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Kaboom

3.6 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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(May 31, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the mind of visionary director Gregg Araki ("Mysterious Skin," "The Doom Generation") comes this hot comedy about the secrets that lie beneath an idyllic seaside town. Heading the cast of gorgeous guys and girls is Thomas Dekker ("A Nightmare on Elm Street") as Smith, an 18-year-old living the life of a college freshman, lusting after his straight roommate (Chris Zylka), hanging out with his lesbian bestie (Haley Bennett), and trying to decide -- if he can -- whether he digs boys or girls. Teen angst soon gives way to more sinister concerns when Smith finds out that his small Southern California town is also home to a killer cult.

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Gregg Araki's Kaboom represents a return to familiar territory, which will come as good news for fans of his teen apocalypse trilogy, which began with The Doom Generation. He introduces his latest lead, bisexual film student Smith (The Sarah Connor Chronicles' Thomas Dekker, likably low-key), as he dreams about a tryst with his surfer roommate, Thor (Chris Zylka, believably stupid). The apocalypse enters the scenario via the Messiah (James Duval), Smith's RA, who claims that the end of the world is nigh, after which the Southern California kid runs into people from his dreams, like Lorelei (Roxane Mesquida), a lesbian witch obsessed with his best friend, Stella (Haley Bennett). In his waking life, Smith has a fling with London (Juno Temple), a feisty Brit who joins him and Stella in a quest for answers. Like Araki's Smiley Face, the characters inhabit a stylized realm in which they experience real feelings, but talk as if they were starring in a paranormal teen romance with all the naked bodies and blue language those films tend to leave out. Time will tell if Araki will ever make a movie as gritty as Mysterious Skin again, but it's hard not to admire the way he brings all the disparate story strands together at the end with a take-down of doomsday cults, homophobes, and sci-fi twaddle about Chosen Sons. Extra features include deleted scenes and uninhibited commentary from Araki and Dekker. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Haley Bennett, Thomas Dekker, James Duval, Andy Fischer-Price, Brandy Futch
  • Directors: Gregg Araki
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2011
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004OBQDCK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,556 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Kaboom" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Smith is a freshman at a beach-adjacent California university, non-committal about his sexual orientation, but falls in instant lust with his straight surfer-dude roommate. Smith's BFF is Haley, who has the hots for a mysterious girl who is reputed to be a witch, and is the voice of reason when Smith is about to make one of his frequent bad decisions about his life. It is in Haley that Smith confides about his disturbing dreams, which later appears to have a connection to a mysterious cult operating on campus, which has already caused the death of at least one student.

Like most Greg Araki films, this one is hard to describe or classify. It is equal parts a light romantic comedy, satire pointing out the fluid nature of sexuality, murder mystery and story about an international conspiracy. The story is intentionally funny in parts, unintentionally laughable in others, and frightening at the same time. Acting is capable, the special effects reflect the tiny budget of the film, and some of the scene changes don't flow together very well. Overall, it can be an enjoyable diversion for those who don't take their movies too seriously, with a reminder that people are not always what they seem to be.

Not rated, but would be an R for partial nudity and simulated sex. DVD has deleted scenes, outtakes and commentary. I give it four stars out of five.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Unfortunately like all of Gregg Araki's other films Kaboom hasn't been made available for sale in North America on Blu-ray leaving fans like me coughing up extra money for imports. I figured that since this disc is compatible with my blu-ray player that I'd be more than happy to pay a little extra. I mean, hey, you even get a sexy white case which is pretty uncommon.

This French release doesn't allow you to change audio or subtitle tracks on the fly. If you'd like to enjoy this film as it was originally presented you'll be sad to know that the French subtitles are forced when playing the English audio track. Even if you were living in France you would not be able to appreciate this movie in it's original language without subtitles polluting this visually beautiful film.

I thought the dark ages of DVD were over, but it's stuff like this that makes me regret trying to legally purchase the things that I like. I guess what this ultimately comes down to is I wish that there was a way for me to support Gregg's films in the United States without always being forced into the standard definition ghetto. I have a feeling the age of physical media will be dead and gone before I get what I want.

If you happen to be a French fan of queer cinema that has no problem with watching dubbed over foreign films then this is absolutely the release for you, but I somehow doubt you exist.

From what I have read online it seems the German release of this film is the way to go as it does not force subtitles and is region free.
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Format: DVD
With Kaboom, Araki is, more or less, attempting to combine the dreamlike quality of his masterpiece, Mysterious Skin, with the energy and the over-the-top style of his earlier Teen Apocalypse trilogy, which featured Totally F***ed Up (my favorite of the trilogy), The Doom Generation (a film that I am, very slowly, beginning to understand the brilliance of) and Nowhere (an ugly film that I dislike more and more every day). This attempt of his works to a certain degree, but I think the main problem here is that he cannot quite bring anything new or interesting to the table. His high energy approach is no longer as effective as it once was, and so while one can admire the picture from an aesthetic perspective, more often than not the picture does not able to sustain itself like it truly should in order to feel fully realized. No matter what approach I take, this film does not truly feel complete, despite every subplot and plot hole being miraculously resolved by the time the film nears completion, and despite a cast of characters with plenty of distinction, characterization, color, and originality.

With Kaboom, Araki is, more or less, attempting to combine the dreamlike quality of his masterpiece, Mysterious Skin, with the energy and the over-the-top style of his earlier Teen Apocalypse trilogy, which featured Totally F***ed Up (my favorite of the trilogy), The Doom Generation (a film that I am, very slowly, beginning to understand the brilliance of) and Nowhere (an ugly film that I dislike more and more every day). This attempt of his works to a certain degree, but I think the main problem here is that he cannot quite bring anything new or interesting to the table.
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1 Comment 3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Araki is an always interesting director. Don't be dissuaded by one negative review.

The premise of this movie is somewhat similar to his earlier work "The Doom Generation."

There is no correlation to "Shortbus." What's this guy talking about?
Comment 27 of 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I personally loved Kaboom because it stays true to the Gregg Araki style that I know and love. Araki is a very unique director who has a distinct style. However, the movie can be confusing and maybe not even enjoyable if it's the first Araki film you watch.

I suggest watching "Nowhere" and "The Doom Generation" before watching Kaboom. Otherwise I can't say everyone will love this movie like I did. However, it's worth a shot because either way it's definitely a unique and interesting experience.
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