Aug 18, 2010

It's Already Been Broughten

For a moment, let's take a break from the child-bragging, photo-sharing, and other nonsense that usually occupies this blog.  Let's get a little serious.

Let's talk about Bring It On.  Or as French Canadians know it, Le Tout Pour Le Tout.

This Sunday, August 22, marks the ten year anniversary of the release of the Double Rainbow of modern film: Bring It On.  It's hard to believe that this landmark movie was gifted to us a mere decade ago while it's cultural influence seems to reach back centuries.  So often today's theater fare trades substance and artistry for mindlessness and spectacle.  It's rare that we're challenged with the intellectual acrobatics that quench the mind and soul the way director Peyton Reed provokes us in this, his magnum opus, Bring It On.  Having seen this chef-d'œuvre a full 97 times myself, and at one stretch on 26 consecutive nights, I can honestly give my unbiased opinion that Bring It On is in fact the greatest movie ever made.  And it introduced the world to "spirit fingers."

Bring It On follows über athlete Torrance Shipman and her tale of rejection, revenge and ultimately redemption as she embarks on her senior year of high as the newly elected captain of her high school's champion cheerleading squad.  Torrance is deftly played by Kirsten Dunst in what may be the only 99 minutes of her career where I don't want to claw her face off with my bare hands.  Paired with a spunky performance by up-and-comer Eliza Dushku (who goes on to near Oscar nomination worthy performances in The New Guy and The Coverup) as Missy Pantone, we get a brilliant dichotomy that blossoms into a friendship that could only be forged on the stage of competitive teen cheering.  As if this isn't enough, industry clydesdale Lindsay Sloane makes an appearance as lovable firecracker, Big Red.  And who can forget the heart wrenching performance by that one guy from that one hacker movie that had a young Angelina Jolie in it?  This is one of those few exceptional films where all of the actors wield the hammer of theatrical performance with such precision and synchronicity that you are destined to walk away with a migraine of dramatic veneration.

But don't just take my word for it.  A decade ago, the film world was abuzz, singing the praises of this amazing piece of modern art.  Along with an MTV Movie Award nomination for Best Dance Sequence and two Teen Choice Award nominations for best actress (Dunst) and best film (that's a comedy), Bring It On took home the granddaddy of them all, the Audience Award from the Czech Republic's Zlín International Film Festival for Children and Youth.  To this day, even the staunchest critics admit that had the Academy Awards existed at the time of it's release, Bring It On would have swept every single category including Best Period Costumes, Best Use of the Song "Cherry Pie" by Warrant, and Best Claymation.

Bring It On changed my life for the better and I want nothing more than to share that experience with you.  While my letter writing campaign to Universal Studios yielded an encouraging cease-and-desist court order, my best efforts were still not enough to achieve my ultimate goal of a 10th anniversary theatrical re-release of Bring It On.  But that shouldn't stop the Bring It On community from celebrating this momentous occasion.  Whether you're one of the 1% of humans who never got to caress their eye and ear balls with this treasure, or you're a diehard fan wanting to visit Rancho Carne High School one more time, there are still ways join the anniversary celebration this weekend.  While the Netflix catalog is, generally speaking, rather sparse, they were smart enough to obtain several copies of the Bring It On DVD.  If you hurry, you may be able to have one shipped to your home in time for Sunday viewing.  However, if you're smart, you'll follow the lead of the many movie aficionados that have managed to secure their own copy of Bring It On by scouring the "classics" bin found in most of the nation's finest truck stop gas stations.

Join me this Sunday night for a worldwide simultaneous viewing of Bring It On at exactly 9:30 PM Eastern and relive the greatest event in movie history.

And as Torrance would say, "Take a whiff.  This movie's the poo."


Trike said...

I agree largely with your assessment of this titanic masterpiece of cinema because anyone with half a brain can see the genius for what it is. You merely have to insert the DVD (which, for those who are unfamiliar with high tech gadgets, is similar to a Compact Disc except it contains video rather than audio -- think of it as a convenient alternative to Betamax), press Play and proclaim, "Behold!" I never get tired of watching people watch this astonishing movie for the first time, seeing the rapture written across their faces. For myself, no matter how many times I've seen it (a woefully inadequate 63 times to your 97 -- I'm not worthy!), I somehow always find some nuance or heretofore hidden detail that escaped my notice on earlier viewings. That's how complexly layered this masterpiece is.

As a side note, I think it's criminal that Angelina Jolie has gone unrecognized for so long. She just needs to find that one breakout part that will bring her to the attention of the general population. Until that day, I will continue to sing her praises to anyone who will listen.

The only thing that is troubling to me about Bring It On is its enormous success, which generates a knee-jerk rejection among people who hate it for being so popular and so critically acclaimed. (Especially that douche Armond White whose sole negative review keeps BIO from attaining a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.)

The other thing about BIO's success is that it overshadows another very good cheerleading movie released that same year, Head Cheerleader Dead Cheerleader. While in no way comparable to the achievement of BIO, HCDC is, nonetheless, an excellent film which deserves kudos as well. The fact that it's a romantic comedy may be what keeps it back, because the cinematography and acting are nearly on par with BIO, even if the dialogue is a little weak in spots. (Especially the confrontation between the Left Pyramid Base Cheerleader and the zombie boyfriend -- it's an important role in that the exposition is vital to forwarding the plot, but it still feels too much like an info-dump.

As much as I love BIO's brio, I also recommend Head Cheerleader Dead Cheerleader (love the clever way they eschewed the comma in the title!) as a worthy folow-on flick on someone's double feature date night.

James said...

Hear, hear! And I agree you may have found a diamond in the rough with this Angelina Jolie. It's as if she was born to act. Yet, there's something so approachable about her -- she's the type of woman that children across the globe probably wish they had for a mother.

Rebecca said...

Why is it that I can't resist watching this or "Drumline" whenever it's on...

Sadly enough, I don't know if this makes me one of the "cool kids" in your eyes or if you're laughing at me.

James said...

One of the cool kids, Rebecca.

(So says the guy that has seen Bring It On 97 times.)

Kelly G said...

Chuckling as I read through this. I have to say Im pretty sure I've never seen this movie - maybe I'm too old? And after watching the clip, I just can't tell if you're being serious or sarcastic... Either way, as usual, reading your posts is a good way to start my day!

James said...

No one is too old for Bring It On. I'm sure you could pick it up at the library, but you'd better hurry, I'm sure it will be in high demand!

And I am 1000% as serious as I can possibly be with one's tongue fully planted in one's cheek.

WoodHugger said...

The latest sequel has ghetto girls moving to Beverly Hills High, and trying to qualify for the stuck-up-snob-bitches cheer squad. Classic struggle within the system, not from outside it.

This qualifies for being a perfect film, according to the rules set down by Filmically Perfect gurus George Willeman and JT Anderson. (WYSO radio, iTunes and more)

One of the three rules, and most important, the movie's message and values stand the test of time, even as culture changes, advances or recedes. Bring It On, Part whatever, is certainly an instant classic. Maybe I'll even watch it, someday.