After finding himself at the constant abuse of his best friend Bobby, Marty has become fed up with his friends twisted ways. His girlfriend, a victim of Bobbys often cruel ways, couldnt agree more and they strategize murdering Bobby, with a group of willing and unwilling participants in a small Florida town. In the midst of their plotting, they find themselves contemplating with the possible aftermath of what could happen.
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If you enjoy horribly acted, pedophilic, jerky action films then this isyour flick! From the same man who brought you "Kids", we get yet anothervoyeuristic romp into the lives of worthless teens and older who f*** agreat deal. And if you like to watch little kiddies get it on, then ala"Kids" you will again be able to legally get your rocks off! Once can becalled edgy and avant-garde if it has a story but twice to direct a movielike this is what they call a "condition". Avoid thismovie.
This film is an abysmally banal attempt to tell what its filmmakers allege is a true story. The teens depicted in the film, and the actors who portray them, are so without emotion that the performances are forced and empty quite apart from the story they are forced to tell.The character of Marty, acting as a seeming martyr, is without substance or foundation and gives one whiplash as his passivity turns to self-righteous outrage. His feelings of thoughtful and tolerable friendship with Bobby turn to one of hatred and contempt so quickly and without a believable footing that this shift is deemed meaningless. Lisa as Marty's savior and guardian uses him to justify her own apparent rage toward Bully Bobby following his rape of her friend and as a result approaches the same level of dominance over Marty as practiced by the film's title character.The filmmakers' attempt to tell what they call a "true" story is done so in the most inconceivable, trite, and clichÃ©d way despite the violent and tragic events upon which it is alleged to be based. It as well loses the circumstances and events of that story amidst melodramatic story telling and "artistic" license that turns it message into an insulting attempt to add contrived drama to an otherwise powerful tragedy. At any rate that story it tells is unrecognizable.The filmmaker's refusal to explore the foundation of the characters' personalities and circumstances upon which their actions are based doesn't allow one to care much at all about their troubles or imposed plight. The film's attempt to shock and disturb its audience buries the story it strains to tell. How the director's critical success with "Kids" led to this drivel is beyond me.Renters of the film may wish to take a chance, but buyers should be aware.
I'm impressed, I'm highly impressed. "Bully" is a total masterpiece, that'sthe only word to describe it. "Kids" was one of the rawest and the moststartling, amazing and confusing films of the 1990's. It was also one of thegreatest movies about a purposeless lifestyle of a modern misfit youth evercreated. I watched it numerous times and I still haven't grew tired ofit.What Larry Clark did with his magnificent directorial debut he succeeded todo for a second time. I never doubted it, I knew "Bully" had to be good butit was way, way better than I ever expected. Actually it was nearly as goodas "Kids". Knowing what a classic "Kids" nowadays is to me it's hard to saythis but in some ways "Bully" was even better. This film gives you the samekind of a strange after-taste. At least to me it gave the feeling that Ishould watch it again right away. The scenes and the dialogue stayed in mymind days and days after.The fact that this is a true story makes the experience even more shocking."Bully" (just like "Kids") also includes an incredibly black and creepy typeof a humor. Audience will have to deal with a big matter of conscience: isit all right to laugh at this? And another thing: how did Larry Clark onceagain found such a huge bunch of fantastic young actors/actresses is beyondme! Nick Stahl (whose breakthrough role was beside Mel Gibson in "The Manwithout a face") gives an excellent performance as Bobby. Larry Clark triesto drop hints that in many ways he's actually the sanest one of this gang sowhat does a closer look at him tell about the other kids...?Leo Fitzpatrick comes back 6 years after "Kids" playing wonderfully the roleof "the hitman". He's character is simply hilarious. At first I didn't evenrecognize him, I just wondered why he looks so damn familiar. Michael Pittplayed one of my favorite characters, Donny. His splendid performance showsus just how pitiable and simple-minded today's child can be. He's likeJustin Pierce's Casper in "Kids". Bijou Phillips and Rachel Miner played theleading female roles successfully and with a massive devotion.Of course I understand people who don't appreciate Larry Clark's extreme wayof filmmaking but I do because he doesn't underestimate the viewer but showsall there is to see no matter how shocking it may be. "Bully" is a weird andpowerful sensation and one of the best films of 2001! 10/10.
