REVIEWED
2/23/03

STORY



LOOK

Dazed and Confused
Director: Richard Linklater
Year: 1993
TRT: 1:43


Despite this coming off as a stoner movie (in some respects it is, but not in the campy, "Cheech & Chong" kind of way), this movie is like American Graffiti for the 70's. Director Linklater has the knack for weaving the perfect "slice of life" kind of stories, with an emphasis on the realism part. While not exactly having a real "plot" so to speak, this film does follow something that is always pretty interesting, and it really does capture all the nuances of the different crowds of high school, from the stuck-up cheerleader bitch to jocks to the socially awkward group of geeks and beyond.

The story itself takes place in a single day, the last day of school in 1976. It follows two main avenues, the juniors stepping up to their senior responsibilities, and a small group of friends who are freshman-bound. There is a thread running throughout that is the quandry that the star quarterback Randy "Pink" Floyd faces in having to sign a "contract" with the coaches saying he won't drink or smoke. But the movie is more about the "day in the life" of these teenagers and the things that make life interesting (or, in some cases, the search for something interesting).

One thing that really stands out is the great soundtrack the film has running throughout. Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, and a load more, some great tunes used effectively. And while most of the main actors aren't big-name stars, they do a decent enough job. There's a good turn by a young Ben Affleck playing the stupid, asshole jock (go figure) and Matthew McConaughey as the older, graduated dude trying to retain the high school lifestyle.

Great Scene: McConaughey's little speech about why he likes high school girls.

DVD Notes: Fairly basic DVD put out by Universal that has some production notes and a brief bio on writer and director Richard Linklater.