Brick / Mechanicsburg
Rian Johnson is one of those directors who hit the scene fully-formed and ready to party in the domain of moving images. At least Naomi and Jesse can agree on that. It's what makes it so perfect that they don't always seem to agree on. Is it the crackling dialog? The throw-you-in-the-mix nature of the first act? The terrific performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas and Noah Fleiss? Hey, maybe it's a combination of all those elements. After the dynamic duo gushes positive for the first half, Jesse pitches Mechanicsburg, a who's-got-the-rock noir set in his home state of Pennsylvania. If you think this is the last time he'll pitch something that takes place in Pennsylvania, you've got another thing coming, Friend.