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Reviews: March 30, 2008

30 Mar, 2008 By: Home Media Reviews


Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
Street 4/8
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Alvin and the Chipmunks
Street 4/1
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P2
Street 4/8
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Father Knows Best: Season One
Street 4/1
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Fog City Mavericks: The Filmmakers of San Francisco
Street 4/8
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Tilt: The Battle to Save Pinball
Street 4/8
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Running Deep
Street 4/8
Ariztical, Drama, $29.95 DVD, NR.
Stars Geoff Wilner, Mike Williams, Douglas A. Hary, Ron Lincoln, Lisa Adams.

There's nothing so demanding as a contrivance from beyond the grave. You can't really argue against a request from the deceased. In Running Deep, a man and his sons are given a willed request from the dead mother to spend time together at the beach house where they used to vacation.

Tensions run high among the trio. Matt (Lincoln) is a hotshot stockbroker with a cocaine problem who's headed for divorce. Kevin (Williams) is gay and forever living in his brother's shadow and under his father's homophobic disapproval. And dear old dad (Wilner) is a philandering womanizer who guiltily relives moments with his deceased (and apparently saintly) wife.

The creators and actors of Running Deep collectively have barely a dozen credits to their names and it's unfortunate that it shows. Director Mark Kokkoros has a steady hand with the camera and tasteful style, but the script, which he co-wrote with Wilner, leans heavily to the melodramatic.

If there were a male version of a Lifetime film, this would surely be it, even down to the ham-fisted danger element of Kevin's unstable ex-boyfriend. Nary a note rings true, from Kevin's unbelievable accusation that Matt, who is black and adopted, doesn't understand what it's like to be an outsider, to the father's secret reason for being such a homophobe.

What's worse is each revelation and fight is accompanied by an onslaught of overwrought music, as if Kokkoros just didn't trust his actors or script to bring the drama. The score itself isn't bad — it's the loudness and abruptness in how Kokkoros uses the music.

As an actor, Wilner has the lean, weathered handsomeness of David or Keith Carradine — even after age 60, it's easy to see that he could still pick up an attractive woman in a bar — and he's well-suited to head up this family drama.

Williams and Lincoln are less dynamic, but adequate in their roles. They do the best with what they've got, but unfortunately, that's not much. Wilner and Kokkoros can be admired for trying to give voice to an all-male family drama — so many films of this sort tend to be chick flicks — and perhaps their next outing will be more successful. – Laura Tiffany


Blu-ray Spotlight: Independence Day
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The Top 10 Baseball Movies
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