I was totally stoked to attend the World Premiere of Quentin Lee’s new film, WHITE FROG, starring Booboo Stewart and Harry Shum Jr. It was totally worth the $55 ticket and the seven-hour drive from Los Angeles. Below is a video of my red carpet coverage…
I’ll admit to this freely…
I shed man tears by the time the credits rolled. This is a testament to Booboo Stewart as an actor. He gave an astonishing performance for an actor his age. Don’t worry, it’s not a sad or overly dramatic movie. It’s a character-driven film with some unexpected funny moments. Booboo Stewart plays the main protagonist, Nick Young, a teenager with asperger syndrome who must adjust to life after a family tragedy.
I love that the writers make it clear to the audience that asperger syndrome is NOT the same as mental retardation. When I watched Booboo play his character, I didn’t think of RAIN MAN or TROPIC THUNDER. I didn’t think about the joke about how an actor should “never go full retard.” I love how the writers wrote in dialogue that was sensitive to the use of the word, “retard.”
The story itself is very easy to follow. When I fidgeted in my seat at the Castro Theater, it was only because I had back pain, not because the movie bothered me. NO SPOILERS HERE. I won’t go into the plot or story, but I’ll say what’s obvious. The first few minutes are properly spent introducing the main characters, setting up the world they live in, and establishing the tone for the rest of the film. By the last few minutes, I felt that I have experienced the complete journey of our beloved characters. That to me, is what makes the film great.
There was one technical problem that bothered me as I watched the film. Some shots were really washed out, as if the camera operator didn’t bother to check the zebras for hot white spots in the frame. I wondered if that was an aesthetic choice. The film is called “White Frog,” so I figured that maybe the cinematographer was going for a “white” theme. When the Q&A session was about to start, Quentin Lee went on stage and immediately apologized for the projector settings. I thought that was a humorous moment and I love Quentin for his quirky, humble humor.
The Castro Theater was really packed! I heard that it was a sold out show, and I was very impressed with the level of enthusiasm coming from the crowd. There were lots of laughter and cheers throughout the film. I could’ve sworn I heard girls swoon during Harry Shum Jr.’s shirtless scenes! Overall, I loved the vibe coming from the audience, and that is what makes going out to the movies a pleasant experience. There were no babies crying, mobile phone disasters, or hecklers that I heard. That’s a win!
Finally, I just want to conclude with a big congratulations to the cast and crew for making such a pleasant indie film to watch. Great job, everyone! This movie will go far in the festival circuit for sure, so for those who haven’t seen the film yet, take the chance to see it when it arrives in town.
In the mean time, this is Awkward Russell’s review and I’m signing out. Peace!