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Ken Park Reviews

Page 1 of 37
Sam B

Super Reviewer

July 14, 2013
Larry Clark teams back up with Harmony Korine after the provocative masterpiece that was "Kids", but this time to far different results. Whereas "Kids" had something legitimately important to say, and used its shock value to do so effectively, "Ken Park" feels like its trying to one up its predecessor without including any of the insight. Whereas "Kids" drew directly from Korine's experiences, this film delves into memories from Larry Clark's past. However, without anything to give the audience besides awe over how insanely controversial it is, the film instead feels like a self-indulgent, pseudo-pornographic retread.
Zach B

Super Reviewer

June 10, 2012
This is one of those films that has went and pushed the boundaries of the rating system here in America to such an extreme that it is beyond difficult to find this film legally. This is due to the film featuring graphic scenes of abuse, sexuality, suicide, and constant drug abuse done in a way that you rarely, if ever, find in American cinema. With this is mind, it is no wonder that Larry Clark is the man that directed this film and the writer is Harmony Korine. When released, the amount of controversy this film sparked was unbelievable. Years from the time it was released and me hearing all about this film, I finally get to see it. And my main reaction is that Larry Clark has guts to make this film, and in terms of content and how it is shot, this film was ahead of itâ(TM)s time. The way this film is structured is what really gets to me. The main plot (actually lack of) revolves around this kid named Ken Park and his apparent suicide and the impact it has on what little group of friends he had. Over the course of this film, we are introduced to a group of dysfunctional, emotionally destroyed kids and the amount of back ground we get on them is next to none. Aside from basic information mainly saying if the childâ(TM)s parents are alive or not, we are literally thrown into their life and we see things from a nonbiased view point. If this was just a collection of random kids that kind of knew each other, then this idea would of work, and in this film it does. But what I would have liked personally would be some more interacting with the main idea of Ken Park. But with the final scene in this film (graphic, but once over it is powerful in a heart breaking way), it does tie it in but in a depressing way. But still. I would have liked more involvement with the titled character. Which brings me to Larry Clark. I do admire him for his courage on making films that constantly get hated on by the general public. A good chunk of his films have been the subject to censorship, but Clark does take the material at hand and delivers a brutal tale of kids and their lives. In a way, I do group this film with his earlier collaborations with Korine: Kids and the stand alone film Bully. In these three films, there is the reoccurring trend of showing inner city kids and the life we donâ(TM)t know they lead. Or more so, the life we want to forget about. Kids was brutal in showing how adults never look after kids. Bully was an example of how parents given up on their children. Ken Park shows how kids have given up on themselves. Is this film as well directed as the previous mentioned films? It is not, which is sad seeing as how I loved the direction of Kids and Bully. Clark did an okay job with this film, but I would have liked to see more direction and focus on the main idea. Harmony Korine has to be one of the few true writers of realistic dialogue in the film world. By realistic, I do not mean in the way Quentin Tarantino writes his. I mean more along the lines that Korine knows people like this, records their dialogue, and just writes them down on paper. With this film, it is more like he tries to create his own linear story lines, and it is okay. But when he is attached as writer, I kind of hoped for a bit more spontaneous and shocking. Here, it is shocking in terms of actions, but not as to what is said. Korine is a writer I admire, and this film I would have liked a bit more. I liked what I saw, but I wish it was more natural. With this filmâ(TM)s acting, it is mediocre. I mean, the young eighteen year olds that worked on this film did handle the nude scenes with complete maturity, but when acting wise, it was not really what I would have liked. It is just, kind of staled. No one really stood out to me besides Amanda Plummer being in this film. Girl, you are the daughter of Christopher Plummer (actor in The Sound Of Music and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo). Why are you doing films like Ken Park and Satanâ(TM)s Littler Helper? You did the great Pulp Fiction, and this is the film you do? I liked this film okay, but you have the ability to be a great actress. In this film, you just donâ(TM)t shine. There you have it: Ken Park. A film bashed for itâ(TM)s brutal cinematography and harsh direction. In this day and age, it is kind of over rated. This film, at the time of itâ(TM)s release, was shocking, disturbing, and showed filming styles (like full frontal male nudity) done in a way that it wonâ(TM)t be until years later used, but Larry Clark just did not direct this film in a way that was as powerful as Kids or Bully. Good film, but one that I would say watch Kids and Bully instead.
theunknownhobo
theunknownhobo

