The movie is a coming-of-age drama about a boy growing up in Astoria, N.Y., during the 1980s. As his friends end up dead, on drugs or in prison, he comes to believe he has been saved from their fate by various so-called saints. (IMDb)
I really wanted to watch this one because of the cast, and because of where they were in their careers. Shia LaBeouf pre Transformers, Channing Tatum pre six pack, and Robert Downey Jr. pre Iron Man. And in that aspect, it was really interesting. The acting was really good, and had this raw quality about it. Something that initially was confusing was the scatter-brained nature of the plot. There are these random moments when it will seem like the camera/action is skipping, like an old DVD. As the movie goes on, however it serves more like a memory play, which then makes the skipping make sense. Also, this movie isn’t an adaptation of the book. It’s that fused with the author’s experience of going back to his hometown after he wrote the book, so that also took me a second to get. The only thing that actually bothered me in any way was the way events were depicted. Everything was the same, of equal value. There were a few huge defining moments for the characters, but they were made to be no big deal. They happened and then it was done. Basically, I just don’t know how you have a coming-of-age story without shedding importance on those defining moments. Overall though, this isn’t bad, and worth at least one watch.