Bushwick (2017)
January 4, 2018 9:31 PM - Subscribe

Netflix keeps pushing this movie and I keep resisting. Eventually I will give in, just to get Netflix to stop begging, but it won't stop. It will just keep suggesting it to me. Bushwick is a movie you might like because you watched Bushwick and on and on forever.
posted by mumblelard at 8:29 AM on January 5

Does it have a Described Video track? Nope. Pass.
posted by Mogur at 8:45 AM on January 5

I watched it. Interesting premise, wooden acting, muddled message/theme and a feeling that they didn’t know how to end it leading to a action packed finale.

It could’ve been something very interesting.
posted by nubs at 9:19 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]

Hang on.

How does a Civil War down in Texas affect things in Bushwick, Brooklyn?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:41 AM on January 5

The premise is that they take Bushwick hostage as a negotiating ploy; that the NY libs won’t fight back the raid and that the government will accede to the demands in Texas to get places like Bushwick back. I seem to recall an implication that other like raids were happening elsewhere in the country.

At any rate, one of the points the movie is trying to make is that these Texans have no clue what a place like Bushwick is like and they are shocked that people in Brooklyn have guns and fight back tooth and nail because they’ve been fed the idea that NY is full of liberals who don’t like guns and will be pushovers.

It could have been an interesting commentary on propoganda and how little people understand other parts of their own country, but it’s under-developed and really only goes in the one direction.
posted by nubs at 9:52 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]

At any rate, one of the points the movie is trying to make is that these Texans have no clue what a place like Bushwick is like and they are shocked that people in Brooklyn have guns and fight back tooth and nail because they’ve been fed the idea that NY is full of liberals who don’t like guns and will be pushovers.

*snort* You can tell I've gone native, becuase my first thought is something more like "never mind that, how'd they work out what the boundaries of Bushwick actually were to be able to take just that bit over and not get any of Williamsburg or Bed-Stuy or Ridgewood along with it?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:38 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]

I watched this and I thought it was deeply flawed, but also weirdly watchable. The dialogue largely sucked, either being 'hey, this is real people speaking in a real people situation, let's repeat ourselves a bunch and swear a lot' or clunky, expositional stuff.

The CG was pretty budget and rough around the edges and the bigger action scenes were pretty obviously staged to make them appear bigger than a couple of dozen extras and some smoke bombs.

But the steady cam single shot gimmick really worked - it reminded me a lot of the super-intense scenes in Children of Men. The music is really good and fits the pace really well. And the premise, although poorly executed, could have been really interesting.

I've watched a lot shittier straight-to-digital movies, for sure, and this one was okay. And it was a brave move to [SPOILER] kill both main characters in the last ten minutes of the film. [/SPOILER]

Not sure I can forgive them for their criminal underuse of Jaime from Broad City though - he's (literal) toast in the first three minutes.
posted by Happy Dave at 10:41 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]

This is a premise that I want to like, in the same way that I want to like the premise of the Purge movies. But I just can't make the leap from wanting to like the premise to actually seeing either this or any of the Purge movies.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:16 PM on January 5

The premise is good, the film not so much. Whatever you do with the idea in your own head is better than watching this. IMO. YMMV.
posted by nubs at 2:20 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]

I . . . enjoyed watching this, although I can see everyone else's points about the film's various weaknesses - but then I kinda knew what I was getting into before I started. It went on my watch list as soon as I saw it was written by Nick Damici, and dropping ordinary characters into hyper-violent chaos without them having any clue what's going on is kind of his Thing. He's done it better (especially with Stakeland and Mulberry St), but I suspect my having some idea of what to expect out of the flick made it an easier watch for me.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:17 AM on January 7

Oh this was from the Stakeland guy? That makes a lot of sense.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:02 AM on January 7

I had no problem with the hyper-violent chaos; it was more a sense that the film was trying to make some kind of point (and it could have made some good ones) but it got lost along the way.
posted by nubs at 8:45 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]

Well, yeah, there was the point about how basically the Southern/rural/racist/fascist right-wingers may know less about the Northern/urban population than they think they do, along with a certain amount of NYC-native truculence - "You think you're badass with your pseudo-military bullshit? We're street, motherfucker, we'll fuck you up if you come here with that bullshit." Which of course has plenty of resonance in these times, but might have gotten added fairly late in the game - I've no idea how long this flick has been in development.

I'm saying I'm not at all sure that's the "real" point of the movie; it's more of a sort of bonus secondary theme. I think Damici's real interest and point is simply, "What would happen if a young college person comes home to visit and suddenly without explanation finds herself in the middle of a military street battle? How would NYC react to an actual invasion?" He's interested in the human reactions to extreme situations. How well he pulls it off is up to the watcher, of course.
posted by soundguy99 at 12:20 PM on January 7

Which, yeah, was the other thing going on in the film and was the initial draw for me - what do you do when your world goes sideways like that? And I didn’t think it really had much interesting going on on that front either.

Really interesting premise, and I guess the reason I’m commenting so much is I think the film could’ve been more.
posted by nubs at 1:46 PM on January 7

TBH, my reaction to Stakeland was very similar to nubs' reaction to this, so I guess it's not surprising to me that it's the same guy. Solid journeyman work but not much more than that. Which is fine, actually. I mean, if you're itching for the Particular Kind Of Thing This Is, you're not going to get a blockbuster version of it any time soon, are you? (See also: Stakeland.)
posted by tobascodagama at 6:32 PM on January 7

I still haven't watched Bushwick, but this thread prompted me to watch Stake Land and I really enjoyed it. It was like a Walking Dead B story but without all of the baggage. There was a lot of polish for an indie genre film with a $625k budget. Maybe Netflix has been right to nag me about watching Bushwick.
posted by mumblelard at 10:38 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed this for the most part. I actually quite liked the underdeveloped premise as it gives your mind some work to do while you're listening to someone say "What the fuck is going on?" for the tenth time.

I wouldn't call this this "cheap looking" as an insult, necessarily, but wow did it ever seem like it was going out of its way to hide the smaller budget. The off-screen action and tight focus was likely meant as suspenseful, but a lot of the time it also felt like it was conveniently saving on extras, pyro, stunt work, CGI, etc.

Kind of a bummer of an ending though. I'm way less into downer endings at this point in my life, so I'm not as willing to cut them slack as I used to. Even back when I was more tolerant of them, I don't think I would have cared for this one though.
posted by ODiV at 11:27 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]

I was very intrigued by the premise - a reverse Red Dawn - such as it is.

This turned out to be pretty sweet fruit of the digital era. It won't win any conventional awards but I didn't find anything overtly cringeworthy and the single-shot conceit was an ambitious attempt.

Nothing for Dave Bautista to be ashamed of - quite the opposite.

I've read complaints about the audio, but it was more than fine for me; dialogue was clear, the background artillery/ explosions were convincingly oppressive.

I liked the optimism that the neighbourhood would all band together; my expectation of what would actually happen are a little more pessimistic. But I don't know that 'hood.

I was entertained.

... and adding a bottle of isopropanol to my go bag. Would be a shame to have to use the drinkable stuff.
posted by porpoise at 6:27 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]

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