Here is what I have to say: I think this movie shows the most potential for future fantastic movies out of everything I have seen this Cinequest.

It didn’t take long before I realized that the movie it is most reminiscent of is Kevin Smith’s Clerks – another first film that went the festival circuit. There were many similarities: the grainy film, the amateur unfocused filming, amateur acting, young people going through a crisis, it takes place over a 24 hour period, and quite a bit of some very quick, smart dialogue. The dialogue, though not up to “Clerks” or Kevin Smith level, most impressed me as a clue to keep an eye on this writer/director.

But there were even more similarities. Instead of QuikStop, there is Willow Glen Liquors where many characters come and visit with the clerk. Outside against the wall is the hangout ala where Jay and Silent Bob are always to be found. There was even a night scene with a character breakdancing while the others stand and sit against the wall – the same thing happened in Clerks.

GloryBoyDaysCQ18But then came a scene that to me crossed over the line of “reminiscent of” and went straight over to “sort of copying”. The scene is not something I want to recap because it is extremely gross, too much so for this blog. But if you have seen Clerks you will remember the “Snowball” scene (and if you don’t then maybe you should watch it again). So they didn’t talk about “snowballing” but they spoke about another kind of shocking sex act, which then sets off the boyfriend, which causes a fight, etc. Taken straight from the script of Clerks. If I were the writer/director, who mentioned that he is constantly reworking this film, I would reshoot that argument and create something totally different. Because there is nothing wrong with an independant film paying homage to Kevin Smith, but you don’t want to be accused of straight out copying his movie.

But aside from that, I really did like it. One character claims he and the others are all living their “Glory Boy Days”. But what the movie is really about is the point when you realize that your Glory Boy Days are really over. It’s like the first mid-life crisis you have. Despite what I have said through this review, I really really did like the movie – not for the movie itself, but because I think it shows incredible promise for even better movies.

Should you go see it? A definite Yes, and then you can make your own decision.

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