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The Wackness (2008)

Josh Peck , Ben Kingsley , Jonathan Levine  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Josh Peck, Ben Kingsley, Olivia Thirlby, Famke Janssen, Mary-Kate Olsen
  • Directors: Jonathan Levine
  • Writers: Jonathan Levine
  • Producers: Brian Udovich, Felipe Marino, Jared Goldman, Joe Neurauter, Keith Calder
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 6, 2009
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001J9KJ48
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,059 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Wackness" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

NYC. Summer 1994. The girls were fly. The music was dope. And Luke was just trying to deal. Even though 18-year-old Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck) is stashing away loads of cash dealing pot, he's still a virgin, his family may be evicted, and his only friend is his eccentric shrink and client, Dr. Jeffrey Squires (Oscar®-winner* Ben Kingsley, Sexy Beast, House of Sand and Fog), who is intent on living life to the fullest. But when Squires' party girl stepdaughter Stephanie (Juno's Olivia Thirlby) opens her heart, Luke learns that love, no matter how long it lasts, can turn a life that is wack, totally dope. With surprising performances from Famke Janssen, Mary-Kate Olsen and Method Man, and a pulsing hip-hop score, this exuberant coming-of-age comedy captures a season of discovery with wit and warmth.

Jonathan Levine's nostalgic reverie recreates a more innocent New York. In 1994, the Twin Towers watch over Manhattan, and Rudolph Giuliani reigns as mayor--not a bestselling author or presidential candidate. Recent high school grad Luke Shapiro (sleepy-eyed Josh Peck, Drake and Josh) plies the kind of trade Giuliani seeks to discourage: dope dealing. Otherwise, though, Luke's not such a bad kid. He sees a therapist, the pot-smoking Dr. Squires (Sir Ben Kingsley), and nurses a crush on the doctor's flirtatious stepdaughter, Stephanie (Juno's Olivia Thirlby). Hip-hop fills the air, and Luke spends his days grooving to Nas, the Notorious B.I.G., and A Tribe Called Quest, while selling cannabis out of an ice-cream cart (Wu-Tang rapper Method Man plays his Rasta supplier). As the summer heats up, Luke and Stephanie grow closer, while Squires and his wife, Kristin (Famke Janssen), drift apart. Meanwhile, Luke's family faces eviction if his father's fortunes don't improve, and he finds himself torn between the hot girl, the bummed-out shrink, and a job that could land him in the clink for a good long time--or save the Shapiros from moving to New Jersey. Though Levine (All the Boys Love Mandy Lane) doesn't judge his law-breaking protagonist, he does suggest that love can make a smart guy lose his head just as easily as lust--and even a trained psychiatrist can't always tell the difference. With Mary-Kate Olsen (Weeds) and Jane Adams (Happiness) as the spaciest of Luke's spacey customers. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Stills from The Wackness (click for larger image)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Yo! Don't be whack!

The award winning film (Sundance Audience Award) "The Wackness" is now out on DVD and it's definitely one of the coolest and more pleasant coming-of-age films to come out in a long while and a DVD with features that embraces that non-traditional style courtesy of writer/director Josh Levine.

"The Wackness" stars well-known legendary award winning actor Ben Kingsley and "Drake & Josh" actor Josh Peck who appears to have shed his young teen Nickelodeon image for the character of 18-year-old Luke Shapiro. Both playing roles so different from what we have seen of them and both delivering an exceptional performance.

The year is 1994, A high school teenager in New York who doesn't have any friends but spends his time selling marijuana using his disguise as a person who sells ice in the park, while saving up all his money.

But all is not cool in the life of Luke, his parents are having some financial problems and in danger of being evicted, his mind is on getting laid and losing his virginity and the only person he can communicate his emotions to is one of his clients, Dr. Jeffrey Squires (Ben Kingsley). He wants some anti-depressants but Squires tells him to embrace his pain and more or less, he needs to find a girlfriend and get laid.

Dr. Squires is not exactly a role model for Josh. He's a product of the 60's, loves doing cocaine and marijuana and somehow, is able to connect with Luke and provides him professional advice for drugs. But like Luke, his life is not at all going that great. His relationship with his wife Kristin is not at all going so great and all they have is their memories of sex and doing drugs. Meanwhile, he notices that his step-daughter Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby, "Juno") is getting closer to Luke.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wackness: Anything but the title December 12, 2008
What an incredible film. Director Jonathan Levine's attention to detail in making sure that every aspect of the film looks and feels like the 90's really adds to the feel of the film. All of the actors work really well especially Sir Ben Kingsley and Josh Peck, who has a breakout performance in this film, showing that he's got a future in this business. With funny dialogue, nicely shot cinematography, and backed by an incredible soundtrack, The Wackness is definitely a film to see this summer if you loved the 90's.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE TOP 5 MOVIES IN 2008 January 4, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have been waiting my whole lifetime for a movie like this... Everyone who I've shown it to has absolutely loved it, and yet I don't know why critics kind of swept it under the rug when it created so much uproar at the 2008 Sundance Film Festivals.

