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The Salton Sea
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Salton Sea More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great Film Buried By 911

Author: lvpettus2 (lvpettus2@aol.com) from Miami, Florida
31 August 2003

I saw this movie when we were going thru the 911 Tragedy. It was to be released and was held back, I feel that is what killed this film in the box office. There may be other reasons that I am not aware of, but D.J.Caruso has a very good eye for reality. You can see the same vision & reality in his series "The Shield", it is also in this movie.I applaud him in this movie, it was better to me then "Traffic". I am a film maker and have worked with few A-listed Directors,I am looking forward to seeing more of his work in the future.

Great Little Film, Val was great as was his cast. This is a Great Little Film That got smothered by the big releases.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Stylish suspense drama.

7/10
Author: senortuffy from Glen Ellen, CA
30 August 2003

This is a pretty good film about a man bent on revenge and the elaborate plan he undergoes to get the people who shot his wife. It's centered around the world of speed freaks, dealers, and a pair of crooked cops. Rather than go into any plot detail and spoil it for anyone, let me just say that there are many twists and turns along the way to redemption.

Val Kilmer plays the central character who's out to get his wife's killers, and his acting, albeit a bit cold and impersonal, is right for the part.

The supporting cast is very good also. Vincent D'Onofrio is especially good in the role of Pooh-Bear, the good ole boy cooker/dealer. He's an interesting combination of malevolence and humor, and I thought he stole the movie. Anthony Lapaglia plays one of the dirty cops, and Luis Guzmán plays a slimeball working for the Mexican mob. R. Lee Ermey also makes a brief appearance, although not with his "Full Metal Jacket" co-star, D'Onofrio.

Takes itself a bit too seriously, but the movie is interesting to watch and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes suspense films with a dash of film noir in them.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Reality...

Author: proudestmonkey from Dallas, Texas
21 August 2003

The people responsible for making this film obviously have spent some time in the Salton City because that is EXACTLY what it is like. Everyone I run into comments that they think the Salton Sea is where serial killers and drug dealers go to never be found again. I actually ate lunch there once...and seeing this movie reminded me of that day. The movie itself is a very well written and directed. If you like movies with revenge, plot twists, and the reality of how messed up you can actually be on speed, this movie is for you.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A perfect example of what is wrong with the movie industry

Author: (bhc-1) from Chicago, IL
28 July 2003

I have watched thousands of movies and the vast majorities of them are predictable. The Salton Sea is an intriguing film that keeps you entertained with never ending plot twists. This is the type of movie that deserves and Academy Award for being intelligent. After watching this movie on cable, I felt cheated that I never had the opportunity to see it in the theater. If the movie industry wants to survive it must continue to produce great films like this and let them play in the theater instead of the strait to video trend if it does not test well in front of some Bible belt audience. It is sad that I go to the theater weekly to see movies and leave unfulfilled, and then when I get home, I see a wonderful film like the Salton Sea. I am at the point of giving up on the theater and sticking to cable for good movies.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Kilmer delivers

6/10
Author: rosscinema from United States
9 June 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Its been quite some time since we've seen Val Kilmer in anything resembling an interesting role and while the story and script are familiar its Kilmers performance that enables it to come off. The story starts with Kilmer as Danny Parker sitting on the floor bleeding in a house that is on fire and he narrates what has happened to him. Parker is a druggie who also is a snitch for two police officers (Anthony Lapaglia and Doug Hutchinson) and we learn that he is an ex-jazz man and a widower. We also learn that Danny Parker is an alias for Tom Van Allen and the two cops tell him that some Hispanic drug dealer that he snitched on is out to get him. Parker wants to get out and disappear but he needs money so with the help of his friend Jimmy (Peter Sarsgaard) he sets up a big drug deal with a strange guy with no nose named Pooh-Bear (Vincent D'Onofrio). *****SPOILER ALERT***** As the film continues we discover that Parker is actually undercover for the FBI and the two cops are dirty and responsible for the death of his wife. The film is directed by D.J. Caruso who does a good job of helping to elevate this material up a notch considering that we have seen this type of film before. The cinematography is very good and in certain scenes the film has a dreamlike effect and the script has some poetic qualities that enable it to have a good flow and rhythm. D'Onofrio as Pooh-Bear gives us one of the more memorable villains in film in a number of years. This character has no nose and recreates JFK's assassination with pigeons! He talks like a good ol' boy but if he thinks you've done him wrong he lets you know that you will pay. D'Onofrio shines with this colorful character and its essential to the film. But at the core of the picture is Kilmers performance. When he's good (Tombstone) he can be as good as any actor in the business. While this is a familiar story it still has scenes in it that allows Kilmer to really showcase his talent. One scene that stands out is near the end when he puts the gun to his head and contemplates suicide. A very strong scene. Some critics hated this film and they cited that its another sleazy drug film with sleazy characters and you can't argue with most of that but the performances by D'Onofrio and especially Kilmer add that little something extra to make it something more. Film has a lyrical quality to the way its told and this also helps make the characters become more defined. In the end, I was very happy just to see Kilmer in a good role. I hope he gets more quality parts because he's to gifted of an actor.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

what is the nature of identity?

