SPUN (2002)

Directed & Edited By: Jonas Akerlund 
Written By: Will De La Santos & Creighton Vero 
Cinematography By: Eric Broms


Cast: Jason Schwartzmen, Mickey Rourke, Brittany Murphy, John Leguizamo, Mena Suvari, Josh Peck, Patrick Fugit, Debbie Harry, China Chow, Charlotte Ayana, Julia Mendoza, Eric Roberts, Nicholas Gonzalez, Larry Drake, Rob Halford, Tony Kaye, Ron Jeremy, Billy Corgan 

A drug dealer introduces one of his customers, a ‘speed freak’, to the man who runs the meth lab. A crazy three-day adventure ensues.


This film is just a dirty as the characters it portrays it seems to be trying to send the message of drawing you in with the visuals and showing you the life of a tweaker so you can see how pathetic and disgusting the life is but at times it seems to also make some characters mythically cool like the character of the cook played by Mickey Rourke.. 


Worse all the bad things seem to be played more for comedy than anything else like telling a story. I wanted to like the film but only found a few things noteworthy or fascinating.


Like most movies that involve drugs as central to the plot and addicts as most of the main characters, there is a lot of misadventures that you think are going to add up to something like a plot but it ends up the movie doesn’t really have anything to say. 


Sure visually it is great and the cast is likable but they need better material they inhabit the characters but if the characters are just there with nothing to do then it’s just like the life of tweakers a waste.

The movie is directed by Jonas Akerlund who has directed videos for Madonna, He certainly has an eye for visuals but he needs to find material that matches his eye here he doesn’t find it. There seems to be an epidemic with foreign directors when they make American movies they seem to like to direct stories that focus on the underground and the downtrodden there are little joy’s and mostly bleak existences which is there right to do but at least make it dramatic or interesting that would be nice instead of making it seem like a photoshoot with a theme no substance and all deteriorating gloss. 


 There are some really gross scenes like Mena Suvari having a bowel movement or John Leguizamo’s constant masturbating or the castration of Patrick fugit I can understand the need to be shocking with your dark comedy to be noticed and make a statement.

A drug dealer introduces one of his customers, a ‘speed freak’, to the man who runs the meth lab. A crazy three-day adventure ensues.


it’s just a wasted endeavor here, in fact, the most interesting character is in the movie but really doesn’t do too much and that is Mickey Rourke the movie isn’t all bad it‘s worth a watch but it’s not as good or revolutionary as it thinks it is. 


You get to see The strippers, The dealers, Porn shops, and all the usual taboo material. But for some reason it seems rather tame and not cutting edge. 

The film has a certain hyper stylization in a kind of trash culture. Trying to glamorize it. It’s distracting though while the film tries to offer characterizations to give us in the audience, people to care about and follow. It also uses then and their pathetic was as folly for humor more than anything else.

It also was the beginning of what seems to be Brittany Murphy’s third act where she seemed to play floozies, addicts and simpletons. Ladies who just seemed off. As she is attractive but seems so out of it that you wonder if it is method acting.

As depending when you were introduced to her as an actress. At first she was a child star then she grew up and played supporting characters and then leads that were more romantic comedic or comedic then she changed her look a bit and became more dramatic. Then the third act of her career came in films like THE DEAD GIRL and SIN CITY. If you watched her grow from a Child actress to here. You wondered if this was a new phase in her career or developing a type to play. As she went fro. Cute to sexy to skanky. Though still walking to the best fi her own drummer.


The film was originally intended to be a documentary on Meth Cooks. Instead, they just took the story of a meth addict (Co-Writer Will De La Santos) and his experiences chauffering a meth cook around town in Eugene, Oregan for three days. They just embellished the stories to be more cinematic. 


 GRADE: C-

AMERICAN PIE 2 (2001)

Directed By: J.B. Rogers
Written By: Adam Herz
Story By; David H. Steinberg & Adam Herz
Cinematography: Mark Irwin 
Editor: Larry Madaras & Stuart Pappe

Cast: Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Chris Klein, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Shannon Elizabeth, Tara Reid, Alyson Hannigan, Natasha Lyonne, Mena Suvari, Eugene Levy, Chris Owen, Jennifer Coolidge, John Cho, Molly Cheek, Eli Marienthal, Joanna Garcia, Lisa Arturo, Denise Faye, Casey Affleck, George Wyner, Joelle Carter, Larry Drake, Bree Turner, Nora Zehtner, Adam Brody, Kevin Kilner, Luke Edwards

Jim and his friends are now in college, and they decide to meet up at the beach house for some fun.


A sequel Was inevitable considering how much of a surprise hit the first one was. Though this one is very disappointing most of all because it’s rushed.

This film had a lot going against it. As it has a built-in Audience that expects the material to be on par or better than the first film. So there is an excitement watching this film, unfortunately, the film never rises to the heights of the first film. Never actually comes closer as it not only lives in its shadow but seems to be repeating some aspects of it.

The film has a different director which with the change seems to feel like the strengths of the film have changed hand with someone who didn’t know how to keep the elements as strong.

Most of the film is more for the same type of jokes and humor from the first film. Only here they aren’t as inspired. So that there is no real reason for half of them except for trying to shock or top the scenes from the first film. 

Which hurts the movie because they are obviously trying way too hard. Which doesn’t really amount to anything. As nothing really happens plot-wise and it’s More watching  them In their college years 

Most of the cast returns for the sequel except that excluding Alyson Hannigan most of the returning female cast members are barely in the movie except for cameos and small supporting roles. Which takes away some Of the excitement. Especially when they only Seem here in relation to the romantic entanglements with the guys from the first film More to put an ending with them. At least in the first film, we saw some of their hang-ups and fears. Here they are more like obstacles.

So that half the film becomes a kind of comedic romance as Alyson Hannigan prepares Jim For sex which seems Like a sure thing for him when Nadia comes back to visit. 

Though he slowly finds himself falling for her. That is really the only Sweet part of the film. It also allows Alyson Hannigan to become More of a full-fledged cast member. She fits the ensemble rather well.

As most of the rest of the cast is around and has their Storylines they are treated more as Minor primarily serving only the main plot of Jim. 

There is only one scene which is supposed to be a Centerpiece of the whole film that is memorable and that is when they are caught spying on two men who they think

Are lesbians and then once caught the guys have to do to own another what they want the girls To do to own another. While at first, it keeps raising the stakes it ends up never rising to the comedic height it could have gone and tries to set up. Which is pretty much what the movie is like. 

It’s Nice that the cast Comes together but just like the film they all seem here under contract and already onto their fame at the time. They’re never really there in the film. Not that the film gives them Much to do either.

Grade: D