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Things start off bad and quickly take a turn for the worse when Matt (Patrick Muldoon) takes a trip to visit his girlfriend Dawn's (Keegan Connor Tracy) reclusive backwoods parents in this dramatic thriller from director Uwe Boll. Haunted after having caused the death of a young girl in a drunk driving accident years before, Matt's inner demons tear at his insides as he attempts to put the past behind him and start a new life with Dawn. Stopping off at a hotel for a quick round of lovemaking before they venture into the woods, Matt must subsequently fend off an axe-wielding psychopath before discovering that Dawn has disappeared. Though Matt soon finds the route to the house in the woods, he is unexpectedly attacked by Dawn and imprisoned by the family. Put on trial by the family for killing their youngest daughter in the drunk driving incident, Matt's nightmare soon becomes a waking reality as he desperately struggles to escape the clutches of Dawn's family and maintain his slipping sanity.


News & Interviews for Blackwoods

Critic Reviews for Blackwoods

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4)

  • It turns out to be smarter and more diabolical than you could have guessed at the beginning.

    May 10, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Director Uwe Boll and the actors provide scant reason to care in this crude '70s throwback.

    May 10, 2002 | Rating: 1/4
  • Two-bit potboiler.

    May 10, 2002
  • Director Uwe Boll and writer Robert Dean Klein fail to generate any interest in an unsympathetic hero caught up in an intricate plot that while cleverly worked out, cannot overcome blah characters.

    May 10, 2002 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Blackwoods is all affected 'style,' not intelligent or clear enough to pull off its grand vision. When the final act twists come they don't feel so much shocking or intelligent as just ridiculous.

    Jul 18, 2003 | Rating: F | Full Review…
  • Crudely executed by all hands, Blackwoods is--true to its title--an overreaching blur.

