on November 4, 2004
At my new High school (Wasson) in Colorado Springs, we just watched Bang Bang, Your Dead in health class. Wasson has played this movie to everyone that has gone there for years. Anyways, when the movie was over, I didn't know whether to clap, or to cry. When it was over, everyone just stared in awe. I don't know if I'm crazy if I say its the best movie I've every seen. It has exactly everything to do with high school years and real life. I wanted to cry at the end because I knew a lot of kids in my school are suffering from the same topic shared in this movie. I recommened this movie is shown to EVERY sudent entering highschool. I know for sure I will buy this movie and show it to my friends. It has changed my life.
on April 7, 2008
I was perusing through various reviews, and saw all this christian, God/Satan nonsense, so I don't know where all that rubbish is coming from, but wow, oh wow, oh wow, this was such a rush, wickedly paced, edge of your seat with your mouth on the floor, brilliantly acted, well orchestrated ensemble cast, and stellar directing. Loosely based on the stage play by William Mastrosimone, this holds it's own in a genre not entirely saturated, but where this kind of film exist on various levels. Gus Van Sant's 'Elephant' is too artsy-fartsy, and 'Zero Day', while superb, was too realistic as it's entirely shot on camcorders. Bang, Bang, Your Dead, combines all of the movies about high school dilemmas and shootings, which hit so close to home, it's terrifying.
Ben Foster (30 Days of Night, 3:10 to Yuma, Alpha Dog) plays Trevor Adams, readjusting to the first day of school after having to attend summer school because of a bomb threat the previous year. All, teachers and students alike, are suspicious of his return. Randy Harrison (Queer as Folk) plays a cunning, dark role as the leader of the outcast anarchist aptly named 'The Trogs,' and Tom Cavanagh plays the role perfect as his video/drama school teacher who believes in Trevor and sees something others would by ignorance, never see.
What really makes this movie absolutely spectacular is the way it flows so freely from one scene to another: from Trevor making his home videos, to his interaction with law enforcement and teachers, to his being picked on and bullied by those ignorant, one tracked football jocks, and his finding perhaps solace in a beautiful girl and yet he manages along the way to capture moving images of the reality of HIS existence and the brutal savagery of the sports masses and the psychological trauma of the youth that are unfortuntely the brunt of their fun. The movie touches on the important subjects of what most large, inner city and suburbian high schools go through. How their sports programs are far more important than the safety of the students, and how bullying in ALL ITS FORMS, can be tormenting to young adults, which they can carry on their whole lives. It shows every single side of the situation and that in itself is a very important element.
I must say to you in all honestly, put this on your next que or immediately purchase this, it is truly an experience which you wont soon forget!!
on January 12, 2005
I first saw this movie in Oct. 2002 when it premiered on Showtime with my neices. I want to start by stating that I am 47 years old and couldn't believe how much impact this movie had on all of us! I think it hit so hard (yes, I know it's been a million years since I was in high school) because so little has changed; just the outcome of school shootings has been added--unfortunately, in real life. It was like re-living my own high school days again. The characters are so real there is someone that any viewer can identify with which pulls you in to the story.
It is sort of a play within a movie as the movie tells the story of a student playing the lead character in his school's making of a (real) play called "Bang, Bang, You're Dead" (which can be legally downloaded for free at [...] as the author makes it available to anyone who would like it). He, the student, himself is a student on the edge and the movie shows how he got there.
The incidents are all things that really happen now (and even happened when I was in high school which is why it was so interesting to watch). As of the date of this review (1-12-05) Showtime is playing a shortened version of the movie. The original had a panel discussion and PSA after, which is also worth seeing.
Just for the few things they cut out of the original broadcast now that they are showing it as just another "Showtime Original Movie", that alone makes the DVD worth purchasing from Amazon.
So buy it from Amazon and be prepared to think after you watch it. Finally, I recommend that you watch it a couple times as there are things you will pick up after watching it again. Then, invite others to watch it. I recieved it as a gift from an old friend and have shown it to 4 other people. All have come back here to Amazon and purchased copies of their own. 4 out of 4 are pretty unusual odds but it's just that good.
on June 30, 2004
I had never heard of this movie, or the play, until yesterday when I happened to be channel surfing. I stopped, and I watched it. I am so glad I did. I'm going to be a junior in high school next year, and about five or six years back my school had an anthrax threat. Which was scary... we also had a lot of people with "hit lists" that were caught after that. Sometimes I can feel the tension within my school... there are people when I see the way they act that I just think they would be the ones to fly off the handle one day. Columbine made me sad beyond words; I was younger when that happened, and as I get older it just pains me more and more to think of the violence going on in schools. When I was in elementary school I was picked on and teased, although not to the extent that Trevor (Ben Foster's character) was picked on. My school isn't that big and they always had a strict non-violence code. It would be so easy for someone to plan a shooting at my school, and that is why next year I am going to not only show this DVD to the board of education and tell them to show the students, but also talk to the drama club president and see if we could put on the play "Bang Bang You're Dead." This movie moved myself and all of my friends to tears - being in high school, we can directly relate and feel empathy toward the characters in this movie. This movie shocked my parents and opened their eyes to what really goes on in high school - now, instead of saying, "Ignore them," when I tell them about somebody bothering me, they actually care and talk about it. There is some real violence and pain in schools today, and I think that if this was a required viewing, many of those students would feel different about what they fantasize about doing.
on March 24, 2004
To be honest, this could have been me. I grew up in a small town where you were either in a 'click' or you were a nobody. This film is a good thing for people to watch, whether people feel it is in their schools or not. Many students put on a front, acting like everything is perfect, when inside they may be a time-bomb waiting to explode. This movie makes you stop and think, am I the one causing problems or on the other end, will I explode?
