Episode 130: A Better Place (1997)

Hey everybody Jonathan Moody here and welcome to Season 6! Yes we’re finally out of Season 5 and in to Season 6. We are stoked for this! Season 5 was a fun year but oh boy this one has been very interesting so far. To start it all off I decided to do a movie I tried to do last year but the disc wouldn’t work so I had to order a brand new disc from Ebay and I am quite happy with it. I decided we finally needed to see, “A Better Place”… and thankfully a better disc cause it actually worked. Once again I am joined by co host Paul A Presenza and our special guest Joe Turek on this NEW EPISODE

Now both of these guys haven’t seen A Better Place. And they knew nothing about it, really. All they knew was that Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier produced it and that Vincent Periera directed it. And thank God that’s all they knew. This was a film done for the View Askew universe. It really didn’t have many connections to that world except one character we are all pretty sure (And I believe the commentary proved it to be so) that he was the same character from Clerks… As they call him in this movie Whipporwill Asshole played by Lee Benedick who was “#12 Wynarksi” in Clerks… The “No time for love Doctor Jones” guy that Randal runs in to. I wonder if he ever found his keys? Maybe that’s why he’s such an asshole in this one. 

Why do I only run into you teenage slackers I want my movie!

Shot a few years after Clerks I believe around 96 or 97. It was released in 1997 during a Kevin Smith film festival called Vulgarthon. It’d be nice if they brought that back. According to Wikipedia It’s budget was about 100,000 dollars (tho I do remember its was smaller than that, my guess is 50 K). It was shot on film and shot in NJ where the writer/director Vincent Periera lives.  Periera was a big part in Kevin Smith becoming a cinefile. Both of them would go see midnight screenings at the Angelika together. After Smith blew up with Clerks he helped fund a few projects from his friends like Perieria’s A Better Place, Malcolm Ingram/Matt Gissing’s Drawing Flies, Bryan Johnson’s Vulgar, and Brian Lynch’s Big Helium Dog. 

The logline to the movie is as follows by Vincent himself: 

Two high school outcasts (Barret, the new kid in school, and Ryan, a self-confessed misanthrope with a violent past) form an obsessive friendship which spirals out of control and ends in murder. 

That is pretty much the movie in a nutshell. The two outcasts become friends and things keep spiraling out of control. What I loved most about it is it’s a movie that makes you think. Especially think in sort of a darker way. You can sort of relate to a lot of the characters and you really feel sorry for both Barret and Ryan. However the ends don’t justify the means and when you watch the film you will see how quickly disturbing things tend to turn. 

There are a few more characters in the movie including a jock named Todd and his friends who want to get revenge on Ryan for kicking Todd’s ass. There is also Augustine (Carmen Llwelyn) and Eddie (Brian Lynch) who both become friends with Barret and makes Ryan very jealous. There’s also a couple View Askew actors who show up in parts including Jason Lee (who has two parts in this), Scott Mosier, and Ethan Suplee. We are always happy to see Ethan pop up in everything!  

I would say more but honestly I’d rather you seek out and find it yourself. Right now it’s only available on DVD but the Blu Ray is supposedly coming out from what Vincent has told me personally. Hell I’d love a 4K of this flick. It has the most beautiful outdoor shots I’ve seen since Badlands.

When do I get to see the sailboat???

And now the scores are in… 

Paul and Joe both seemed to really like it. Though Joe and I liked it a lot better… Paul isn’t so big on movies with teen characters. However these teens are definitely played by characters older than teens. Still he is not in to that. I gave it a 2 on the Stinkometer, Joe gave it a 1.5, and Paul gave it a 4.5 giving it a total score of 8. That puts it up on the Ladder of Stink next to Hey, Stop Stabbing Me; Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter; and Arcade, and is a Stinky Average of 2.7 – not a bad group to be with. In fact I’d watch all those movies again and again. And probably have. 

Well that is the beginning of this next season. We have a lot more in store for you. Get ready! Until then though Paul is gonna take over and tell its all where you can get some A Better Place Schwag! Take it away Paul….

MOO! While I do feel A Better Place was a pretty good flick I am cowcerned that we are upping the quality of moovies around here – THAT WILL NOT STAND!! :=8O

I gots no trailer for yeh. There might be one out there floating around, but I don’t has it. I can tell you that it is playing on Reelgood and you can buy it on either DVD or VHS on Amazon, where it is also on Prime. Apparently you can rent it at DVD.com too. You can also find copies in the re-sale market, especially Ebay. There is not mooch schwag out there for this film, unfortunately, but there are a number of good reviews and write ups, including Film Threat, Pulsing Cinema, Music Geek.org, and udder Youtube reviews. Also, if you buy the Amazon dvd there is a special Easter Egg you need to look for in the commentary!

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