    Jun 1, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Blackwoods


[center][color=darkred][font=Arial Narrow][size=2][b][i][img][/img][/i][/b][/size][/font][/color][/center] [center][color=darkred][font=Arial Narrow][size=2][b][/b][/size][/font][/color] [/center] [center][color=darkred][font=Arial Narrow][size=3][b][i]Blackwoods[/i] (2002)[/b]: IMDB rating: 4.9; 14% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes[/size][/font][/color][/center] [font=Arial][color=darkred][size=2][/size][/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred][size=2][/size][/color][/font][font=Arial][color=darkred][i]Blackwoods[/i] is Uwe Boll’s second English-speaking film. The video’s box advertises the film as a modern [i]Most Dangerous Game[/i], with the befuddled Patrick Muldoon as the prey. This got me thinking about what it would be like if society allowed the recreational hunting of untalented pretty actors. I think it could be a big moneymaker. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to hunt Tara Reid in the wild? I’ve already started talking with some investors and things look very promising.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]Matt (Muldoon) is a smooth playboy from the big city. He’s off to travel with his girlfriend, Dawn (Keegan Conner Tracy), to meet her parents. Dawn grew up in a very small town well off the beaten path. This requires a trip through the Blackwoods, what she calls the hard-to-see forested area when night hits. The lovebirds get a good talking to about excessive speeds by the town’s sheriff (Michael Paré), who finds Matt curiously familiar. They shack up at a seedy motel run by a seedy owner (Clint Howard). After some vigorous time between the sheets, Dawn goes off to the bathroom to freshen up. Matt is tormented by visions he cannot quite place, but they involve something to do with a car accident. He wakes up to find Dawn has disappeared. On top of all this, a man with an axe breaks into the room. Matt fends him off and goes looking for what happened to his sweetheart. No one seems to believe him. Then he finds a decrepit house out in the woods. He gets knocked out and locked in the basement. Inside, Matt is put on trial for murder by a local family, who plan to become hillbilly judge and jury. And when they badger the witness, they really badger the witness.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred][i]Blackwoods[/i] almost stumbles accidentally into being an interesting film. The premise of hillbilly justice on the big city folk would make for a good horror movie, no question. I mean, for decades horror movies have been preaching the dangers of small rural towns and their inhabitants. Boll has found himself a fitting premise for a horror movie. But Boll and co-writer Robert Dean Klein aren’t interested in making a horror movie; they want to make [i]Blackwoods[/i] into a psychological thriller. They want something more. It’s these pathetic gasps for cleverness that doom[i] Blackwoods[/i]. The eleventh hour twists Boll and Klein pack feel contrived and uninspired (the very end shamelessly rips off [i]Final Destination[/i]). The ending twist, designed to tie everything together, raises far more questions than answers. You’ll probably be able to see it coming a mile away. Sometimes simpler is the way to go, fellas.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]It’s hard to feel for Matt when he’s such an arrogant dope. There are two standout moments that reflect how stupid Matt is. The first is after Dawn goes missing in his motel room. Matt is baffled and tries to work it all out in a bathroom, as most men do. His room is then broken into by an axe-wielding intruder. Matt manages to hide and avoid him. Minutes later, the axe-wielding intruder returns and the two get into a brawl. Matt wins and the intruder runs away again. After this ruckus, Matt lays down on the motel bed and goes to sleep. He dozes off in a room that has been broken into twice by a man with an axe! The second incident happens late in the film as two hillbilly brothers chase Matt through the Blackwoods. One of the brothers has a gun and the other more sporting brother has a bow and arrow. Matt kills the brother with the gun and takes his weapon. Suddenly an arrow zips over his head and sticks in the tree. Behind him is the other brother, and even though this brother is currently unarmed and at a distance, he convinces Matt to drop his pistol. The ending twist only adds more fresh accounts of Matt’s idiocy.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]Boll uses a heavy amount of blur-technique for very long stretches of time. [i]Very long[/i]. An entire sex scene is blurrified into submission. Boll tries juicing up action sequences by adding the blur effect, which only infuriates an audience already sick of it. The effect is arbitrary and unwelcome. Boll has confused shaking the camera with artistry. Shaking the camera does not equal art, no matter how many notes you take while watching [i]The Blair Witch Project[/i]. The stylistic choices Boll makes as a director seem so self-consciously motivated to goose up a limp story.