You know you are in the hands of a top director when a familiar worn outtheme, teenage alienation and murder, seems completely new and fresh.LarryClark is not a guy that makes pleasant films, he makes films that suck youin, he captures you against your will. Bully is the story of teenagealienation, of a sadistic high school bully and his victims. Theperformances of this talented and known, but not famous, cast isoutstandingacross the board. This is one of the best cast of young actors ever puttogether. The realistic portrayal of murder, its consequences to itsperpetrators, and the environment in which these teenagers move issomethingso rarely seen in movies that it makes it even more blatant how much crapweare fed by the commercial Hollywood machine. This is not a movie foreveryone, there is lots of sex scenes, and Nick Stahl's bully charactersisso despicable that you can barely stand it. The scene of young teenageboysdancing on stage for an adult gay crowd makes your skin crawl. I have tobelieve that anyone trashing this movie is because it attacks theirsensibilities, rather than denying the absolute power of this film. Thisiswriting, acting, and direction at is best. Once of the top 5 movies I haveseen this year. Don't miss it. 10/10.PS I wonder why HBO insists in showing great movies at 2 AM. Goes to showwhat the mainstream is watching.
I have to recommend this movie even though it won't give you that feelingofoptimism that a lot of movies aim for. I don't know how movies like thisconstantly get overshadowed by crap like The Hours and Adaptation. Thismovie was awesome but not for everyone. Even Bobby, who is a horribleperson, wasn't all bad. He really loved Marty(in a homosexual way).Everytime he did something bad to Marty he would apologize and say "you're mybestfriend, right?" It's kind of sad. He was so scared of being gay thathe was a really bad person. They have a sick friendship which basicallyconsists of Bobby making him do stuff he doesn't want to, abusing himphysically and mentally all while really caring about him. This movie isgraphic and realistic. I think it's much better than Kids and it even hasBijou Phillips naked.
Contain spoiler.I watched this movie with a dozen people in my dorm, most people thought this was the worst movie they had ever seen. The endless and seemingly pointless drug scenes and sex scenes, the obsession with disgusting details, all the incoherent conversations, and plus the nauseating cinematography make this movie disturbing. One can easily accuse Larry Clark for been crazy himself. However, the movie is not suppose to be a fun family flick; this movie is a search into why things happened the way they happened. Why would someone kill his best friend? Why did a whole bunch other high-school dropouts help someone who they just met kill someone who they did not even know? Was it hatred, was it boredom, or was it inherent frustration with a society that offered no opportunities to its young? The movie, through retracing this needless episode of human tragedy affirms that nothing happens just by itself--every human action is tied to every other human action even if thousands of miles away. So how could we simply put to death the 18 year-olds without questioning what in the world has so mislead them or has so left them in their stupid innocence? So who really was responsible for the crime they committed? As the movie showed, nobody believed he/she killed, but they all did, and does this "they" not include others in our world too. The movie gives no explicit explanations for exactly what caused what, because that would be impossible to figure out in our vast world with a thousand different faces. The movie did offer many traces of causes that stay in the audience's head as reminders for what they could possibly do, or what they should not do, about crimes like this and the deep pains that lie behind the superficial killing; Or perhaps, in fact, there was nothing anyone could do to save us from our "original sin" without a higher force in a future existance. To see what I mean, you better watch the movie. There are movies that are not confusing, that make one feel good about himself and the world around after watching them. However, they only show one face of reality; there is another face of reality within and amongst us that is ugly and disturbing, it is too real for the world of Hollywood fantasies, but it is something that we can not ignore. After all, this movie was based on a true story.
