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The Wackness (2008)

A movie directed by Jonathan Levine

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What A Surprise, The Wackness Is Actually On Point

  • Aug 11, 2009
I haven't heard much about this movie besides seeing the name on Peck's list of films on wikipedia. Of course I judged the title thinking that the film would be some lame attempt of a superbad type comedy but man was I wrong. The wackness is actually quite easy to explain and although it contains a young man with an occupation that isn't known for such a lifestyle I feel a lot of teens can sort of relate to it. Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck) is a 17 year old just a day from graduation. He's an incredibly lonely drug dealer that is basically dieing inside from not living the life of having fun and being dumb. The film takes him on a small hip hop packed and smoke filled adventure to live some sort of a teenage life before the summers over. He eventually finds a friend in his psychiatrist Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley) but it takes time for them to realize how important they are to each other.

I've grown up watching Peck on Nick although he played great characters in those films he was mostly the side man and fell under the radar until he started getting a little older. My point is that I think this guy is a pretty good dramatic actor, better than his comedic roles he played on Nick. The acting was solid especially the slightly self destructive pot smoking Ben Kingsley, loved the cast. The story itself was a kind of crazy, I mean I believe that drug dealers are usually depicted as these people that get love and hate but not a lot of loneliness or at least not the high school type guys. I love how they put that spin on it because somehow everyone is linked by this. Peck's character shares what a lot of us had or even have, that big chunk of life you felt like you missed or are about to miss and all that experience and life just falls into your lap at one time.

I mean overall I loved the movie, I think the insane but realistic characters even though the weed thing sends it over a bit but it pulls it to be a super cool movie. It also has one of the sickest soundtracks of all time. I love the fact that the movie didn't try and make cliche's or make fun of hip hop. It felt like it was truly paying homage to the music, another thing that helps ease through the times. If you're a fan of good movies period I know you'll love this film. It was hard to find anything to take away from it but it's definitely a must see.

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October 24, 2010
I was surprised by how much I liked it and totally thought the same thing- that it was going to be some kind of cliche on a white boy into hip-hop. I was glad to see that I was wrong and that soundtrack is doooooope! Great review!
November 08, 2010
Thanks man I appreciate it, I completely agree with you too because hearing what its about you're totally gonna think that at first but then you watch it and it gives you this nostalgic feeling in a way. Loved it and Peck rocked the house. Im glad you enjoyed it my friend
November 09, 2010
Anytime! Thanks for the review- def had the nostalgic feeling to it which I haven't felt in most hip-hop films.
August 30, 2010
Nice going, Keith! It is so nice to see you here... :)
September 03, 2010
thanks pakman, Im really feeling the lunch site. Only thing is Amazon sort of left a bad taste in my mouth so its taking me a lil bit to get back into the mood of reviewing
About the reviewer
Keith A Jones ()
Ranked #139
Member Since: Aug 15, 2010
Last Login: Sep 9, 2013 04:22 PM UTC
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About this movie


Jonathan Levine's nostalgic reverie recreates a more innocent New York. In 1994, the Twin Towers watch over Manhattan, and Rudolph Giuliani reigns as mayor--not a bestselling author or presidential candidate. Recent high school grad Luke Shapiro (sleepy-eyed Josh Peck,Drake and Josh) plies the kind of trade Giuliani seeks to discourage: dope dealing. Otherwise, though, Luke's not such a bad kid. He sees a therapist, the pot-smoking Dr. Squires (Sir Ben Kingsley), and nurses a crush on the doctor's flirtatious stepdaughter, Stephanie (Juno's Olivia Thirlby). Hip-hop fills the air, and Luke spends his days grooving to Nas, the Notorious B.I.G., and A Tribe Called Quest, while selling cannabis out of an ice-cream cart (Wu-Tang rapper Method Man plays his Rasta supplier). As the summer heats up, Luke and Stephanie grow closer, while Squires and his wife, Kristin (Famke Janssen), drift apart. Meanwhile, Luke's family faces eviction if his father's fortunes don't improve, and he finds himself torn between the hot girl, the bummed-out shrink, and a job that could land him in the clink for a good long time--or save the Shapiros from moving to New Jersey. Though Levine (All the Boys Love Mandy Lane) doesn't judge his law-breaking protagonist, he does suggest that love can make a smart guy lose his head just as easily as lust--and even a trained psychiatrist can't always tell the difference. With Mary-Kate Olsen (Weeds) and Jane Adams (Happiness) as ...
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Director: Jonathan Levine
Screen Writer: Jonathan Levine
DVD Release Date: January 6, 2009
Runtime: 99 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
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