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What We Do Is Secret

3.6 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

What We Do Is Secret is the true-life story of Darby Crash (Shane West), who became an L.A. punk icon with his band The Germs. With his friends, Lorna Doom (Bijou Phillips), Pat Smear (Rick Gonzalez), and Don Bolles (Noah Segan), Darby Crash completely transformed the L.A punk scene, while sacrificing everyone he loved, his career, and ultimately his life

Review

You're in for a helluva ride. --Film Threat

Actor Shane West and writer-director Rodger Grossman have a clear, unwavering perspective on Crash that should entice curiosity seekers and old punks to What We Do Is Secret. --Variety

West seems to be channeling the spirit of Crash. --Premiere

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Shane West, Bijou Phillips, Rick Gonzalez, Chris Pontius, Noah Segan
  • Directors: Rodger Grossman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Peace Arch Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 4, 2008
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001ECDVIG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,802 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M on October 27, 2008
Format: DVD
If this movie has actually helped some people discover the Germs and the old school punk scene, then I guess that's a good thing.

BUT...

This movie has nothing to do with reality. Far from a realistic portrait, this film presents Darby Crash as a nice, but misunderstood kid who could just as easily have been a supporting character on "Dawson's Creek" and makes the L.A. punk scene look like an episode of "90210."

Read "Lexicon Devil" or watch "Decline of Western Civilization" as a contrast. Or just listen to the Germs. Just Darby's lyrics on their own illustrate the yawning chasm between who he really was and who Roger Grossman and Shane West make him out to have been. Even Don Bolles has dismissed the movie as worthless in interviews.

Brilliant, whiny, pathetic, cruel, insecure, domineering, self-destructive, confused, deceitful and very, very sad, Darby Crash was a profoundly flawed and often unpleasant screwed up kid who also happened to write some of the best punk rock lyrics ever produced for one of the scene's most influential bands.

Grossman and West manage to gloss over everything that was difficult, disturbing and most importantly, tragic about Darby. And in their attempt to lionize him, they paint a bland and sterile picture of an average adolescent who seems like he'd be more comfortable singing for Fallout Boy than the Germs.

As I'm no stickler for obsessive historical accuracy, all of this could maybe - MAYBE - be forgivable if the movie were well-made or had something important to say. But no. It's just an oversimplified whitewash of one of the most complex, orginal and influential artists the punk scene has produced.

If you want a great fictional movie about early punk, skip this trash and go watch "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains." In it's way, that movie says more about old school punk rock than this film ever could.
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As a 63 year old grandmother, who is as far removed from the punk music scene as you could possibly get, this was difficult to watch...but I did. I believe that you can't dismiss things that you don't care for unless you try to understand what they are about. I hope that the movie was fairly accurate because it explains why someone might create music with so much "hurt" in it. I gave it three stars because that is a neutral number and although the material was one star for me it did a five star job at showing the gritty, difficult, unhappy lives that the band members lived.
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First, I'm not going to pretend that I was around LA when all of this went down... I was in New Orleans, and I didn't really get into punk until 1980 or '81, when Black Flag came through. Darby Crash was already dead by then, so I never knew him, met him, or even saw the Germs. With that said, the fact that the surviving Germs are happy with Shane West and "What We Do is Secret" is enough for me.

I'll be honest though, I would've liked to have seen some more of the earlier years. Show some more of the time spent at IPS (read "Lexicon Devil"). I think that the film does try to project the complicated person that Crash appears to have been. I do think it comes off short though, perhaps because of the fact that the film itself clocks in around an hour and a half.

The list of people involved in the making of this film is impressive. It is a who's who of punk in Los Angeles. This, coupled with the input of the Germs and their immediate circle suggest that the film was credible.

What surprised me though was how many of the scenes of turmoil within the band seemed cliche. I've no doubt it was, but it still surprised me.

The documentary/ bio-epic presentation is interesting. I wonder why Grossman decided to do it this way. I don't know. If this film had a larger budget and this is what they turned out I would rate this movie lower... but the fact of the matter is that this film had a small budget and took almost two decades to make. This fact perhaps explains the relatively short length of "What We Do is Secret" as well as other shortcomings.

I'm glad this film was completed. I'm glad its out there and it is absolutely worth seeing, but, if you are a Germs fan you'd see it even if it was absolute trash.
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Let me begin with the disclaimer, I have never been interested in punk rock at all. That being said, why did I buy this movie? I love biographies, I will never know how accurate this was or how much was true but as a movie this was exceptional. This was a troubled young man if you ask me who needed more then those around him were giving him. Was he a "genius" I am sure to some extent and somewhat damaged, too. How his "friends" could not see him spiraling into some very dark place is beyond me but they seemed to emerge from it. This is what I would call a sad and brilliant film. Now for the performances. all of the players were exceptional and did great. Shane West, the lead who did Darby Crash so well was outstanding, I have always said that this guy is a star and just never got the right jumping off point. this was it to me but apparently never noticed, Bravo, Shane! Why not 5 stars....he had a relationship with "Robby" I would have liked that to have been explored more. it was just kind of left hanging in the air and taken for granted. That seemed to be big in his life and should have been touched on some more.
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