This review is from: Bully (DVD) I watched this movie knowing nothing about the film director or any of the actors(which I admired). All I knew was it was based on a true story. The movie is raw in its photographic images which I found challenging-not because I found it hard to watch but because most films tend to polish sensitive issues (like teenage sex, physical abuse, and vulgar language) up with a more glossy appeal. What I found really intersting is how the director/screenwriter makes the teens in the movie come off as if THEY think they are so smart and above everyone else (streetsmart?) and then after the murder they aren't smart enough to keep the murder to themselves and blab it off to their other friends. In this way he showed how stupid they really were. By doing it this way he wasn't spoon feeding his audience. (Thank you!) The movie is also good in the sense it doesn't shy away from showing another dimension/culture that exsist in differnt pockets of the teen world.
This extremely unpleasant and explicit film depicts the lives of agroup of late teens(mostly high-school drop outs) who decide to plan tomurder an abusive member of their group(Nick Stahl). All logic isthrown out the window from this point on as the group continues tosustain abuse from this menace and then finally come up with a plan tokill him. The rest of the film is filled with meaningless and almostrandom sex scenes. The question that most people should ask themselvesduring and after this film is what could possibly possess these peopleto actually kill this kid? Sure people can be awful, but why kill them?There is no way that they could ever get away with it. Are there notother ways to punish this kid? Reporting him to the police, pressingcharges. That is how ridiculous this film is, it just doesn't make anysense. Nobody could be that stupid.
(SOME SPOILERS AHEAD).After reading the book on which this movie was based to satisfy mycuriosityabout some of the details, I did a web search on the real characters.Someone said the sentencing was pure Hollywood. In the Fla State Supremecourt website, I found a recording (video/audio) of lawyers arguing to setaside Marty Puccio's death sentence. They succeeded. Puccio's lawyer inarguing to have the sentence changed to life (his speech to the court wasabout 30 minutes), summarized what happened in the murder. I found itearily just like the book and nearly like the movie. Not only did thesentencing turn out to be rather an odd mixture (which was how theyconvinced the court to commute the death sentence) but the details of whodid what in the murder was right in line with the book and movie. WhatPuccio's lawyer didn't say, the state's lawyer did. Both lawyers paintedapicture of some of these teens that was creepy and like the book andmovie.Much of what they said was from the transcript in the originaltrials.I have purposely left aside the issue of how Clark presented the subject.But I wanted to make it plain that the story seems to be in accord to theevidence presented in court. There are some who are disputing thatportrayal (the one in court, book, and movie) in real life. But itappearsthat the story in the book and movie is consistent with what came out incourt as agreed upon by lawyers for both sides during theappeal.What conclusions you draw from this movie or book is up to you. But youwould be ill-advised to think that it was made up. It was apparently tooreal.
Saw this movie ,love it ...a lot darker and a lot more disturbing then MEAN CREEK..DON'T MISS THE BULLY!!! A+
This movie is not for everyone, but if you enjoy gritty realistic dramasandaren't afraidto wallow on the underside of American society, this movie is definitelyworth yourwhile. The script and direction are top notch, a refreshing break fromthemany vapid"style over substance" crime thrillers being churned out by rock videohacksandoverpaid stars. Production values are excellent; beautiful photographyand acharmingattractive cast.
