A street hustler who makes all the wrong moves finds himself doing hard time in the penitentiary in this hard-edged drama. Slim is a small time drug dealer who tries to make that one big ...
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A street hustler who makes all the wrong moves finds himself doing hard time in the penitentiary in this hard-edged drama. Slim is a small time drug dealer who tries to make that one big deal that is going to put him on easy street. With his partner in crime Paulie they think they have a major dope deal set up but unfortunately for them the deal goes terribly wrong and they are lucky to come away with their lives. They get busted and Slim later finds out that Paulie testified against him to save his own skin. Slim's best efforts at plea-bargaining still leave him with a eight year sentence in San Quentin one of California's most notorious prisons. Slim quickly discovers that life in prison is divided along strict racial lines. Slim does his best to stay away out of all the racially inspired violence and stay to himself. But one of his fellow convicts KC pulls a dope fiend move that puts Slim on the enemies list of Sammytown, who is the brutal leader of the prison's white supremacist ... Written by
I was curious to learn what professional reviewers said after reading the mixed bag of personal raves/rants here so I looked it up in Variety, then rented the movie. Yeah, it's not fantastic but have some pizza and beer and it's entertaining. Forget the plot; the interesting stuff is in the prison scenes when the guys are sitting around talking story. Checked with an industry source and found this was made with less than half the budget of the originally released El Mariachi. Glad to see some true indies are pulling together films and getting big distributors to pick them up. Should encourage other filmmakers. Down Time ran in several indie festivals (SF Indie, No Dance, Lost Film Festival) plus a big festival in San Jose, CA called Cinequest. Obviously there is something worthwhile to it.
Some quotes from the "Daily Variety" review by Dennis Harvey. (I can't quote the entire article for copyright reasons, of course, but you can go to the Variety site and look it up yourself.)
"Loosely drawn from debuting director - scenarist Sean Wilson's own stint in the slammer, B&W indie drama `Down Time' is an interesting, albeit uneven effort...Still, it's worth a look by indie-focused fests; commercially, best chances lie in homevid."
"..Slim whiles away some years in the company of fellow abstainers from the population's rigid, race-divided power struggles. These scenes are often loose and funny, with David Burkson and David Fine particularly entertaining as two of the prison's more harmless `characters.' "
"Given that, plus some inconsistent tech qualities, `Down Time' still has enough quirky and intriguing aspects to hold attention."
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