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred][i]Blackwoods[/i] falls apart because it’s clueless when it comes to plot structure and mood. Boll isn’t one for trusting an audience to pick up his clues. Oh no, he’ll aggressively make sure you get every hint that something is important. When Matt grabs a knife we get an extra special close-up of it followed by a crescendo of music. Boll is shouting the importance of this item. And the funny thing is the knife isn’t even important. The same crescendo happens when a waitress gives Matt the stink-eye, and when Dawn takes a post-coital walk to the motel bathroom. We should pay attention to these things, Boll screams in our ears. Later, Matt assures Drew that “thing’s will be fine.” Cut to blurry image! Matt says, “My mom never let me do things on my own.” Cut to blurry image! Someone says, “You’re paranoid about something, though I don’t know what.” Cut to more blurry images! Because of the back and forth structure, Boll serves up a witless Cliff Notes of important plot points he wants to underline. [i]Blackwoods[/i] kills any surprise it could have generated because of these superfluous cuts meant to engender a sense of foreboding. There’s a difference between feeling something will happen and knowing, and Boll’s ham-fisted plot structure and direction drain the film of any involvement. You can’t be mysterious and clever while spoon feeding an audience and hitting them over the head.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]Boll uses inappropriate songs at key moments and it wrecks the mood. The sex scene is bad as is because of the blurring and strange editing. What makes the scene drop-dead awful is the song choice that plays over. It’s some odd pop song with odd arrangements that cripples any intended drama. It’ll really take the tingle out of your dingle. Moviemakers of the world take note, if you want your scene to have some power or importance, do not attach a song that will elicit titters from an audience. Nowhere in [i]Saving Private Ryan[/i] could you find the song, “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.”[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]At the end of [i]Blackwoods[/i] I counted the number of artist’s songs used in the film; there are 5 songs by I Saw Elvis, 4 Songs by April Daze, and 3 songs by Charlemane. It seems Boll is more interested in using songs he can get his grubby opportunistic Germanic hands on.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred][i]Blackwoods [/i]has a score that is overly anxious. There are your standard high-pitched jump moments, but the score also wedges itself into scenes to a comical degree. Take a scene where Matt is being interrogated by the sheriff. The sheriff dictates what he has been told of Matt’s motel room attacker, and ends by noting, “Guy dressed all in black.” The music dramatically swells. We’re meant to distrust the sheriff. Matt says cautiously, “Did I say that?” Sheriff: “Yeah.” Matt: “Oh. Okay.” And the music immediately ends. I kid you not; during Matt’s chase scene in the woods there are tuba sounds on the score. Not a tuba apart of an orchestration, just a tuba. It’s like they recorded this score during take your daughter to work day.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]The acting in [i]Blackwoods[/i] could be rivaled by lousy high school theatrical productions. Most of the actors are quite stiff and give terrible line deliveries. Boll truly has no idea what to do with his actors and it shows. Actors will punctuate the dialogue in peculiar places and frequently overact like no one’s watching. Muldoon ([i]Starship Troopers[/i]) is a pretty actor without much else going for him. His acting range goes from indignant to quiet anxiety, neither of which is convincing. I think his eyebrows outacted him. Paré ([i]Eddie and the Cruisers[/i], TV’s [i]Greatest American Hero[/i]) looks and acts drowsy the whole movie, like any second he’s in danger of keeling over into dream land. Tracy ([i]40 Days and 40 Nights[/i], [i]White Noise[/i]) plays the most challenging part and has some fun with it. Her moments of petulant anger are a welcome sight amongst this acting dead zone.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred]Boll could have had an effective, loosely entertaining horror movie with [i]Blackwoods[/i]. Instead, he and his co-writer attempt to grasp at something smarter and fall flat on their faces. [i]Blackwoods[/i] is dull, inane, cluelessly structured, poorly acted, and devoid of any nuance. Boll’s tortured direction relies on a lot of arbitrary and annoying stylistic choices (whoever thought it was a good idea to blur a sex scene?). This creaky psychological thriller thinks it’s clever by playing with flash forwards and contrived Big Twists, but [i]Blackwoods[/i] is nowhere near as smart as it thinks it is. Maybe Boll’s penchant for blurring the film was the right move; in a few days that’s all this forgettable movie will become.[/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred][size=2][b]Nate’s Grade: D[/b][/size][/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=darkred] [/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=#8b0000][/color][/font] [font=Arial][color=#8b0000][/color][/font] [center][font=Arial][color=darkred] [img][/img] [/color][/font] [/center] [font=Arial][color=darkred] [/color][/font] [center][color=darkred][font=Arial Narrow][size=3][i][b]Heart of [/b][b]America[/b][/i][b][i]: Home Room[/i] (2003)[/b]: IMDB rating: 6.1; 2/4 positive at Rotten Tomatoes[/size][/font][/color] [/center] [font=Arial][color=darkred] [/color][/font] [color=darkred][font=Arial][size=2][i][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2]Heart of America: Home Room[/size][/font][/font][/i][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2] is Uwe Boll’s Big Statement film. Exactly what those statements are is another matter, but we’ll get to that in a second. Shot in 2003 and put on a shelf for two years, this is a purported examination on youth violence and what leads to horrific school shootings. It’s an odd step for a filmmaker of Boll’s caliber to tackle such a complicated, weighty subject without any easy answers. [i]Heart of America [/i]even has a blurb from Ron Howard saying, “This is a sobering, thought-provoking movie.” Well, if the director of [i]EdTV[/i] says it, how could it be wrong[/size][/font]?