Summer Phoenix narrates this tale of teen perdition. She and Aaron Paul are hooked onheroin. Phoenix overdoses. Drug-free pal Nick Stahl steps in to try to save her from herself, butbefore you know it, he becomes curious about heroin, and down the drain he goes. It’s a tragedy,folks.
And it’s stupid. Produced for MTV, it looks exactly like what you’d expect from that source.So you have perpetual flash and dazzle: slow-mo, blurring, smears, hand-held, the whole nine…yards. The camera never lets up, and none of the effects have any particular purpose. The plotis hysterically predictable. Add to this the whole “inspired by real events” aspect and the earnestmessage, and you have the 21st Century answer to Reefer Madness.
Gee, you’d think that a production made for something that, once upon a time, meant MusicTelevision might have a first-rate sound. Nope. The music, unsurprisingly, is solid, and roarsfrom all speakers when it kicks in. Otherwise, the surround aspects are rather uninspiring.There’s some nice hospital background noise, but for the most part the sound is very ordinary(not to mention 2.0).
The film looks awful, but this is more due to dubious artistic choices and being shot on videothan to flaws in the transfer. The grain and murk and thus deliberate. I think there was some sortof gesture towards documentary realism, but the vérité is sabotaged by the self-indulgentflourishes. What IS the fault of the transfer, however, is the re-formatting of the film tofullscreen. Tut tut.
A pretty lame trailer, and that’s it.
I know, I know, I should be ashamed of myself for trivializing a real social problem. But thistrite exercise in ersatz “edge” should be just as ashamed.
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