Super Reviewer

September 22, 2011
I suppose I am just destined to never understand why people find Larry Clark so goddamn interesting! After enduring Kids and sifting through Bully, I heard about Ken Park and my friend assured me that Clark rights the wrongs of the previous films with this one. Again it was completely over the top and made little or no real statements about youth or its culture. Granted its not as gratuitous as his other movies, but in fairness that just made it blander to the pallet. Clark films just remind me of a very badly put together soap opera in which everyone is sleeping with everyone, and who they aren't sleeping with they're either beating or stabbing. A very overrated filmaker in my opinion that never fails to disappoint and indeed bore me.
Brian D

Super Reviewer

April 13, 2009
its a very hard and raw film to either like or hate.But if u seen larry clarks other film then u know what ur getting here.
Very graphic sex sence and brutal moments of rage are on the cards here so not for the wreak stomach.Cant say i recommened it because of the subject matter it holds and its will not be to everyone taste.But if u seen Kids or Bully then you kinder no what your in for..
arashxak
arashxak

Super Reviewer

June 8, 2008
It sure has some disturbing & disgusting scenes but unlike Kids this manages to make a few points imo
Alex M

Super Reviewer

November 13, 2011
Filmmaker and pedophile Larry Clark really made something deep with this one. The overall message is about how we never really know what's going on in another person's life, but then there's also so much being said in each side story. Ken Park is unapologetically brutal. It's realism is what makes it so disturbing. Kids may be Clark's best movie, but this one will definitely make you think the most.
Mike T

Super Reviewer

November 2, 2008
Conceptually, this film has a lot going for it. I don't despise it because there are enough moments where the appealing trademarks of Harmony Korine and Larry Clark are visible. Its aims are questionable, without a doubt, and the degree of its graphic depictions is unnecessary in my opinion. I have no problem with explicit material, but I have to feel that it's there for some sort of purpose. Ken Park suffers from too many miscalculations and uneven scenes, and the result is a film that feels gratuitous and vile at times. Having said that, it is beautifully shot and there are individual scenes that play out wonderfully. The introduction is superb as well, and most of the actors do fairly well considering the bizarreness and ambiguity of the screenplay. Overall it fails to capture the hypnotism and visceral power of Clark's previous feature, Bully.
Sylvester K

Super Reviewer

July 14, 2012
Larry made many good, controversial films, but this one has no meaning at all, just a bunch of ugly Non-Californians dealing with their dysfunctional family, but are mostly dysfunctional themselves. Kids were cool, Bully was great but Ken Park was a piece of crap.
Alex H

Super Reviewer

November 24, 2010
Interesting little film. I'm not sure if I'd recommend it, but I wouldn't stop you from seeing it. Clark & Korine are a good duo as seen from this and especially 'Kids.' But the accuracy of southern California teenage angst seems to be quite genuine.
shitfaced8
shitfaced8

Super Reviewer

October 4, 2008
Larry Clark is kind of a one trick pony. All three of his movies that I have seen (Kids, Bully and Ken Park) deal with very similar themes, namely dysfunction amongst teenagers. They all feature graphic sex and drug abuse and often feature violence as well. While his films are not easy to watch I do think that there is truth in them and there for hold merit for their social, realistic themes, even if I wouldn't recommend them as passive entertainment. Between the three aforementioned movies however I felt that this one was the most effective. Possibly just because I can relate to the enviroment these character's grow up in, if not their attitudes, actions or experiences.

It begins with a normal looking teenager skating the town whilst poppy skate punk play's in the background. He arrives at a skatepark, pulls a camera out of his bag, positions it towards his face, pulls out a gun, smiles and blow's his brains out for no apparent reason. A narrator chimes in explaining that this kids name was Ken Park (Krap Nek backwards) but gives no explanation as to why he had just commited suicide. We are then introduced to 4 character's, and follow them throguh their four seperate lives in their dreary suburban neighborhood. They do drugs, skate, have sex and are either smothered or harassed by their parents. I will not get into the details of what they do or have done to them as that is not why I am writing this.