Neo-noir sometimes goes in the direction of narratives of killing, asin "In Cold Blood" and "Badlands". This one is told entirely from thepoint of view of middle-class teenagers who have cars, do drugs, andare promiscuous. The story I gather is accurate or even a bit toneddown from the reality. The acting throughout is excellent, so that younever even doubt that you are watching real people. This is not somecheap film nor is it an exploitation film. It's the story of a murder,and it brings to mind the way that "The Honeymoon Killers" was done,that is, with ordinary scenes and people of no great intelligence whodo evil deeds. And that story also was based on a real case history.We are taken directly into the sex and drug-filled lives of this circleof teens and their parents. Their language is constant expletives. Theunrated version takes the sex and nudity for granted.The movie mercilessly depicts the clueless and ineffectual parents andrelatives who have raised these indulgent teens who have been usingdrugs for years. The wider culture is clearly a failure as well. Thiscase is the extreme result.One of the teen boys bullies another boy and has done so for years onend, and they regard themselves as close friends. The bully is bisexualand his violent sex with one teen girl alienates her, plus he isviolent toward his "buddy's" girl friend and interferes in hisflirtations with other girls. His bullying leads into the girl friendorganizing a conspiracy to kill him. This is no doubt very very dumb.Their moral code and self-control is already stretched exceedinglythin, so that convincing themselves that this is "right" and the rightway to handle the bully is actually realistic, even if hard for theaverage viewer to understand. But that's what's going on. They do eachhave individual reservations and they are uncertain about what they aredoing and what actually will occur, and this group and individualuncertainty facilitates the ultimate deed.The girl friend loves the bully's victim so deeply that she ispossessed by the idea of murdering the bully. He is both a rival,including sexually, but also is harming her beau. Lacking the means tomove away from this town as the victim asked his parents to do, murderbeckons as their solution.After the murder, certain feelings and fears rise up, but not before.These teens lack the imagination to envision the full force of theconsequences. But during the killing and afterward, saving their ownskins becomes paramount, and rationalizing their participation becomesimportant to them. Their conspiracy quickly falls apart. Their "tight"group cannot hold together in the face of the knowledge of what theyhave done. The fear of being caught takes over. Furthermore, theycannot help themselves as they blab and confess to others what theyhave done or what they rationalize has happened.During the killing, they've brought in a young man who is part of afamily of criminals, and he tries to get them to "see" the reality, andhe really doesn't succeed. These teens are alive but they are living ina kind of haze such that they are estranged from the reality ofmurdering someone. The head conspirator has a chat with a friend afterthe murder and treats the whole thing like any other incident. It is anattempt to be "cool" about anything and everything, rather than engage.There is a lot of deep psychology related to the culture going on here.This is not your typical manufactured serial killer movie where theviewer cannot grasp the motivations of the killer. These teens haveill-formed notions of authority, have little or no direction, operatein a groupie way, and are in a drug haze. As their hatreds fester andmagnify, murder is the course they decide upon and choose. They are notentirely sure how it will happen or even if it will happen, but theyare quite sure. They have planned it. To them it is almost enough thatthey see their victim as an asshole to judge and eliminate him.
In 1993 twenty year old Bobby Kent turned up dead in the Florida Everglades. We as a society are not particularly surprised when yet another killing flashes across the evening news, regardless of the age of the victim, because we all recognize that we live in an increasingly violent society in which murder is merely one aspect of that fact. Bobby Kent's murder soon drew additional attention when the media discovered the facts behind the case, facts that implicated seven young people in a conspiracy to commit murder. Even worse, some of the individuals charged with the murder were Bobby's close friends. As the threads of the case came together, the picture that emerged painted a chilling portrait of a group of young people totally lacking in morality. These youths routinely engaged in a host of illegal activities. Moreover, most of the kids involved in this horrific crime were definitely not social castoffs, but moved in the comfort of upper middle class circles. Larry Clark, the director who brought us the movie "Kids," saw yet another story embodying his favorite theme of young people on a rampage and decided to bring the strange story of Bobby Kent to the silver screen. The result is "Bully."According to Clark's film, the world of Bobby Kent is an unpleasant one. Constantly hounded by his overbearing father to succeed in life, Kent develops a schizophrenic personality in which he plays the good guy at home while acting the part of an aggressive, bullying thug towards his friends. Bobby's best friend, Marty Puccio, often weathers the