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directed by Ben Chace and Sam Fleischner
USA 2009

 

Slacker Max (Sean Bones, who also wrote and sung some of the soundtrack music) is dumped by his girlfriend Willow (singer Norah Jones, MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS) just before they are to set sail on a two-day Jamaican cruise. When his friends (bizarrely) cannot join him either (only one seems to have a regular job), Max takes the trip on his own. On-board, he finds himself adrift in a sea of senior citizens (most of the people his age are members of the staff or entertainment) so he makes only fleeting contact with his shipmates. Max misses the boat in Jamaica and loses his clothes, money, and passport to some locals. Having to hoof it cross-country to get to the US Embassy, Max must rely on a series of typically quirky (sometimes threatening) locals to survive his free trip. Extremely slight and episodic, WAH DO DEM is strictly indie. It's not particularly funny nor particularly dramatic; there is, however, something affecting about Max's general inability to enjoy himself amidst the shipboard entertainment. It takes quite a while to warm up to Max (that may be because we are supposed to identify with the hell of being trapped on a boat with old tourists, and we do) who wears the same blank expression through most of the hand-held DV feature (which is actually quite well-constructed technically) but things pick up when the boat lands. The film is carried along by a string of attractive images in New York, aboard ship, and in Jamaica as well as the soundtrack (and onscreen appearances by some of its performers; Jones, however, disappears pretty quickly). Worth seeing if the idea of a "slacker's odyssey" appeals to you, but don't expect a conventional "culture clash" comedy.

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release: 18 June 2010 (USA)

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DVD Review: Factory 25 - Region 1,4 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Factory 25

Region 1,4 - NTSC

Runtime 1:17:06
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.59 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Factory 25

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• BIG BOAT RIDE - the short film that inspired the movie (16:9; 11:32)
• CONGOS (16:9; 5:29)
• Deleted Scene (16:9; 1:27)
• RECORDING A RECORDING (16:9; 10:25)
• SUCKERS (16:9; 4:09)
• SUN AND MOON (16:9; 4:04)
• LIKKLE DAVID (16:9; 8:45)

DVD Release Date: 25 October 2010
Digipack in Slipcase

Chapters 8

 

Comments

The anamorphic, progressive DV-to-35mm feature is treated to a healthy bitrate on this dual-layer DVD (some shots do betray the limitations of DV, see the last cap). Stereo audio clearly renders the dialogue (although some dialogue in loud exteriors is subtitled instead of re-recorded) and music. The extras are not exactly illuminating (a commentary would have been preferable). BIG BOAT RIDE is the uneventful short film (by the same directors) that reportedly inspired the film (the feature is much more focused). CONGOS is an extended bit congo drum playing (longer than what was seen in the film). The deleted scene is of little consequence to the narrative. RECORDING A RECORDING is a loose assemblage about some of the contributing musicians. SUCKERS is a solarized music performance while SUN AND MOON is a montage of footage from the film set to another song. LIKKLE DAVID is a combination of musical performance and an interview with one of the performers. Some interviews with the cast and crew would have been more welcome.

  - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Factory 25

Region 1,4 - NTSC

 




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