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DVD Review: Dead Awake starring Nick Stahl, Rose McGowan and Amy Smart

Dead Awake is a suspenseful romantic thriller directed by Omar Naim based on a script written by Johnny Harrington and Justin Urich. The film stars Nick Stahl, Rose McGowan and Amy Smart. The film follows "Dylan, a young man working at a funeral parlor, is trying to unravel a mystery that shattered his life ten years earlier. After faking his own funeral to see who will show up, he befriends a mysterious street junkie and is reunited with an old love from his past. The lives of these three characters are transformed by supernatural forces as Dylan discovers that no one is who they seem to be."

Dylan's life is not really going anywhere. He lost his parents ten years ago in a strange car crash and is currently working in a funeral parlor. His life really is not what he had planned and he realizes that while working the
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Exclusive: Amy Smart Talks Dead Awake, Blood Brothers, Crank 3 and More

With director Omar Naim’s supernaturally-tinged Dead Awake opening in limited release this Friday, December 3 (the flick is set to hit DVD/Blu-ray on March 29 of next year), this writer caught up today with one of the film’s principals, actress Amy Smart, who dished on the movie as well as the possibility of a third film in the Crank series and her potential inclusion in a future horror project.

Known best as a comedic actress for her turns in the films Just Friends and Road Trip (among others) and to genre fans for her roles in The Butterfly Effect and Mirrors (as well the gonzo action flicks Crank and Crank: High Voltage, in which she portrayed the girlfriend of actor Jason Statham’s adrenalized hit-man ‘Chev Chelios’), Smart appears in Dead Awake as ‘Natalie’, the long-lost love of young funeral parlor employee ‘Dylan’ (actor Nick Stahl), a young man
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Stahl, McGowan and the Sexy Amy Smart Wrap on Dead Awake Shoot

Omar Naim's ('The Final Cut') latest mystery thriller 'Dead Awake' has wrapped it's shoot. It's 3 main stars, Nick Stahl (who's just signed on to Vincenzo Natali's '388 Areletta Avenue'), Rose McGowan and Amy Smart (below) are in the can and hopefully this baby can be cut in time for it's 3 December Us release date. Ben Marten, Kim Grimaldi, Brian Lynner, Justin Marxen, James Serpento, Jack Mishler, Shane Simmons and Rachel Storey all co-star in 'Dead Awake' which was penned by Johnny Harrington, Justin Urich ('Lake Placid 2 ') and David Boivin. 'Dylan, a young man working at a funeral parlor, is trying to unravel a mystery that shattered his life ten years earlier. After faking his own funeral to see who will show up, he befriends a mysterious street junkie and is reunited with an old love from his past. The
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Film review: 'Scrapbook'

The theme of high school alienation is familiar, especially for an indie, but there is enough fresh energy and perspective in "Scrapbook" to lift it a notch above most low-budget, first-film features. Filmmaker Kurt Kuenne shows versatile promise, but at this juncture of his young career, writing is the weakest element.

In this contemporary teen tale, Justin Urich stars as Curt, a reclusive, gawky teen whose shyness and social awkwardness make him a veritable outcast. Curt's a nice, talented kid, but in the sharkish world of high school, he's vulnerable to the nastier, more aggressive kids. Overall, you feel for Curt, and writer-director Kuenne has nicely limned his predicament.

Unfortunately, the most dramatic scenes -- in which Curt is confronted with bad news or a difficult situation -- are woefully underwritten. Kuenne knows what's important but doesn't seem to have the writing ability to bring the drama to its highest pitch. Still, the overall story line is perceptive and solid and, despite the film's unrealized dramatic potential, generally holds interest.

The acting is mostly solid, with Urich delivering a likable performance as the troubled teen, while Chadwick Palmatier is outstanding as a bully -- downright scary, as if he barged in from a Martin Scorsese gangster set. Among the other young players, Keili Lefkovitz stands out, not only for her sultry vocals but for her on-target portrayal of a somewhat callous pretty girl.

Technical contributions are only so-so, deadened by Dominique Faix's dim lighting and standard framings, while Kuenne's musical score adds some contemporary strains that hit the right emotional notes.

SCRAPBOOK

Fragile Entertainment

A Roni Eguia/Andrew Borakove production

A film by Kurt Kuenne

Producers: Roni Eguia, Andrew Borakove, Kurt Kuenne

Screenwriter-director-editor: Kurt Kuenne

Executive producer: Richard Kuenne

Director of photography: Dominique Faix

Casting: James Scott, Vicki Goggin

Music: Kurt Kuenne

Color/stereo

Cast:

Curt Martin: Justin Urich

Andy Martin: Eric Balfour

Jake: Chadwick Palmatier

Lisa: Keili Lefkovitz

Tyler: Jed Rhein

Norm: Brandon Peterson

Hank: Aaron Nomaktchiensky

Running time -- 110 minutes

No MPAA rating

See also

Credited With | External Sites