TROUBLE CITY

DVD REVIEW: .45

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STUDIO: Velocity/Thinkfilm
MSRP: $27.98
RATED: R
RUNNING TIME: 97 Minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Theatrical Trailer
- Audio Commentary

THE PITCH

It’s a Kurt Wimmer reunion and everyone’s invited*!

*To hate this piece of shit.

THE HUMANS

Milla (The Fifth Element) Jovovich, Angus (Equilibrium) McFayden, Stephen (Cecil B. Demented) Dorff, Aisha (Talk Soup) Tyler

THE NUTSHELL

In what amounts to a Lifetime movie dressed up in revenge picture’s clothes, Kate (Jovovich) is in an abusive relationship with small-time gangster Big Al (McFayden), who is somehow the cream of the crop in town through his black market sales of toasters, dress shirts, and handguns. Jovovich finally reaches the breaking point and decides to make a break from Big Al. In order to do so, she needs the help of her friends Reilly (Dorff) and Vic (Sarah Strange) and her social worker Liz (Aisha Tyler).

True.
The feedback cards at Ultraviolet test screenings were enlightening to say the least.

THE LOWDOWN

Earlier this year I was stuck in the hospital after having lung surgery and on one of my last days while still there in recovery, a few things happened: I got to have a large tube removed from my side, got to sit back as a doctor reinserted a catheter due to my bladder swelling up, and a Molotov cocktail of different painkillers led to uncontrollable back spasms. Now, I didn’t bring this up for the sake of pity (although any ancillary pity will be duly accepted), I bring it up for another reason. I didn’t think I would be able to match that day for excruciating pain any time soon in my lifetime. Luckily, CHUD stepped up and delivered me a bouquet of AIDS roses called .45. The movie is truly sunk by the terrible acting choices made throughout, but the whole film reeks of poor decision making, from the writing to the camerawork on down (I bet the craft services table sucked, too).

What can be said about Milla Jovovich that hasn’t already been said about black holes? She’s where line deliveries go to die, and this film is certainly no exception. A scene that the film hinges on that is supposed to be a harrowing portrait of domestic violence plays more like Jodie Foster’s character from Nell being transposed into The Accused as performed by a high school drama club. Further compounding the situation is that we’re supposed to buy that this character is alluring in a mysterious way that makes every character in the piece fall in love with her, and I would have an easier time believing that Bela Tarr was remaking It Came From Outer Space with Dolph Lungdren as the lead. As it stands it just seems like this was another in a long line of showcases for Jovo-nipples.

...
Emboldened by Stallone's success in Rocky Balboa, Lorenzo Lamas returns to his most beloved character in Reno Raines.

Hopefully they shot this on an edible set, because McFayden is going to have some major gastrointestinal issues otherwise. His overacting is the Hitler to Jovovich’s Stalin. While he does his part in bringing the film down with Galactus-level scene devouring, Jovovich quietly is surpassing his atrocities by a large margin. What I’m trying to convey to you with words is how bad the acting is, but I don’t even think a picture of the mounds of dead bodies in death camps could approximate what I’m trying to articulate. Lines like “I’m a whore” and “Fucking sea shells” and “I’m just a man with a collar and a cock” and “Spic cock in your pussy” send the unintentional comedy meter off the charts.

In the end I guess the main problem with this thing (not counting everything about it) is its lack of verisimilitude. It’s clear that director Gary Miller was going for something while alternating the handheld camera work with the static talking head interviews, but since the actors never pull you into the reality of the situation, the camera work itself begins to seem as fake as the actors working within and the whole things goes up in flames like it was made of tinder. By the end of the movie when suspense is supposed to be building as you wonder who’s going to be the one who takes down Big Al for Kate, you’re so beyond the point of giving a shit as a viewer that you just enjoy the acting histrionics and film school shaky-cam as perfect examples of how not to make a motion picture. Only recommended for sadomasochists and people I don’t like.

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Approximation of .45 viewing experience.

THE PACKAGE

From looking at the cover one would think this movie is about a murderous prostitute with Down’s Syndrome, which would be kind of awesome, but don’t’ be fooled. I was actually a little excited to listen to the commentary, hoping that it would be an exercise in extreme delusion/pretension, but the director is actually pretty down to Earth (despite thinking this movie isn’t misogynistic and is in fact a female empowerment picture)* and it’s clear that while he had a vision, this movie just simply doesn’t work. Also included for the brave are the theatrical trailer (better than the movie by virtue of its length) and a handful of other ThinkFilm trailers for their upcoming releases (the majority of which look dick-punchingly awful). The disc looks and sounds good enough, but there’s only so many ways to disguise a turd.

*Suggesting that the only way for a woman to get out of her situation is to use sex is somehow empowering by his estimation.

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"I'll tell ya' what. After every movie I make, I name something in my life after it. When I jerk off at night? It's an Alone in the Dark. When I take a shit in the morning? Deuces Wild. And when I piss in a hooker's mouth for pleasure? That's a Feardotcom."

.45 out of 10