The film is “based on true events” (an opening announcement the director wasn’t too happyabout) and tells the story of Christian Rayne (Brian White). He dreams of a career in acting, andignores the advice of his best friend, deciding against going to university. He doesn’t want to usehis family connections, however (having a rather conflicted relationship with his father), and thechoices he makes, and the people he meets, set him down a path to drugs and despair.
Working with a small budget, the film aims high, and benefits from strong, expressiveperformances. Where there is a weakness is in the script, which is far too talky and has thecharacters spelling everything out for us. There is too much telling going on instead ofshowing.
The audio comes in both 5.1 and 2.0 versions. The 5.1 mix is very weak, with no much morethan clarity to recommend it. There is virtually nothing to be heard by way of surround. The 2.0mix is much stronger. The environmental effects, in particular, come through strongly andconsistently. Of course, the left-right separation in the rear is non-existent, but this is still betterthan nothing at all, which is what you get with the 5.1.
Artisan hits us with so many fullscreen editions, that it’s a relief when a widescreenpresentation does turn up. This is what we have here, in 1.78:1. Unfortunately, the picture is notanamorphic, with concomitant loss of definition. The close-ups are still pretty sharp, though thesoftness is quite visible in long shot. The colours are good, and there is no grain or edgeenhancement to speak of.
Writer/director/co-producer Sean Reid and co-producer/editor Bonner Bellew team up forthe commentary, and their talk is a seamless fusing of both thematic and technical concerns. Theother, minor, extras are a still gallery and trailers for Redemption, Menace,Final Examination, Down Time, and Guilty by Association. The menu’smain page, intro and transitions are animated and scored.
Though overwritten, this is at least a film that is really trying for something, and thefilmmakers show distinct promise.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Still Gallery