It becomes abundantly clear pretty early on that life in the suburbs is not as peaceful and easy going as it is often cracked up to be. The film is a shocking examination of suburban dysfunction, isolation and boredom. By the end you get some insight into why Ken Park might have shot himself. Larry Clark never attempts to condone or condemn what happens in this film, he just show's it for what it is. I think this is why a lot of people are made uncomfortable by his films. If you want to see a movie that tell's you what you should be feeling or thinking I would advise you to look elsewhere. If you are looking for a film that champions your own puritan, middle class worldview I again would advise you to look elsewhere. If you are looking for a film that holds no punches and show's dysfunction for what it is, then I would recommend this film. Just be warned this film features graphic sex and nudity, in several scene's and is not for the feint of heart.
John2223
John2223

Super Reviewer

January 26, 2009
"Ken Park" is a sad story of teenagers and their dysfunctional families. Most of the characters have sick and abnormal behaviors. All are fully developed and living and breathing up on the screen.
Lauren D

Super Reviewer

August 2, 2007
K, so I heard this was supposedly disturbing which is why I acquired it. Oddly enough, I decided to watch it today, while still in the middle of my Prison Break spree (mid of season 3 woot) and so was surprised that Bellick was in it, but now I have images of Bellick peeing and I'll never be able to watch Prison Break the same again LOL.

Anyway, I didn't find it disturbing at all. I generally don't like any sex or nudity in movies because it's stupid, but this film was pretty much all about sex and nudity. Although it was plotless and like I said, was just full of sex and nudity, somehow I didn't mind it. Um... so yeah, I don't really have much else to say about it, other than don't watch it if you get scared by naked people.
ken j

Super Reviewer

May 9, 2007
another great movie by larry clark that should have been released in the us much sooner
cameronsm
May 12, 2010
Ok, this film was.... Sad.. Depressing.. Fucked up.. But Larry Clark needs to calm the fuck down with the sex scenes.. This was more of a porn than a movie.. Seriously, this was one of the most graphic movies i've EVER seen. I'm not really sure why it's called Ken Park, since the film really has NOTHING to do with him.. I feel bad for these kids' family lives, particularly Claude, that's what makes this film so depressing. It was weird...
RicC
June 9, 2009
All-inclusive blending of teenage stories. There are enough taboos and controversial hardcore violent and sex scenes that it's bound to disturb you one way or another. This formula worked on me - one portion shook me up mentally. Kids was for the '90s, this is updated and pretty accurate for the 2000s in terms of what adult lives teenagers are occupying. More explicit than it would have you believe - it hasn't found a distributor in the US yet.
QuimLiquor
August 10, 2009
OK, what exactly is so good about this film? I know I'm not a fan of Larry Clark's work (Kids, sucked. Bully, awful. Teenage Caveman, ugh. Eh, I kinda liked Another Day In Paradise.) but this film tops the list of bad Larry Clark films. I'm convinced that Clark's main goal in life is to watch underage kids have sex.. and make us watch it as well. The acting is awful, I mean the ACTUAL acting. The two guys training the Indian chick looked real enough to know that it isn't acting. I can tolerate many things in movies. Gore, Guts, Sex, Rape, Cannibalism, Vin Diesel, Abortion.. the list goes on and on. The one thing I can't tolerate is kiddy porn.
yomuthafukinazz
July 1, 2009
This was the perfect example of the type of movie that I like. Odd and dark. If anybody has any recommendations along these lines that would be great. Pluses for odd dark and erotic!
pedroesteban86
May 16, 2009
This movie was interesting to say the least. It was a little boring at times. I prefer 'Kids' to this movie.
February 11, 2009
Larry Clark does it again. This time with more hardcore porn in it too. Lotsa cum. but thats a side story. This film shows the frustration of growing up in different types of families and relationships between parents and their kids. I would say the moral is that some kids just find more comfortability with their friends because parents can be pretty fucked up. See it if you are (or arent) into dark fucked up movies. Its beautiful nonetheless
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