Explicit Ills Reviews
Personally, I think there are too many stories being told at the same time, with too little in common. I was having problem seeing how they connected until the last minute, and that punchline wasn't powerful enough for me.
Date Night: Nope
Art Factor: Medium
Fun Factor: None
Emotional Factor: Low
Intelligence Required: Low
Essential Viewing: No
The Plot: Four stories of various poor people in the same poor area weave about.
My Take: Multiple story lines are usually really fun for me. Babel, Crash, 21 Grams, etc., I find them a fun change of pace from the usual formula. But after watching Explicit Ills I am reminded of what can go wrong.
Before we get to the wrong let me hit the few bright spots. First time director Mark Webber was not bad behind the lens at all. Many of his shots were interesting takes where most would have settled for the usual. He also used some nice transitions that were both creative and sudden. The ensemble cast was wonderful, with Dano and Dawson being the only two established players in the cast. Both Dano and Dawson shown bright, but we just weren't given enough time to see just how bright. Which leads me to...
What went wrong. The multiple story lines are very loosely tied together. In fact, I really never gave a shit that they were. It just never felt necessary to see the big picture because the small ones all felt so damned rushed. That rush speed is this film's problem in a nutshell and a great lesson to film students everywhere. Do not sacrifice intimate moments of a film because you are trying to squeeze in too many intimate moments. Let your actors breathe into scenes and stay with them for a bit. Dont make a film where you want me to care if your not going to give me a chance to find out what I should be caring about...
I's expecting something akin to The Wire (TV series) or Spike Lee's 'Do the Right Thing'.
Didn't bother watching it to the end.