worst of these attacks. Most of the time Marty likes being around his buddy, but face slapping, the threats and profanity, the embarrassing verbal threats, and certain increasingly odd antics start to take a toll on their relationship. Still, Marty's personality embraces a level of passivity that would probably have made him a victim indefinitely if he had never met Lisa Connelly. Lisa, a waifish girl with numerous psychological inadequacies of her own, nearly flips cartwheels over landing a guy like Marty as a boyfriend. The only flaw Lisa sees in Puccio is his sycophantic adoration of the sadistic Bobby Kent. Connelly cannot stand to see her lover suffer such degradations and after a few run-ins with Marty's buddy she suddenly decides to get rid of Bobby Kent once and for all. Lisa enlists her friend Ali to help in the mission, and as the idea gains momentum a whole host of oddballs drift into their orbit. Ali's sometime boyfriend, dunderheaded Donny Semenec, joins the cause along with another hopeless youth by the name of Heather. Derek, a videogame geek who simply goes along with the crowd, soon casts his lot with the rest of this gang. At first, the idea of getting rid of Bobby is just a way to pass the time, a funny little idea worth nothing more than a few chortles to this group of misfits. But as time passes everyone in the group begins to believe in the idea, so much so that they approach "The Hitman," a guy everyone believes is the leader of a gang of local white toughs, in order to carry out the crime. The crime does occur, but the ineptness of everyone involved soon leads to mass arrests and the inevitable trial.The film unflinchingly shows us the brutal murder of Bobby Kent, but director Larry Clark's interest lies more in the processes that led to the crime than in the actual killing itself. "Bully" reveals to the viewer a world so detached from the rest of society that one wonders if this is total fiction or an accurate depiction of the moral degeneracy racing through today's youth. These young people lived in a world of immorality the likes of which rarely come to light. Moreover, Clark presents the parents of these damaged souls as either completely ignorant of what their children did or simply unaware of their bad behavior because they are too concerned about their own lives. The most shocking scenes in the movie centers on how the kids never seem bothered about what they are planning. Right or wrong never, ever, enters the picture as the gang contemplates committing the ultimate crime. Clark is obviously indicting society for its failure to instill any sense of human decency in its children. Popular culture and materialism certainly play a role in this problem since most of the kids in this movie drive nice cars, can buy whatever they want, and have an overabundance of free time in which to engage in the most reckless activities.There are some recognizable actors appearing in "Bully," from Brad Renfro to Nick Stahl to Rachel Miner. They all do a good job with their performances, with special mention going to Stahl as Bobby Kent and Bijou Phillips as the disturbing Ali Willis. The biggest problem I had with the movie is that Clark makes his point about twenty or thirty minutes into the film and then repeats the theme continually until the end. How many scenes of reckless, shocking behavior do we need to see before we shout out loud "WE GET THE IDEA"! I understand that Clark tries to emphasize how directionless these people are, but that still did not stop my girlfriend from walking away from the film about an hour in. She quickly wearied of seeing the same stuff over and over and I can't say I blame her. The DVD offers an uncut, unrated version of the film and includes some cast interviews, an interview with Larry Clark, and a trailer. Over the top and deeply disturbing, "Bully" will give you something to think about long after the film end
O.K., This one goes into my Bad Flick Hall of Fame. It was one of thosefilms that was so ridiculously bad that you can't take your eyes off ofit. You just have to see if it possibly can get any worse. And, may Isay, there is something very "ICK!" about looking at constant nudity ofgirls who are supposed to be portraying high school aged teenagers.It's obvious that this screenplay was written (if written at all) fromthe different stories of the various characters. I say this because thecontinuity of the stories, and the points of view in different scenestaking place in the same approximate time are so vastly different. It'seither that or the director is Bipolar. Take your pick.Definitely a stinker. I'd sit through a couple of showings of Ishtarbefore I'd watch this turkey again.
This review is from: Bully (DVD) new, but dvd was loose in box, not attached to holder. jiggled in box as i opend it. not good.
Once more, Larry Clark unzips the fly of modern youth and exposes somethingunpleasant. Apparently, teenagers have nothing better to do than bumpuglies, treat each other badly, take drugs, and have poor relationships withtheir parents. Someone call Revelations R Us, quick.Okay, so killing someone because he's not a nice guy isn't exactlyreasonable, but I've heard of people being killed because they burped tooloud. So if Clark is out to shock, he's failed. The most shocking aspect ofthis movie is how little we care about any of these snivellingmiscreants.Kill him, don't kill him - do what you like, just take your pathetic littleselves somewhere else, you losers.
