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Spun More at IMDbPro »

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147 out of 171 people found the following review useful:

People looking for a plot are missing the point

Author: Mike from Whitefish, Montana
12 October 2004

This movie is a realistic portrayal of the meth lifestyle, not because it's a realistic movie, but because it's a bunch of tweakers very busy doing nothing. My friend and I laughed during the whole movie because we both knew people who fit the characters in the film perfectly. If you don't know anyone into drugs this movie probably won't appeal to you. The moviemakers get a lot of facets of the lifestyle spot-on, like the importance of the car. The main character is the most important person in the movie, even more important than the cook, because he's got a car. A lot of the movie is spent driving around on various crank-related missions, most of them pointless. And that's really what being a crankster is about, getting high for the sake of getting high and finding ways to fill all that extra time they now have. If the characters come off as blunted and one-dimensional it's because that's how the people they're portraying are.

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96 out of 120 people found the following review useful:

Brutally awesome movie...(from an ex-tweeker)

Author: The_Bogmonkey_Supremacy from Denver CO
16 February 2005

Twenty years ago, I fought my battle with crank and won (thankfully)...needless to say, while watching this movie I began to taste the "drains" down the back of my throat, and feel strung out like a three-day-binger...That's good film-making.

I suppose my position as ex-tweeker gives me more appreciation for this film. But it just works out to a really good, wild ride. I wanted to turn it off, really I did, but I could not stop watching it - period.

All of the characters were brilliantly portrayed. Mena Suvari was a TAD un-convincing as a speed freak, but I think I was holding a lot of her previous roles against her. John Leguizamo (sp?) almost went too far with his role, but he pulled it off, by gum.

One of my favorite things was all the dang cameo appearances. When I saw Rob Halford behind the counter of the Porn Shop, I said to myself "this movie has hit the button"...Classic~!~! There are many more cameos or near-cameos (i.e. Deborah Harry), which add a sense of fun to the film.

I think if you've never done crank, you might have a problem relating to this movie. I was CONSTANTLY cringing at each "snort, hiss, fizzle, snap" (as they did the drugs)...Man I'm glad I beat that monkey! I will buy this movie.

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62 out of 68 people found the following review useful:


Author: Rooster99 from Paris, France
17 October 2003

This film was great! Many people have compared it to Requiem for a Dream, however I preferred this movie. Requiem accurately depicted drug addiction and how low some people would sink for their next hit. It was a very depressing and powerful movie, not one I would ever want to watch again. You leave the theater feeling extremely drained. Spun is altogether different. The only thing they have in common is their central theme. Spun centers around Ross, the fairly normal speed freak as his addiction takes him farther and farther away from reality.

Initially, I thought the characters were grossly overacted, however as the movie progressed, the opening sequences did not seem as far removed from Ross' world as I had originally thought. It was very interesting to see Ross' character move farther and farther away from reality. It was only a 3-day all-you-can-consume speed trip, however he started off as a normal guy with a drug problem and ended up on Mars, completely detached from reality. I also thought the cartoon sequences were very effective, they accurately demonstrated his impoverished state of mind while he was tripping. The audience got the impression he really was flying in his own world. It was interesting to see the lifestyles of the other people involved in the drug trade, most had been completely dehumanized by their dependence, living in squalor yet completely unaware of their surroundings.

A great film! One that I can watch again for entertainment purposes only, but which also drives home the anti-drug message without being preachy. 8/10

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57 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Tie me off and shoot.....

Author: Frank Damage from United States
20 April 2005

In the genre of "drug films" this one has to be, in my opinion, one of the best. The aesthetics and dynamics are spot on. The gritty, filthy and discordant atmosphere encrusted around the typical meth-head's life looks and feels like the real deal here. John Leguizamo and Mena Suvari are dead on in their portrayals of two dysfunctional people in a relationship mixed with sex, love and drugs (or more appropriately, love FOR drugs). Mickey Rourke's character conveys a menacing presence delivered through the actor's characteristic cool and laid back style. Of course Brittany Murphy's character is a continuous delight and pleasure to behold in every way. Even the police presence is entertaining.

The whole package gives the feel of being right there. Not to mention a "healthy dose" of delusional hallucinations for you to chew on in between heart palpitations. If you're looking for a great "druggie" film with a strong comedic undertone, I guarantee you'll get your fix with this one.

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46 out of 53 people found the following review useful:


Author: Brad from United States
23 July 2005

I Love this movie, A lot of people might dismiss it as needless strange or, worse, unnecessary. It is great, because it humanizes drug addicts. it shows that a speed freak is never just a speed freak, but a person with a life in distress. too often people with drug addictions are dismissed as eyesores or vagabonds who deserve harsh treatment, but the movie takes us into their lives. Most Importantly, the characters are not supposed to be heroes, they are just a cross-section of junkie culture. plus, the scenes with the cops are hilarious, and seeing Debbie Harry throw a six-pack at a guy's head and then kick him in the gut was priceless. To review, deals with oft over-looked subject matter in an objective way, some great cameos, imaginative film-making, I give it an A-Plus.

