Down Time, a direct to video release, set mostly in prison. The worst crime these guys commit is felony bad acting. I’d love to sentence the producers to 25 to life of watching their own movie, but the Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. If you like prison films, you’re better off watching Oz reruns. Everything about this film plays out like a high school A.V. project. Actually that’s unkind, because I’ve seen much better high school video projects.
Slim (Van Nolan) is a down on his luck drug dealer who was set up and now finds himself facing the harsh realities of prison life.
The soundtrack shows up as a Dolby Digital 5.1 but halfway through the film I had to run a system check because nothing came out of the rear channels or the sub. The score is a repetitive bass and drum drone which somehow fails to activate my sub. The dialogue is often lost in background noise. Did any of these guys ever hear of looping? This is as poor an audio track as I’ve heard.
Down Time is presented in the full screen format. As with the video, it doesn’t get a hell of a lot worse. Colors are almost always saturated. Blacks are extremely muddy. There are no film artifacts or specks, but there is a distracting abundance of compression artifact. At times the picture resorts to sub-par camcorder quality.
There is a commentary track by Sean Wilson, who’s pretty much responsible for this mess as he wrote, directed, and produced it. The commentary is almost funny when you get the impression that this guy considers this a masterpiece. In addition to the commentary track, there are a couple of music videos that are as bad as the film itself.
A casual reader might think I was dumping on the film because I might not appreciate the genre. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a fan of Oz and many of the classic prison movies of the past. The sets are terrible and the acting worse. Ed Wood had better production values and at least he admitted his product was … not Hollywood standard. Don’t take my word for it. But rent before you buy. “Are you ready? I hope so, because it’s Down Time”.