I think everyone should go into this movie not knowing what it's about. It's honestly not because I'm lazy and don't want to explain it to you, but I notice that in my opinion that when you heighten the expectations for someone who hasn't seen the movie, it makes the movie seem not as good as it really is.

Watch the clips Amazon supplied and that's all you need to know... It's a movie about how adults shouldn't be embarrassed to take advice from the younger generation, because it's not about age IT'S ABOUT KNOWLEDGE. And guess what? Sometimes they can be right.

It's a movie about not being afraid to live life; don't hide from it or bottle your problems. Don't look at the bad side of things, look at the good things. People say that's easier said than done, but the trick is to PRETEND!!!

When something bad happens you need to embrace your fears and embrace the pain that comes with it. If you run away from life with drugs (and by now everyone should know that includes prescription drugs) and not face your problems, you eventually just start to experience all the downs in life.

If what you choose is to embrace your pain, learn from it, and have the courage to not to be afraid to take chances & risks in your life-- WELL THAT'S WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT.

If it weren't for the pain in life, the joy wouldn't be so good. It's like the spoiled kid everyone went to school with, they got everything they wanted their entire lives and in the end nothing in the world can ever make them happy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What A Surprise, The Wackness Is Actually On Point August 11, 2009
I haven't heard much about this movie besides seeing the name on Peck's list of films on wikipedia. Of course I judged the title thinking that the film would be some lame attempt of a superbad type comedy but man was I wrong. The wackness is actually quite easy to explain and although it contains a young man with an occupation that isn't known for such a lifestyle I feel a lot of teens can sort of relate to it. Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck) is a 17 year old just a day from graduation. He's an incredibly lonely drug dealer that is basically dieing inside from not living the life of having fun and being dumb. The film takes him on a small hip hop packed and smoke filled adventure to live some sort of a teenage life before the summers over. He eventually finds a friend in his psychiatrist Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley) but it takes time for them to realize how important they are to each other.

I've grown up watching Peck on Nick although he played great characters in those films he was mostly the side man and fell under the radar until he started getting a little older. My point is that I think this guy is a pretty good dramatic actor, better than his comedic roles he played on Nick. The acting was solid especially the slightly self destructive pot smoking Ben Kingsley, loved the cast. The story itself was a kind of crazy, I mean I believe that drug dealers are usually depicted as these people that get love and hate but not a lot of loneliness or at least not the high school type guys. I love how they put that spin on it because somehow everyone is linked by this. Peck's character shares what a lot of us had or even have, that big chunk of life you felt like you missed or are about to miss and all that experience and life just falls into your lap at one time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie!
Published 1 month ago by Alayna
5.0 out of 5 stars Ben Kingsley was absolutely delightful to watch (and I NEVER say...
This retro hip-hop coming-of-age film was not on my radar and wouldn't have been due to the description, despite being an Audience Award winner at Sundance 2008. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Day2
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Perfect Perfect
This movie is perfect in every way. The soundtrack is perfect, the characters spot on and unforgettable, the plot is highly relatable and the pacing is also spot on. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Dakota McDaniel
3.0 out of 5 stars Drug Heavy
People who are very nostalgic about the year 1994 may like this more than I did. Much of it is your basic naive boy meets experienced girl. Read more
Published 8 months ago by mr. contrarian
5.0 out of 5 stars CUTE
this is the best movie ever especially for Josh Peck fans! it is a must buy! a true classic! loved it!
Published 9 months ago by Bianca Brummell
5.0 out of 5 stars crazy good
one of the best movies I've seen top ten in my book and very relatable, even if you've never done or sold drugs eveyones had a crush felt rejected and been used by people that you... Read more
Published 15 months ago by holl23
5.0 out of 5 stars The unexamined life...
The Wackness is most definitely anything but wack,it is a funny touching story of a teenage boy who happens to be a loner and who also has a crush on a schoolmate named Stephanie... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Edward Rivera
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
You will love the relationship between Ben Kingsley and Josh Peck. Great indie movie that showcases great acting with some great actors that deserve more credit than they get.
Published 21 months ago by Alicia Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Good.
The movie got shipped pretty quickly, was nicely packaged, and it worked. I think that's all that is required of a dvd.
Published 21 months ago by Lau
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie to escape with:)
This movie has just the right mix of everything required to make anyone fan of this movie. Cheers and Kudos to all involved. What a worthwhile purchase. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Jennnie L
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Topic From this Discussion
Mary-Kate Olsen in The Wackness - good or bad?
I read somewhere she was on screen for a total of 15 minutes, which after seeing the film seems a lot more accurate than 3-4.
May 9, 2009 by Arg! |  See all 5 posts
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