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43 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Eyes wide open!

Author: NeonlikeCookie from Los Angeles, Ca
20 April 2003

My eyes were wide open through this roller coaster ride of drugs, sex, violence, and drugs. If you are familiar with meth and its addicts, I think, you'll enjoy and at the same time be more sadden watching this film because what you'll see is bits of the truth in the world of meth-heads. Although, I think, some people instead of feeling sympathy for the characters might just be in for a laugh.This film was wonderfully done and casted. All actors in this film, I believe, portrayed their characters very well. They were right on point! Watching this... I got irritated and anxious. A great film and excellently directed. I actually watched this film twice. Yeah... I'm a loser, what can I say?

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31 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

A wild ride

Author: mrchaos33 from Toronto, Ontario
6 July 2003

Spun is a wild ride, an ADD movie that seems to say, `If you don't like what's on screen right now, don't worry it'll change in the next ten seconds.' Director Jonas Akerlund, cut his teeth in the frenetic world of music video and it shows. Spun spins out of control from its opening minutes, shooting out images and plot points willy nilly. This makes Snatch look slow by comparison. If you can keep up with the pace, there is something here. Akerlund takes us deep inside the crystal meth culture, and it is an unnerving but hilarious journey. We meet a group of characters tied together by their association with one man, the crystal meth cook. We get a good sense of the lives of these characters, and even like some of them, no matter how addled they are by their addictions. What we see in Spun isn't story driven as much as it simply a slice of life – a dirty, sped up slice of life. Good performances compliment the material, particularly from Mickey Rourke as the Cook, Jason Schwartzman as the likeable speed freak and John Leguizamo who sheds almost all his inhibitions in this role.

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36 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

Gutter grandeur

Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California
25 April 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jonas Åkerlund's "Spun" certainly is fun, of a very grungy sort. It takes a foreigner, this time a Swede, music video director Åkerlund, to see the grotesquerie and absurdity of America and to cherish this country's most garish and tasteless details. For Åkerlund, a motel room, a sleazy strip show, an old trailer, or a convenience store are all wonderful rinky-dink artifacts worthy of a Saul Steinberg drawing.

Because everything has an outer layer of strangeness, the danger and toxicity of the world Åkerlund is examining are considerably lessened and even the most menacing street tough turns into a goofy pushover. The world "Spun" focuses on is suffused with drugs and because of the insane glamour of oddity Åkerlund finds in it, there's a kind of aesthetic distance. Deadly intoxicants are seen so coolly that though the users are wasted and lost, sometimes the drugs can actually be fun and also quite sexy, though as in "Macbeth" the stuff may well promote the desire but decrease the performance. Åkerlund has found an excellent cast and created a bustling mood.

His plot doesn't go anywhere much, but then dopers' lives don't either. If you see the movie as nothing but a series of brightly lit, manic vignettes, you'll have a good time. It's funny to see choir boy type Patrick Fugit of "Almost Famous" as Frisbee, grunged down and covered with obviously fake pimples that change position from scene to scene. Brittany Murphy (Nikki) and Mena Suvari (Cookie) are tightly wound, scantily clad floozies. John Leguizano and Mickey Rourke have a good time. "Spun" never ceases to take itself lightly.

Åkerlund's movie instantly invites comparison with Arnovsky's "Requiem for a Dream," whose appeal to the young and hip was surprising in view of its relentless moralizing and audience manipulation. To some extent "Spun" is an homage to Arnovsky's arch condescension, but with a decisive difference. "Spun" has a similar intensified color scheme and expressionistic visual style and uses much the same vertiginous quick-cut editing to convey the first rush of a drug high, but unlike "Requiem," it is blissfully free of any point. Whereas "Requiem" presents its cautionary tale with irritating repetitiousness, "Spun" reads as a wild crazy ride even though it goes nowhere. "Requiem" deals with heroin addict youths and a mom on diet pills, but "Spun" enters a scummy lowlife subculture of crystal meth, though it steers clear of the actual speed freak world of bikers and criminals in favor of a few kooky individuals.

We begin in a bombed out looking apartment (like the seller's flat of "City of God" in its last stages) where sits Fugit, a doubly addicted youth (whose 400-pound mom we later briefly encouner) haplessly playing an obscene violent video game. In the room with him is John Leguizamo, as Spider Mike, a paranoid, preening dealer, and his girlfriend Nikki. Along comes Ross (Jason Schwartzman, star of "Rushmore" and principal in "Slacker")), a middle class white boy whose life's gone down the tubes as his need for crystal meth has enlarged, looking humbly for a fix. Whatever follows from this, follows.

