I usually meet discs that contain a movie that I have never previously heard of with a groan. I figure the chances are that if I missed it in theaters, and I have never seen a preview for it, or seen it mentioned on a chat board, there’s probably a good reason. These were my exact feelings on the day that 3-Way arrived on my doorstep. These feelings were further confirmed upon insertion of the disc, when I was greeted by trailers for such classic films as Cruel intentions 2 and 3, and Wild Thi…gs 2.
It was with an apprehensive heart that I finally pushed the “play” button on my remote. “At least it’s only 88 minutes long,” I told myself. Imagine my utter shock when the film actually tuned out to be entertaining! Now, it’s certainly not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but it sure is a load of fun. In fact, it is fun in very much the same way that the original Wild Things was fun. There is lots of sex, lots of crime, and everybody double-crosses everybody else; all of which is portrayed by a cast of semi-popular actors.
There is really too much going on in this film to give a plot synopsis as such, but the basic idea is that a good-guy criminal overhears two other criminal’s plans for a kidnapping and murder scheme, and he wants in on the action. The rest of the film focuses on who is double-crossing whom, with appearances by Dwight Yoakam and Gina Gershon. Now who can argue with that? It’s fun for the whole dysfunctional family.
Even more shocking than the “fun” factor of the film is the “wow” factor of the audio. I was quite simply blown away by the powerful soundtrack on this disc. Every element of a great mix was here, from tight highs to an incredible low end. Surrounds were used frequently and tastefully, and dialog was clear and precise. Also nice was the way in which sounds realistically followed their sources across the huge sound stage. The audio does a first-rate job of placing the viewer right in the middle of a large, crime-filled environment.
Equally as pleasing was the fun and inventive score by Christopher Hoag. Hoag is an unknown, but he certainly has a unique style that will serve him well with the right opportunities. I was actually reminded of BT’s score from Monster throughout my viewing of the film. It is a perfect compliment to the characters and situations being portrayed on screen, and it is presented in an extremely worthwhile mix.
The video quality is quite nice in its own right, though it is certainly not as excellent as the audio track. The opening few scenes of the film are extremely stylized, with an unwashed, silvery-sheen dominating the print. Jump cuts, handheld cameras and varying camera speeds all help to disorient the viewer. Once the film gets rolling, however, the craziness slows down, resulting in a film that is visually interesting, but still easy to watch. Time-lapse photography shows up throughout the film, which really helps to add to the movie’s trendy feeling. Much like the aforementioned Hoag, Director Scott Ziehl has virtually guaranteed himself more work in Hollywood with the look of this film… even if that works comes in the form of an episode of The Shield.
From a technical standpoint, the widescreen presentation looks great. There are a few blemishes that show up here and there, but for the most part, this is a clean transfer, free from dust, grain, and other artifacts. Black levels are deep, and colors are strong. I have no valid complaints with the video quality on this disc.
Unfortunately, this is a trailers-only release. I would actually have been pleased to have seen something more on this disc, even if it was just a promotional piece on the making of the film. At least the majority of the trailers are in 5.1.
I’ll be the first to admit that this film is probably a bit too much of a blatant rip-off of Wild Things than it should be. I will also admit that it is certainly not what I would call great cinema. It is, however, very, very fun, with enough twists and turns along the way to keep the audience guessing right down to the very last shot. While the disc is not the greatest, and it should probably only be purchased by true fans of the film, this movie is absolutely worth the price of a rental.
Special Features List