7/10
Author: rxw from San Francisco, US
19 May 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

spoilers ahead:

contrary to what the movie may seem to be (the meth scene, cop drama, revenge tale) it's really about who we are. _blade runner_ asked it, _total recall_ asked it, and now we have another entry. the salton sea looks great; excellent costume design (all the tweakers have taste of some kind, whether it's wretched [pooh bear] or sublime [danny flynn]) and set dressing (the meth party where we're introduced to shalom harlow and the rest of the crew, for example). film's primarily visual, so we need this gorgeous hook to pull us into the world; and once we're there, the central question is this: are we the things we do, or are we who we believe we are? danny does drugs and rats out dealers, so that makes him a lowlife scumbag. tom thinks he's a failure and thinks he needs to get revenge to right the wrong perpetrated on his wife. the question is answered rather neatly at the end: we are the sum of the choices we've made, and the choices we're going to make.

the salton sea is viewable as a straight ahead drama, but there's more to see if you care to look. it's quite good.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

drugs and death! wheeeeeeee

Author: JamieWJackson from United States
17 April 2003

A bit weird, lots of cliches, some of its parts don't seem to be from the same movie, but despite all that, it's engrossing and stylish and I enjoyed it a lot. During the first few minutes, I wasn't sure I was going to like this one; the voiceover monologue was SO cliched that my brain started to itch. Pretty soon, though, things got interesting, and then the rest of the movie happened.

The last shot (or almost the last one) in the movie is amazing: Kilmer standing on the edge of the Salton Sea (I guess) with one tree sticking up partway out of the water maybe 50 feet out from the water's edge. When that shot first came on the screen I couldn't believe it was real; it looked like a beautiful painting. Then he threw the trumpet into the water, and sure enough, it was real! At least, I think it was, or else it was fantastic special effects. Great colors and lighting; very striking shot. Marvy job on that one, guys. (The rest of the movie was well shot too, but that one took my breath away.)

8/10 for me. About all I didn't like was the unreality of the female death scene (she wouldn't have lived that long), the unlikeliness of a cop missing the fact that one person in a gunfight had worn a bulletproof vest and thus had survived, and the difficulty I had in following a couple of developments (probably I'd "get it" if I watched the movie again, though).

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A short review of The Salton Sea

Author: carlso_me (carlso_me@denison.edu) from Granville, Ohio
15 April 2003

I don't throw this around very often, but this is one of the best films I've seen in the last few years.

I have not seen such originality on screen for quite a while. The Salton Sea tells the tale of a meth addict(Val Kilmer) who has lost his wife for reasons unknown. Without giving away too much, I can say that this film will take the audience on very twisty and entertaining ride. It is not a slave to the idea that every thriller must have some crazy twist at the end. However, it does twist its story around quite a bit. In this is its genius.

The film is great because it sets up a modern story in a film noir setting. Like a noir film, it never allows the audience to get comfortable. Just when you think you have figured out the plot, you haven't. The Salton Sea is an entertaining stylish piece of filmmaking in which you will see Kilmer in one of his best performances (It's no Doc Holiday, but let's not be hasty).

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

MORE TRUTH THAN THE TAGLINE

Author: tdavid564 from CANON CITY, COLORADO
12 April 2003

as one who once plumbed the depths of the meth world i can tell you this was a job well done by all.good acting by all concerned.i don't think the manic world of tweakers can be overstated.it,too,is by turns hilarious or dark & nasty.as far as reality goes,there was more snorting than is actually done in real life.most smoke or inject,but this may have been a personal preference by the director or something to do with the rating board. having blurted all that out,i have to say i really enjoyed this movie & recommend it to anyone wanting something a little offbeat.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A dark yet entertaining film

7/10
Author: (chvylvr80@aol.com) from Northridge, California
26 March 2003

The Salton Sea has got to be THE film made with tweakers in mind. That said, this is a very interesting and visually dazzling film both in the way it was shot and in the way that it brings the characters in it to life. Adam Goldberg's "heist" plan is a prime example of this. Overall this movie is very well done and it is destined to be a cult film. Val Kilmer does a better than average job and Vincent D'Onofrio is amazing as usual. He has got to be the most underrated actor of all time. Bottom Line: If you like offbeat movies, then check this one out.

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