As in real life drug experience, trifles become tremendous. Spider thinks the cops are outside his door. Looking for a lost stash becomes a global enterprise. Whether or not they'll have sex that day becomes a couple's only issue. The big excitement is to meet the man who makes the product, the Cook (Mickey Rourke), and the ultimate experience is to encounter the drug lord, The Man himself (Eric Roberts, with wig and two pretty boy body builders), who sets up The Cook whenever he has to move, and who with populist lust worships him as the ultimate Macho Man. Spider's girlfriend freaks out because her tiny green-dyed dog is sick -- she thinks; and so a trip to the vet is another major enterprise. Since Spider has no car and Ross drives an old Volvo, Ross becomes the taxi-man, and that's pretty much the plot. Once in a while Ross goes back to his motel-like apartment where (he keeps forgetting) he's got a girl tied naked to a bed and they're spied on by a lesbian neighbor (Debbie Harry). What happens with this drug is that everything becomes intensified beyond logic or imagining or time.

The funniest sequences perhaps are in the convenience store where a pair of Latina twins flirt with The Cook and dis a streetwise punk who fancies they're his girlfriends. The climax occurs when the dense Frisbee (Fugit) gets forced to wear a wire by two crooked cops who work for a certain tv real crime series and when he gets caught, Spider shoots Frisbee where it hurts the most, standing wearing nothing but one sock, as in the famous Chili Peppers album cover. To say this scene is pushed would be to forget that in "Spun" everything is over the top.

This is where the movie shines: its visual style involves magnification of everything into pulsating, seething images that make it all so transcendently hyper-ugly it transmogrifies into a wild outcast kind of beauty. Luscious girls and young flesh look better sometimes in a bed of grime and Åkerlund and his cinematographer, Eric Broms, know this. Even the old Volvo seems to be having a joyous heart attack and we see its wheezing fan belt in a quick inserted closeup every time it starts or stops. Color is highly saturated, then drained out. Every pimple, bit of dirt, bad tooth, needle in the arm, even bowel movement, gets a closeup, with appropriate cranked up sound effect (again there is a debt to other films that have been there before, like not only "Requiem for a Dream" but "Trainspotting" and the absurd caricaturing of drugs in movies like "Reefer Madness"). Ross has a "nice" girlfriend Amy (Charlotte Ayanna) who's dropped him and whom he owes $400. She's done with him, but he doesn't admit that. Restoring her trust is his only dream, an impossible goal under the circumstances. The wonderful thing about it all is that he's not addicted; he can stop at any time -- just not right now. Lots of trips back and forth, always in a race against time that's useless because these people have lost their sense of time.

Mickey Rourke is in good form and high spirits and rolls his eyes in a way he never has before. His snakeskin boots and tight jeans and cowboy hat fit him like a glove. So does his fiery finale, the traditional end of all meth lab operators, which happens in a tiny Speedstream trailer. Other than that explosion the movie just seems to end. Ross has met with his girlfriend, only to be kissed off. When the movie climaxes he's sitting in his car doing nothing.

Writers Will de los Santos, whose life this purports to convey, and Creighton Vero, know whereof they speak. A drugalogue like this needs no moralistic overtones. Sure, there's a tacky glamour about the addict world, sometimes, and fun, and sexiness, and excitement, and laughs too. You don't have to point out that these lives are down the tubes.

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28 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Totally Spuned

Author: livingdeadgirl_13 from vancouver
11 July 2003

Spun is a tale about drugs, sex and addictions. Ross(Jason Schwartzman)who is a speed freak along with Nikki(Brittany Murphy) are introduced to the perfect speed made by "The Cook"(Mickey Rourke). Along with some other speed freaks including dealer Spider Mike(John Leguizamo) and his girl Cookie(Mena Suvari) their addictions will come to some crazy consequences that could affect their entire future. This was a very crazy and wild movie filled with humor and excitement. The performances are excellent by all actors and their characters were very believable. I would give Spun 7.5/10

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24 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Fast and Furious

Author: James McNally from Toronto, Canada
10 September 2002

I saw this film at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival. Boasting a raft of young talent (Jason Schwartzman, Patrick Fugit, Mena Suvari, Brittany Murphy), this is a frantic tale about a group of methamphetamine addicts. Raunchy, disturbing, and often very very funny. The pace does tend to wear out the viewer, though. Since we saw the "unrated" cut, expect the final "R" version to be more manageable in length. Brittany Murphy and John Leguizamo do amazing work here. And the use of sound is quite jarring and effective, too.

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