An aging alcoholic cop is assigned the task of escorting a witness from police custody to a courthouse 16 blocks away. There are, however, chaotic forces at work that prevent them from making it in one piece.
1999, Claremont, California. Middle-class kids, in their 20s, talk trash, wave guns, hang out in a pack. Johnny Truelove, drug dealer and son of a underworld figure, threatens Jake Mazursky, an explosive head case who owes Johnny money; Jake responds by breaking into Johnny's house. On impulse, Johnny and a couple pals kidnap Jake's 15-year-old brother, Zach. Zach's okay with it, figuring his brother will pay the debt soon. Johnny assigns his buddy Frankie to be Zach's minder, and they develop a brotherly friendship. Zach parties with his captors as things begin to spin out of control. Group think, amorality, and fear of prison assert a hold on the pack. Is Zach in danger? Written by
Ben Foster risked his sight for the movie by adding glaucoma drops to his eyes for much of the shoot to dilate his pupils, making him appear to be high. He'd hide in the bushes at night and cover his eyes between takes to keep the lights from shining into them. He would also talk to Nick Cassavetes with his eyes closed. See more »
At Mazursky's house, a promo poster for the Xbox game "Men of Valor" is on his fridge. Men of Valor was released October 19, 2004. The film is set in 1999. See more »
You wanna know what this is all about? You can say it's about drugs or guns or disaffected youth, or whatever you like. But this whole thing is about parenting. It's about taking care of your children. You take care of yours, I take care of mine.
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After the end credits, the following caption appears; For Nickey, May Your Slumber Be Blessed ('Nickey' is Nicholas Markowitz...the 'true' name of ill-fated Zack Mazursky played by Anton Yelchin) See more »
Alpha Dog is inspired by actual events and is about a drug dealer named Johnny Truelove who is owed money by an acquaintance of his named Jake. Seeing as Jake is not paying up, Johnny and his gang of friends decide to kidnap Jake's younger brother Zack and hold him until Jake pays. At first Zack is getting along really well with the people who kidnapped him and basically they just party and have fun all the time and Zack is not concerned at all. When Zack's parents and Jake become suspicious of who abducted him Johnny makes a plan with his friends as to what to do and things take a turn for the worst. Alpha Dog has good direction, a good script and good performances by the entire cast. After I left Alpha Dog, I realized just how impressed I was with it. Director and writer Nick Cassavetes does a great job of writing these teenage characters and just showing how they live their day to day lives. There is a certain authentic touch he gives these characters that makes the film all the more real and believable. The performances he gets out of these actors is also really impressive because everyone in this film shines. Near the end of the film the suspense builds up and the tension is delivered well and after the movie I could really feel the power of this film and it really made an impact on me. This is a type of film that left an impact on me that only truly great and powerfully made and delivered films will do. A lot of the film is just these teenage characters hanging out, partying and getting into trouble, but because it felt so real and genuine it was fascinating to watch. The scenes leading up to the powerful conclusion are also well written and I liked how the film looked at times like a documentary and at other times like a regular docudrama. The seediness and gritty nature of these characters and how they live and interact with each other is really showcased very well here and I don't think a film about teenagers and their lives has had such an impact on me since Larry Clark's Kids and Bully. This film is very similar to those films in a lot of ways and at times even borrows in their technique. However seeing as how I loved Kids and Bully this wasn't a problem for me at all and it just added to my love and admiration for this film. For a truly powerful and captivating motion picture that is a genuine and realistic slice of life which really had an impact on me I highly recommend this film. This is also the first film I have seen of 2007 and if there are more films with this kind of style, power and energy this year then 2007 will be a great year for movies.
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