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Hanelle M. Culpepper
Christa B. Allen,
The bad: it isn't a very good movie. The script was pretty weak for the first half of the movie and the lead actor, Ryan Greer, lacked emotional variety and transparency. He walked around looking vaguely petulant for most of the movie. There were better actors in the movie, but the whole thing rested on Greer's sulky shoulders.
The good: this is the most realistic depiction of people and life on Oahu I've ever seen. The dialogue was exactly right. Compare the cartoonish pidgin in other films and TV shows with this. This is what people in Honolulu sound like. The art direction in general was fantastic: the clothes, the hair, the locations, the culture in general. The types were recognizable to anyone who's lived there. All that was missing was a visit to Longs Drugs. Hell, they even had a loco moco.
The cast: Aside from Greer, some of the other performances were pretty good. Nalu Boersma was completely believable as the sleazy drug-dealer and gambler; I hope he gets more work. Jolene Blaylock, the sexy Vulcan from Enterprise, is unrecognizable as Alea's pathetic, tawdry-looking mom; too bad she didn't get more screen time. Julia Nickson-Soul was a pleasant surprise playing an unglamorous middle-class mom and postal worker. The recycling moke in the blue t-shirt (didn't catch his name) had some real presence, despite his small role. The weird "Vegas Mike" guy brought some energy to the screen as well.
Finally, if you can get through the first two-thirds of the movie, the last third gets unexpectedly tense. It doesn't quite make up for the rest of the movie, but it's good.
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