After watching this movie I started to think, what if I would have exploded or taken my own life. To look back it doesn't seem to be as important, but at the time I too was at the point of wondering, what's my point in life and why am I here? We watched this movie in my college speech communications course, and after leaving the room I was walking campus and thinking, how many other students have felt this way or have been in the same situation? No one thinks this type of thing would hit home, but it does. Whether you are in a large city or in rural America, it could/can happen.
What if she hadn't called Trevor, would he have taken his life? What if the parents had cared more for their son, not what others thought? We can all do our part if we don't just sit back and watch, but we observe and try to help. Just think, what if you can save a kid that has been bullied all his/her life, or on the other side, what if you can save those who he/she might take it out on!!!!
I highly recommend this movie.
on January 14, 2005
Its not very often that you get a movie that really make you think about yourself and your surroundings, this one does. You never realize how bad things can get till they get there, often times. This movie should be shown in every classroom, in every school in the US. It is the best movie I've seen in my life. We watched it in my drama class, preparing to do the play, it was the only movie we ever watched where nobody spoke throughout the entire film. At the end we sat there, pondering what we had just seen, thinking about the people in our school, in our class, in ourselves. Some were on the verge of tears, I know I was. Even the teacher didn't move, we sat there through the credits, after the tape went off, as it began to rewind itself. Not one word uttered, not one motion in a High School classroom. That never happens, but that day it did. If you have a child, watch it with them. If your a teacher, show it to your class. This movie is highly under-rated. It is truly art, and when was the last time we said that, and meant it?
on July 10, 2003
I first saw "Bang Bang You're Dead" in one of my elective classes last year. I saw it again when the administrators of my school decided to show it to all the juniors at the end of the school year. This was an excellent move, and other high schools should follow suit.
The film is based on the play of the same name, which debuted at Thurston High School in 1999 and has become a hit since.
Ben Foster is absolutely chilling as Trevor Adams, a high school student who is despised by most of his peers due to a previous incident involving a home-made bomb. Things start going right for him when he lands the leading role in the school play and becomes part of an exclusive gang. However, Trevor's high spirits are shattered when his gang decides to ambush the school, Columbine style.
This film is nothing short of brilliant. It conveys an urgent message that cannot be ignored. I only hope people will take note and start trying to improve our educational system.
on June 26, 2005
From seeing this movie on Showtime a couple of years back, I thought that this movie was very good, especially in how it depicts how that potential shooter sees the world and especially his high school.
This movie is based on the play that existed pre-Columbine(as a matter of fact, the play was created as a reaction to the Springfield, Ore. shootings that occured in 1998) and I think that it can teach people a lot of things that concerns schools in this era.
In sumnation, I think that this movie, along with "Zero Day" should be required viewing by kids, parents and especially school officials around the world.
on July 18, 2004
A few years ago (2001) I played the title role of Josh in 'Bang Bang You're Dead' the play in Massachusetts at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School, and it was the most challenging role I have ever played and the most rewarding experience of my life, no joke. The play was so amazing and brought out my emotions, that are normally kept hidden, in ways I've never known before. I feel in the very short time that I did the show, I tapped into so many emotions that I didn't know I had. It was so utterly real, that it was frightening for me to play Josh and to become (even for a few performances) the person that he was. I never shared his feelings before or had been through what he has in high school (thank god) and I feel so fortunate for my life. The screenplay is so exciting, thought-provoking, slap-in-face realistic etc. It spoke to me and impressed me more than any other play I have ever read or played in. The very same goes for the movie. I have seen many movies in my life (some pretty amazing ones are out there, ie. Donnie Darko, my favorite) but when I saw the movie two years after my portayal of Josh, the same emotions were brought out of me like the play. The play and the film are both amazing, and though may not stand out in special-effects or cinematography, it is a mind-boggler and not in a stupid- Vanilla Sky what-the-hell-is-going-on way but in a realistic, this is really life for thousands of people out there way. I highly suggest this movie and I highly suggest that every high school should either show this movie for the student body or, more importantly, put on the play for the community. It speaks out to everyone and you'd have to be heartless to scoff at this movie. It may feel like an exaggeration of realism to people who can't relate with this character, but you have to understand from his point of view because there are so many people out there that feel just like Josh and nothing being done about it. Maybe I am being biased because I was Josh in the play and really got into who he was and how he felt, nevertheless this movie is a must-see. Truly.
on July 21, 2004
"Bang Bang You're Dead" is a compelling movie aired on Showtime in 2002, starring Tom Cavanagh (TV's "Ed") and Ben Foster ("Get Over It"). It explores the graphic truths of school bullying and violence and how it affects its victims. This film, inspired by a true story, should be watched by every parent and everyone that works in an environment with kids. Its hardcore substance will surely touch its viewers like no other. This brilliant plot takes them on a journey to what such torture can result to if nobody listens or takes action. The extremity was necessary as a reality check for certain individuals, especially the language, the violence, and the self-destruction. Through attempted suicide, anger management, loneliness, the school play that relates to what could happen, and others, the realisms remain as powerful as they should be. All events lead to an undeniable conclusion that will keep audiences talking. The performances from the actors add to the emotional stance, namely Ben Foster's career best as the troubled student Trevor. They accent the individual personalities wonderfully. "Bang Bang You're Dead" is a great movie for those looking for a powerful theme. Audiences will never forget this. Those wanting to learn a little more about this subject should also watch the documentary "Bowling For Columbine", directed by Michael Moore. It has an eyeopening moment that relates to school bullying.