I say it's better than Larry Clarks other notorious work, Kids, as this has a story to tell. Bully is not an excuse for nude teenagers getting stoned, as was the impression I got from Kids. Without giving away the spoiler, its about teens in a suburban enclave in South Florida who take revenge on a bully. The settting of a rapidly developing community should not be missed, as wasn't this the setting for Columbine also.....a suburban enclave without established family and social networks, overloaded with newcomers from northern cities. Lisa's mother even laments that families looked out for each other more in the Bronx, than in the so-called utopia of South Florida.As other reviewers have also stated, I didn't realize this was a true story until after seeing it. Bully is not a feel-good movie. It will disturb you, but maybe we adults need to be disturbed by this element of aimless, directionless teenagers that form a real segment of our society. What stuck me were the parents. No, they are not the idiots you'd expect on Jenny Jones and the talk show circuit. They were the type of parents to sit down at a family dinner with their kids and get involved in their business. Yet they were weak parents, parents who allowed themselves to be banished from their children's bedrooms while the kids were getting stoned and having unprotected sex.
this is larry clarks brilliant and scary film about a brutal tormentor and the brutal revenge that was taken on him. the performances of renfro, stahal, phillips, miners, and michael pitt give brilliant and poweful performances....michael pitts steals the show. he was so funny in that movie. larry clark needs to do another crime movie like this there are plenty of true crime novels out there i think that larry clark would do a brilliant job on a child called it. that is a movie that i would love to see. larry clarks best films:kids, another day in paradise, ken park and this film! check it out it is worth your movie it has crime, sex, violences, brilliant direction and writing and the young cast acting and doing the things in this film were amazing.
I really wanted to like this movie...So I watched the film. At first I was interested and then let down. The dialogue seemed to be very forced and unauthentic, there was pointless sex (yes, we know that teens have sex and lots of it, so we don't need countless crotch-shots) and parts of the script were just odd. It has many unrealistic portrayals of teens and I found myself laughing at times and others, just embarrassed for Larry Clark, who really tries to be hip. There is an explicit rape scene, which I must admit, is impressive in its intensity, but I was left confused afterward. Nick Stahl rapes Bijou Phillips and then she runs out of the bedroom and tells Rachel Miner she's been raped and runs outside bumping into Stahl's father. He walks inside and into his bathroom, where he meets Stahl, who is still naked and the two spark up a conversation about a stereo store they had been talking about. Why was this included? I found that it just destroyed the mood set by the previous scene.There is also a major problem with casting credibility. I had a hard time believing that Stahl, with his relatively small physique, could bully Brad Renfro, who is much larger. On a purely psychological level however, Stahl is masterful in creating a truly creepy character and I don't doubt that a large part of the bullying aspect is the psychological part of it. I think if the two switched roles, we would have a far more believable story. On a closer look, the actors do an admirable job of creating such stupid kids. But I felt bad for the actors, in the hands of another director this could have been made into a masterpiece that doesn't rely on exploiting them. Parts of the film seemed to be accepted too easily. Someone mentions killing Stahl and everyone's just like, "yeah, sounds like a plan". I eventually felt sympathy for Stahl's character and could care less about Renfro and his co-horts, which I suspect is exactly the point; that it was Rachel Miner (who herself had many bad acting scenes) who was the vicious one.If you liked Kids, you should adore this. I would urge people to seek out Clark's other film "Another Day In Paradise" if you haven't. Also, "Bully" is based on a true story from the early nineties, which left me asking, "why are the actors watching Eminem videos in the film, when he was only going through puberty in the early nineties?" I don't know.After the murder, the film does pick up. The dialogue gets better, and there is even some good satire about teen/parental relationships. The last moments of the film are powerful, when we see Clark playng a cameo of the hitman's father. The last scene, of the kids in a courtroom is also very good, with them still bickering like morons. And then we see each character and the sentence they receive, where the film abrubtly end with no music for a few seconds, that I thought made quite an impact.The film is definitely worth watching, and no doubt some will enjoy (although "enjoy" may not be the right word) it immensly, but I couldn't help feeling like a shock-artist had tried to put one over on me.
This movie was so great as soon as i saw it (i didnt know the title) i got online to look it up! The entire movie was outstanding except the rulings!