The Eagle's Tale

‘Bomb City’ delivers explosive viewing experience

Bomb+City+is+the+story+of+Brian+Deneke%2Ca+19+year+old+teen+who+was+murdered+following+a+street+fight+in+1997.
Bomb City is the story of Brian Deneke,a 19 year old teen who was murdered following a street fight in 1997.

Bomb City is the story of Brian Deneke,a 19 year old teen who was murdered following a street fight in 1997.

Provided image used with permission of Gravitas Ventures

Provided image used with permission of Gravitas Ventures

Bomb City is the story of Brian Deneke,a 19 year old teen who was murdered following a street fight in 1997.

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On a hazy night in December, Brian Deneke jumps out of the bed of a pickup truck. His hair is slicked up in a green mohawk. The makeshift weapon he wields, little more than a padlock on a chain, swings in a lazy circle, cutting the air as it moves on its orbit. On one side, a motley crew of cheerleaders, football players and popular high school jocks; on the other, an angry collection of punks in leather jackets and combat boots. The two groups clash, baseball bats slam into police batons, and chains thud against leather. Out of the cacophony of people, a new threat arises: a popular football player in a Cadillac on a collision course. Brian Deneke, his target, isn’t fast enough to avoid the car. The setting is all too familiar, because it’s all happening in a parking lot in Amarillo. Although based on real-world events, these are happening on screen as part of the new movie by 3rd Identity Films, “Bomb City.”

The film is currently not rated, however it isn’t recommend for the young or easily offended.”

— John Flatt, 11

“Bomb City” follows the life and death of Brian Deneke, a teen living in Amarillo in the late 90’s. The film, based on a true story, transitions between moments from the court case and flashbacks to the weeks and moments leading up to the night of Deneke’s death. “Bomb City” opened to select theaters and the Apple iTunes store Feb. 9.  The advance screening at the Amarillo Globe Center Jan. 23 provided an opportunity to review the film prior to general release.

The casting in the film is done exceptionally well, with Dave Davis executing his role as Deneke perfectly. Despite several of the actors being relatively unknown, there are no weak members of the cast. The film is currently not rated, however it isn’t recommend for the young or easily offended. While the interactions in the film are very realistic, there is a fair share of hard language and alcohol consumption, as well as moments of intense violence.

The movie is highly emotionally charged with moments of soft spoken fragility which contrast sharply with the depictions of violence and the harder aspects of the punk lifestyle. The cinematography only adds to this, with the lighting in the film being done spectacularly.

Overall, the movie reaches an elite technical level. However, during intense moments in the film, a loud vibrating bass tone plays. This creates a perfect atmosphere for those intense scenes, but it can occasionally obscure important dialogue. Whether it was a product of a faulty speaker or other equipment issues, this noise distracted from the impact of those moments.

The movie is highly emotionally charged, with moments of soft spoken fragility which contrast sharply with the depictions of violence and the harder aspects of the punk lifestyle.”

— John Flatt, 11

Perhaps the most shocking choice in the film was the decision to use actual courtroom transcripts in the scenes covering the legal battle following Brian’s death. The moments had so much intensity, they provoked outbursts of yelling from the audience almost without fail. The defense’s testimony is highly disturbing and speaks volumes about the level of tolerance at the time. This only serves to reinforce the film’s message and drives home the points the film crafts.

“Bomb City” is one of the best movies I have ever seen. Moments of peace contrast violently with the discrimination the punks face and culminate in an ending which perfectly captures the tragedy on which it was based. “Bomb City” is one of the most important films to emerge from this area. It is a movie which unabashedly sticks to its message and embodies the term, “Justice for all.”

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About the Writer
John Flatt, Video Editor
Hey there, I’m John Flatt, the video editor for The Eagle’s Tale. I play the alto saxophone in the band, I’m an Eagle Scout, and I’m looking forward to spending this year with all my friends here on the newspaper staff.  I hope to entertain and inform you this school year, and I will do...
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‘Bomb City’ delivers explosive viewing experience