[/font][/size][/font][/color] [color=darkred][font=Arial][size=2][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/size][/font][/color] [color=darkred][font=Arial][size=2][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/size][/font][/color][color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2]The film spans one morning of a “normal” high school in [/size][/font][/font][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2]Orego[/size][/font]n[/font][/font][/size][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2] (it looks like the school is a three-story motel). It’s the last day of school and everyone is ready to jump into the real world. The storylines are rife with every high school cliché that can be found. Drum roll please, and they are[/size][/font]:[/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/font][/size][/color][font='Times New Roman'][color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial]1) Good Virgin (Stefanie MacGillivray) is dumped by Jerky Jock (Will Sanderson) because she refuses to put out. The majority of this storyline takes place in the guy’s car where he sadistically tells her all the details of the many other girls he was “forced” to sleep with (“The whole school fucks. Everybody except you.”). One of these girls is the transient High Girl (Elisabeth Rosen), who has fallen in love with Jerky Jock over the course of him using her for sex[/font][/size][/color][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font][font='Times New Roman'][color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial]2) High Girl has no parental involvement and lots of free time. She thusly gets high a lot and trips out for most of the movie. Dealer Dude spends all day implausibly hanging around the high school with sacks of drugs to sell. He’s stopped by Idealist Guidance Counselor (Maria Conchita Alonso) who wants to make a difference.[/font][/size][/color][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font][font='Times New Roman'][color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial]3) Good Student apparently wasn’t good at contraceptive planning because she’s pregnant. She wants an abortion and her life back. She’s also really snotty to her Boyfriend who wants to keep the baby and support her but is also willing to support whatever decision she makes. Man, he’s such a jerk. Way jerkier than Jerky Jock.[/font][/size][/color][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font][font='Times New Roman'][color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial]4) Mean Creative Writing Teacher (Michael Paré) gets a good talking-to by the school principal (Jurgen Prochnow). The teacher is struggling with his own writing and taking out his frustrations by being overly critical of his students’ works. His grades appear to be unfair and unprofessional. One of his students is High Girl.[/font][/size][/color][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font][font='Times New Roman'][color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial]5) A team of bullies regularly beat up and humiliates Barry (Michael Belyea) and Daniel, who masterminds a plot for revenge. Daniel (Kett Turton) is tormented by his abusive father (Clint Howard) who just laughs when he sees bruises and black eyes on his son. The bullies are lead by King Bully (Brendan Fletcher) who is visited by his older brother, Former King Bully (Steve Byers), who reminisces about the good ole days of beating people up because they were different.[/font][/size][/color][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font][font='Times New Roman'][color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial]These storylines mix and match until our inevitable shoot-em-up conclusion.[/font][/size][/color][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font][color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][i][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2]Heart of America[/size][/font][/font][/i][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2] is based on a story by Boll and written by Robert Dean Klein ([i]Blackwoods[/i]). The plot structure is competent and the film is mildly entertaining, which was a great surprise for me. The cinematography is above average for its budget and the score is quiet and reflective. [i]Heart of America[/i], with all its shortcomings, is still a better movie than Gus van Sant’s school shooter opus, [i]Elephant[/i] (I dread to see this statement on the front of a re-released DVD)[/size][/font].[/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/font][/size][/color][font='Times New Roman'][color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial]Despite all of its simplicity, [i]Heart of America[/i] makes some boneheaded decisions. It closes with lengthy text detailing other school shooters in the previous years. The text takes away from the drama and has no significant purpose other than to say, “You’ve just watched kids shoot up their school. Here’s how some other kids did it. If you’d like to learn more, visit your local library.” [i]Heart of America [/i]also lacks subtlety; every item that is meant to carry a message of significance is hit so hard you’ll wonder if a gong is rattling. Then again, Boll isn’t well known for subtlety. This should explain [i]Heart of America[/i]’s aches and pains with revealing its twists and revelations.