Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Emmy Rossum, Zach Gilford, Alan Cumming
Director: Adam Salky
Emmy Rossum (The Phantom of the Opera), Zach Gilford (TV's Friday Night Lights) and Ashley Springer (Teeth) head up a stellar cast including Ana Gasteyer (Mean Girls), Rooney Mara (A Nightmare on Elm Street), comedienne Sa... more »
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A must see - becomes a must own
Codecracker | Brooklyn, NY | 12/11/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is an accepted lie that is told by Hollywood teen films: That everyone falls into types. The Geeky guy, the Jock, the hanger on, the bookish girl, the slutty girl, etc. as reliable as the characters tropes in a WWII men on a mission film. You know what you are getting, and everyone fulfills their roles in the formula. And its a winning formula every time From "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", to "The Breakfast Club", even lesser fare like "Bring it On" make this work. And its a fun fantasy.
DARE exists in the Twilight Zone of those films. We start in the very familiar teen film world Soccer Star; Stage Crew nerd; Star Student, and act by act, character by character deconstruct it all until we are left with three very real and very vulnerable teens who are in over their heads. It doesn't matter if you were like the one of the characters (and chances are you were) someone you know was.
Emmy Rossum shrugs off her Hollywood training and digs deep for all that is good and ugly about her character Alexa. No one who sees her here will forget her transformation from blushing wall flower to would be seductress. Nor will they forget her face in the final scene when she realizes she isn't really either of those things.
Ashley Springer takes a difficult role and humanizes it - taking the "gay best friend" out of the glib pigeon hole that Sex and the City put him in, and makes him real. He will make you wonder about Ducky.
Zach Gilford as the Jock will surprise anyone who hasn't been watching Friday Night Lights. He turns in an eye opening performance and by the end you will be feeling every last moment with him. I saw this film at Sundance and the crowd there fell for him. Will make you wonder about Emilio Estevez's character in "The Breakfast Club", or maybe your self a little.
When DARE ends, the teen genre is on its head and all the better for it. Buy this film. If you were ever a teenager this movie will thrill you.
Its a first feature for Director Adam Salky and writer David Brind. Its a stunning debut. If you didn't get the chance to see the film in its all too brief theatrical run see it on DVD. Show that their is support for independent movies with independent thinking.
We all know the indie film world is falling apart - one way to reverse that is going to see films in theaters. Next best is seeing them on DVD. Films like this deserve and audience now matter where they find it. My recommendation is to watch with friends. You are going to want to discuss it once you have seen it. At the very least make sure you have the numbers of your high school friends with you. This movie is going make you want to talk to them."
The Truth About Dare
Bob Drake | Bronx, NY United States | 02/27/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Not since Threesome (1994), which born-again Stephen Baldwin has since disowned, has there been such a daring coupling of two men and one woman on screen. The tagline of that earlier film, "One girl. Two guys. Three possibilities," might have been adopted for Dare as well. The elephant in the room is the excellent Dare (2005) short included on the Blu-ray disc. While the swimming pool "dare" scene that is most of the short also appears in the new film, it has been truncated for no obvious reason, and it is not one of the deleted scenes. The new film also suffers by comparison because the chemistry between Johnny and Ben seems stronger in the short.
The new film is really not a gay film anymore. Alexa, who is peripheral to the short, drives the new film from the opening frames. Johnny's backstory of a distant father and a youthful stepmother certainly explains his vulnerability, but his friends are not privy to the same personal details the audience sees, and that sets up the somewhat unsatisfactory, though perhaps realistic, ending. Threesome, based on the college experiences of the director, was shot with an alternative ending that appeared on the 2001 release (unlike some male-male scenes that were cut and never seen) which also had problems. How do you resolve any threesome satisfactorily? We never learn how Johnny vanquished his personal demons except to see the sign on the door he enters in the last frames.
Threesome has about the same rating as this film overall, but has more five-star votes than otherwise. I would recommend Threesome over Dare, but the Dare short is a keeper and film comes very close as well."
Opening the Closet
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 11/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
Opening the Closet
"Dare" dares to be one of the most popular films of 2009 with a cast headed by Emmy Rossum, Zach Gilford and Ashley Springer as well as Sandra Bernhard and Alan Cumming (love his cologne). It is the story of high school seniors who are facing decisions and they are about to become adults.
Alexa (Emmy Rossum) begins a journey of discovery when she is told by a conceited an arrogant actor that she has not yet lived and she finds herself with bad boy, Johnny (Zach Gilford). Her best friend, Ben (Springer) also is interested in Johnny and, of course, this complicates matters as well as pushes the boundaries of friendship.
The director, Adam Salky, has given us a film in three parts each focusing on one of the friends. Alexa is the subject of the first third and we watch her transformation as she changes her life and goes after Johnny.
Ben is the subject of the second third and he is a closeted gay boy who is angry and inspired by Alexa's changes and he decides to do what she does including going after Johnny. We learn that Johnny is actually the most lost of the three--everything thinks he is so cool but in reality, he is not satisfied with his life and is searching for something more. When he is pursued by Ben and Alexa, he accepts their affections because this is the first time that anyone is interested in him as a person and not as the rich kid. He has no love in his life and he is therefore willing to accept it.
The performances are excellent all around and even though the changes in the characters are drastic, they are believable. We see teenagers who actually have some depth to their characters and we watch as they break away from conventions of life. This is actually coming-of-age stories and the movie is brilliant in the way the stories are told. The script is both sexy and sweet and it gives us a new look at an old situation and breathes life into the coming-out and coming-of-age stories.
The movie has problems, of course and basically they all seem to come in Alexa's third but as the movie moves on, we tend to forget them as we become wrapped up in the lives of the characters. The ending is inconclusive and therefore it challenges the viewer. Some of you may find parts of the film shocking as the film dares to go where few others dare.
Some short films still better in their short format
Alec Scudder | Barcelona, Spain | 02/21/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I loved the original short for years, but I must say that I'm quite dissappointed with the full length film. The storyline it's quite poor, the characters not too well developed and the casting of the three leads it's totally wrong.
The two young actors of the orginal short film were far way better than these three ones.
Hope that the next Adam Salky film could be better than this one. I didn't agree at all with all the previous positive reviews. Sorry!"