Bean Bags

On screen, it’s risque to center pre-teens in an R-rated comedy. No one wants to admit kids talk like this, but avoidance is a social lie. Good Boys runs with a deranged honesty, peering into life for those growing up in the internet age.

When search engines deliver nudity and porn, there’s no mystery to childhood anymore. Good Boys acknowledges this. While there’s still confusion around girls, relationships, and crushes (still universal feelings no matter the connected era), Good Boys’ ruckus makes this relatable.

Some people will recoil at the star’s vulgarity, or how Good Boys puts them in these wildly inappropriate scenarios. Yet, this stuff happens. Seeing it, hearing it, brings attention to what kids do out of sight. Believing an 11-year old doesn’t blast F-bombs out of earshot to feel adult or be cool is absurd. Good on Good Boys for treating this naturally.

Good on Good Boys for treating this naturally

Comedy comes from innocence. Or, outright naivety. These three kids celebrate their friendship as “The Bean Bag Boys,” totally oblivious to the double meaning. Sixth grade is to be their grandest moment, blissfully unaware that no one actually remembers sixth grade. They don’t understand how things work, and rely on the more mature – eight graders – for information. Good Boys does that a lot, a story where drinking beer is measured in mere sips, not bottles. There’s misunderstanding about growing up with others in different phases. One friend wants to kiss the dream girl, the others still shudder at the thought.

It’s subtle touches that work too. While yes, Thor (Brady Noon) swings anal beads like nunchucks, Good Boys also comments on bullying, gender neutral bathrooms, and consent. The culture around this generation changes rapidly, as fast as they can grow. That’s confronted through these characters, adding to their disorientation.

Key though is, even in how divergent these kids are in personality, they stick together. None of them realize the disparity; they all want the same thing, or at least, they think they do. It becomes a balancing act in a small scale road trip movie (four whole miles) to both maintain support for one another and become individuals. That’s what adulthood does, yet by way of the internet and resulting social pressures, Good Boys makes the case this stuff happens when kids barely seem ready.

That’s a lot of heart for a movie that locks a cop in a carryout with a double-ended dildo.

Video

With a clean digital transfer, Good Boys finds significant detail. Close-ups bring surprising facial texture and consistency. Clarity is high enough to easily notice effects and composites (say, when the kids first see the mall). Sharpness remains high throughout with no dips, unsurprising given the rudimentary cinematography. It’s a comedy. Workmanlike is fine.

Color saturation excels, bringing precision flesh tones matched to well sustained primaries. Each scene pushes intensity, never going too far. Scenery looks stellar in these conditions, giving suburbia a blast with dense greens.

Also, Good Boys favors brightness. As needed, black levels win, but it’s contrast that’s particularly rich and dense. Highlights stay balanced even in heavy sunlight. Depth comes from every angle in this transfer.

Audio

Rudimentary DTS-HD does enough to establish and maintain a soundstage. A drone pans through this 5.1 mix. A scene on an expressway catches each speaker while cars whip by. Listen during a paintball shoot-out as each round is tracked.

Soundtrack selections stretch dynamic range, providing potent low-end support.

Extras

Co-writer and director Gene Stupinsky shares commentary duties with co-writer Lee Eisenberg. Out of these bonuses, that’s the deepest one. Six EPKs make up the majority, with 11 deleted scenes and an alternate ending following. A super short gag reel holds a few laughs.

Good Boys
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

Open and honest about how kids really act, Good Boys has a blast toying with childhood naivety without losing any heart.

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