[/font][/size][/color][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font][font=Arial][size=2][color=darkred]For two acts we’re led to believe that Daniel and Barry are the ones who are going to shoot up their school. Daniel IM’s his co-conspirator and reminds them not to “punk out on him.” Then minutes before the bloodbath it’s revealed that his co-conspirator is . . . another person! It’s High Girl, who takes a gun and gladly goes about killing classmates. [i]Heart of America[/i] intentionally teases the viewer whether Barry will not follow through and this twist is intended to be something of a surprise. Trouble is someone should have told that to the DVD manufacturing folks. On the [i]Heart of America[/i] DVD cover (as you can see for yourselves above) are the faces of Daniel and High Girl side-by-side. Superimposed over them is a list of school shooting locations that have been crossed out (it’s little wonder that Boll held back from the final one saying, “Anytown, U.S.A.”). Below all of these images is another picture of High Girl, this time standing in class and pointing an accusatory finger at some unforeseen figure. Any person intending to watch [i]Heart of America[/i] will instantly associate High Girl with Daniel and already be thinking they’re Bonnie and Clyde. You can’t have a twist when you’re advertising it on the front cover of your DVD. Would [i]The Sixth Sense[/i] have been as effective if the poster had Bruce Willis walking through walls like [i]Ghost Dad[/i] (no respect to [i]Ghost Dad[/i] intended)?[/color][/size][/font] [font=Arial][/font] [font=Arial][/font][color=darkred][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][size=2][font=Arial]The most disturbing moment in [i]Heart of America[/i] doesn’t even take place around the school. It involves a story Big Brother tells his bully clan about his greatest accomplishments. One of these is inviting a mentally challenged girl into his basement, getting her drunk, and then gang-banging her. At first I thought it was rather unwarranted and unethical to have flashbacks of Big Bro’s story so that we can actually see the rape. Then it hit a slightly interesting juxtaposition, as Big Bro’s positive recount of his victim’s experience doesn’t exactly match what we see happening. So I was willing to let it slide until the film hit a deplorable low – a gratuitous nude scene of the mentally challenged girl (dubbed “Slow White”). You can tell it’s gratuitous too because most of the scene isn’t even shot at angles that expose the breasts. It’s disturbing on the level that Boll was knowingly trying to shoehorn in some nudity and elicit titillation. The decision actually detracts from the power of the scene because it feels so tackily gratuitous. Is it too much to ask that if we have a mentally challenged girl being raped that we don’t also have a needless nude scene? This whole moment is egregiously disgusting because it’s done for titillation[/font].[/size][/font][/font][/color] [color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/font][/size][/color][color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2]Once the end credits start to roll, the casual viewer will think two things: 1) What is that awful, tonally inappropriate pop song playing that actually has the lyrics, “The roads you made are the ones you pave,” and 2) what the hell was the message of [i]Heart of America[/i]? In the first ten minutes or so we see teens on drugs, teens on medication, teens with no parental involvement, teens with parental abuse, and teens bullying to feel better about themselves. Do any of these things cause school violence, or is it some kind of magic combination? I never expected [i]Heart of America[/i] to fashion a thesis on why kids grab guns and shoot up their schools but the ending feels ridiculously, artlessly devoid of meaning[/size][/font].[/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/font][/size][/color][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2][color=darkred]To further get into this point of discussion I will be spoiling all of the major plot lines of the movie, so in the rare instance anyone is remotely interested in watching [i]Heart of America[/i] and/or its sick mentally challenged nude scene, scroll down. You won’t be missing much, trust me.[/color][/size][/font][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font][color=darkred][font=Arial][size=2][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2]As expected, Daniel and High Girl get revenge primarily upon their tormentors. What I don’t get is that before High Girl sweeps into her classroom for her vengeance, she tells Dealer Dude, “I couldn’t have done it without you.” Huh? Does she mean she wouldn’t have gone to these lengths had she not be high? Or is this statement farther reaching, like blaming Dealer Dude for being apart of a system that has turned her into a degenerate drug user? I have no idea, but High Girl struts into class and kills Creative Writing Teacher, who had made fun of her and forced her to read her poetry aloud. Got it. But then she aims her pistol at Jerky Jock, whispers “I love you,” and then shoots Good Virgin to death. Apparently High Girl did not catch the news that Jerky Jock had dumped her minutes earlier. So what is the point of Good Virgin’s storyline? The only thing I can surmise is that if you don’t have sex you [u]will[/u] be killed. If Good Virgin had given up her goodly virginity then Jerky Jock wouldn’t have been on the prowl, and he wouldn’t have used High Girl for throwaway sex, and then she wouldn’t have shot Good Virgin in jealousy. You see how this works? It’s the exact opposite of a horror movie. Daniel also shoots and kills Good Student’s boyfriend/father of her baby. What is that saying? Is it some kind of ironic statement on abortion? Why couldn’t any of the shooters have clipped Patrick Muldoon’s nails-on-the-chalkboard horndog sex ed teacher? It seems Boll has a soapbox but he has nothing understandable to say[/size][/font].