8.3/10
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1 user

Jazzed Up Hoodlums (2009)

| Drama
Two young friends, John and Paul, sell ecstasy to escape a rundown suburb under the guidance of a paranoid drug dealer, but the plan is complicated when John falls in love with Arianna.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Darby
Matthew Ramsey ...
John
Samantha Bennett ...
Arianna
Nadine Avola ...
Jill
Ampy Koran ...
Paul's Boss
Rudolph Stradlater ...
Paul
Sarah Westbrook ...
Lydia
Blake Bjornstad ...
Blake
Thomas Noel Smith ...
Virgil
Jon Cowart ...
Thug
Joshua La Forge ...
Sir Reginald Rothschild Windhouser III
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Douglas Banks ...
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Storyline

Two young friends, John and Paul, sell ecstasy to escape a rundown suburb under the guidance of a paranoid drug dealer, but the plan is complicated when John falls in love with Arianna.

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Drama

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1.85 : 1
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After completion of principal photography, there were approximately 50 hours of raw footage. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Provocative and Entertaining!
8 February 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I started watching this movie late at night with the idea that I would watch a few minutes of it, and finish it the next day...and instead I was caught in it and stayed up until past 3:00 a.m. because I couldn't stop watching.

Jazzed Up Hoodlums is a striking juxtaposition of a staid suburban landscape against the lives of two surprisingly vibrant young men, one of whose dreams of escape fuel the plot. It is, ironically, equally a commentary on the fruitlessness that stains the efforts of our young adults to enter a workplace that doesn't have enough good jobs for them, and indefatigable youthful ingenuity which emerges in a dark way as a force of the film.

One of the most oddly beautiful scenes of the movie is a sunset over a deserted and dilapidated parking lot. The ocean scene and the sunrise "funeral" are likewise visually stunning. It's almost as if Marsh knew that a movie set in the suburbs was crying out for some visual Easter eggs, so he delivers them.

While putting characters in extraordinary situations, Marsh achieves a brilliantly believable plot by maintaining an ordinariness of setting.

Likewise, by keeping Carlos Gallardo's character at a simmer rather than a boil, Marsh makes sure his audience really meets a drug dealer. Since some filmmakers never achieve consistent character depth, it is truly remarkable that in a first film, all of Marsh's main roles emerge as full-blown characters instead of caricatures. It's especially remarkable that the drug dealer, while fittingly menacing and seedy, is a menacing and seedy "guy next door".

My favorite aspects of this film are its twisted ending and how the two characters are able to resolve the injustices that have been visited upon them. For those who like movies with characters who manage to "sew things up" in ways that are unexpected, this movie will fully satisfy.

I also appreciated that despite the amount of conversation in this movie, there isn't any wasted or dumbed-down conversation. Many first films have too much dialogue and/or wasted dramatic space, but this film is delightfully economical -- a sign of thoughtful and meticulous editing.

A perhaps unintended homage to "Thelma and Louise" spices this film. But instead of making what could have been an easier and more predictable movie about escape itself, Marsh offers a finely-crafted prelude to a realized dream of flight.

Last but not least, this movie is funny -- but not in a trivial way. Instead of hitting the audience with humor, Marsh winds it tightly and intelligently with the plot.

Only a few movies I've seen in the past few years find me waking up in the morning still thinking about both what the movie has to say, and the way the filmmaker says it. This is one of those movies. I loved it.


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