5 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
Rough around the edges, but Good Concept & Great Musical Performance
bizlift from Salt Lake City
23 January 2008
The film was definitely indie and despite some rough acting and awkward
scenes, the film continued to pull me along. Stanton's artistic vision
and the occasional dark and beautiful moments kept me engaged during
the bumpy ride.
I really enjoyed the photography as well as the dusty locations and
sets. Jerome Hawkins' charisma helped make his character likable and
propelled the movie along.
The highlight of the film was the musical performance. Let's just say
that Kid Rock ain't got nothing on Hawkins when it comes to
The film had many layers...perhaps a bit too many layers. The concept
of an urban hip-hop youth in a small redneck town was wonderful, and
the philosophical explorations were interesting. But in my opinion the
drums and the vision scenes "cheapened" the story. It would have been
more powerful to go deeper with what was already there rather than
broader but shallower with the super-natural elements that seemed
disconnected from the main story. (If you're going super-natural, then
go all the way like "The Sixth Sense").
I watched the world premier at Sundance (sitting right behind celebrity
judges including my hero Quentin Tarantino).
In the Q&A after the film, we learned that the film was created with
almost no budget and some of the cast also doubled as crew taking on
multiple roles. Stanton's background is in theater which explained some
of the scenes that seemed more appropriate for stage than screen.
If watching this at home on DVD, I would give it a lower rating. But
after hearing the Q&A, and since it was viewed at a festival for
independent film I feel that the context in which I experienced this
film should influence the rating.
I'm looking forward to see what Stanton, Hawkins & posse can do with
some real resources now that they have some film experience under their
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