Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What We Do Is Secret - DVD Review

WHAT WE DO IS SECRET (**) - Starring Shane West, Bijou Phillips, Rick Gonzalez, Noah Segan, Ashton Holmes, Tina Majorino, Ray Park and Azura Skye.
Written & directed by Rodger Grossmann.

I got into listening to late-1970's punk for a bit in the late 1980's. Sex Pistols, X, Black Flag... I don't remember the Germs. Nevertheless, we get a biopic of Germs lead singer Darby Crash, who died from a drug overdose at age 22 in 1980. It's not a very long story to tell if it starts in high school and his band rises and falls so quickly.

Darby is played by Shane West, previously known to me as Tom Sawyer in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and one of the prime suspects on why that movie was so bad. He also played the punk doctor Ray on ER, and his first season was the year I finally stopped watching ER. So here he is. And he wasn't half bad.

The movie's problem is that it, like its subject matter, is so shallow. Darby Crash was a jerkwad whose music wasn't special or unique. None of the music played in the movie really stood out of any other punk song. The Germs might have been able to get big if they didn't get banned from every venue they played in, as they and their fans were prone to destruction, vandalism and violence.

And they were so young. There's no wisdom to benefit from knowing them, other than drugs kill. Gee, really? So it was interesting to see Reaper's Rick Gonzalez as a punk rocker, and it was nice to see that West can be a decent actor, but it doesn't do anything to shed light on the punk movement, thus rendering the story fairly pointless.

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