[/font][/size][/font][/color] [color=darkred][font=Arial][size=2][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/size][/font][/color] [color=darkred][font=Arial][size=2][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/size][/font][/color][color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][i][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2]Heart of America[/size][/font][/font][/i][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2] makes the audience not only side with the school shooters but also practically roots for them. Daniel and Barry undergo constant bullying from the get go. The film, in its simplistic approach, plays the bullies as irredeemable assholes and Daniel and Barry are the hapless victims. [i]Heart of America[/i] practically justifies its characters resorting to violence. Sure some innocent people get caught in the fray, but then aren’t they all to blame somehow? Again, I have no idea what Boll is trying to say[/size][/font].[/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/font][/size][/color][color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2]Despite Boll having no command with actors (Muldoon is a constant reminder of this), the younger actors in [i]Heart of America[/i] give pretty good performances. Turton ([i]Saved![/i], [i]Walking Tall[/i]) really festers with anger and discontent but also gives insights into a fragile kid just wanting to live. Belyea really works his nervous indecision to a nub, going so far as to hide his mother’s car keys so she won’t chance going to his school. Fletcher ([i]Freddy vs. Jason[/i]) is a grinning monster as a bully but, in the film’s lone turn at character depth, also shows how uncomfortable he is being a bully. It seems that he too is just doing it to fit in. Fletcher’s pained and awkward reactions are a welcome sign of humanity, though it seems to be too little too late when we the climax hits. Rosen seems decidedly disconnected and dead-eyed scary.[/size][/font][/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/font][/size][/color] [color=darkred][size=2][font=Arial][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/font][/size][/color][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2][color=darkred]It’s puzzling that the top listed actors in [i]Heart of America[/i]’s credits are as follows; Jurgen Prochnow, Michael Paré, Patrick Muldoon, and Maria Conchita Alonso. All four of those actors amount to about ten minutes of total screen time; Muldoon essentially has a grating cameo. Why are the kids not credited as the rightful stars of the show? The adults all give terrible performances (seriously, I cannot overstate how awful and creepy Muldoon is) but the kids are all right.[/color][/size][/font][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font][color=darkred][font=Arial][size=2][i][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2]Heart of America[/size][/font][/font][/i][font='Times New Roman'][size=2][font=Arial] works with paint-by-numbers characters and Boll only doles out one color. The[/font] [font=Arial]jock is a jerk. The virgin is good. The bullies are mean. The stoners are high. Very seldom does the film delve any deeper than these cursory characterizations. Because of this simplicity [i]Heart of America[/i] strains credibility during its more unrealistic moments. At one point, King Bully and his posse force Daniel and Barry to eat dog poop and the moment is played as a defining point of drama. Does this stuff really happen? If it does then it certainly doesn’t happen often enough to be included in Boll’s depiction of a “normal” school. Then again, Boll’s idea of a normal American educational environment also involves raping mentally challenged girls. The name of the movie itself indicates how typical everything is supposed to seem[/font][/size].[/font][/size][/font][/color] [color=darkred][font=Arial][size=2][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/size][/font][/color] [color=darkred][font=Arial][size=2][font='Times New Roman'][/font][/size][/font][/color][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2][color=darkred]This is a thought-provoking film, with the main thought being “What the hell is the movie trying to say?” [i]Heart of America[/i] wades in a kiddy pool of high school clichés. The characters are paint-by-numbers and lack definition beyond their social title (Virgin, Jock, Bully, etc.). This film is awash in unresolved statements and stacks the deck so the audience will practically root for the school shooters. With no help from Uwe Boll, the younger actors are the movie’s stars and give good performances despite the limited range of their characters. You won’t know anything deeper after watching [i]Heart of America[/i]. It’s Boll’s Big Statement Film but your guess is as good as mine as to whatever that is. Violence breeds violence? Parents need to spend more time with their kids? Don’t force kids to eat poo if they’re not ready? [i]Heart of America[/i] is unrealistic, strained, unfocused, shallow and clumsy, and it’s also Boll’s best work to date.[/color][/size][/font][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font] [font='Times New Roman'][/font][font='Times New Roman'][font=Arial][size=2][color=darkred][b]Nate’s Grade: C[/b][/color][/size][/font][/font]

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

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