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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Innocent" )

 

directed by Jason Hawkins
US 2011

 

Although were best friends as children, artistic Devon (Alexander Fraser) and jock John (Daren Ackerman) have grown apart. Devon is a slacker who plays online games with equally misfit friends Becky (Alicia Rose) and Garrett (Darren Hicks) while John dropped out of school. John has nursed a seething hatred for Devon that explodes along a country road when John swerves his truck to scare them and Becky flips him off. Swiping an expensive book that Devon saved up to buy, John tells Devon to come for it after school. Devon finds John, his coked-up girlfriend Shelley (Dara Davey) and friends using the pages from the book as target practice. When he blows up at them, he is forced at gunpoint to state that he is a "fag" and then beaten in a video shot by Shelley that goes viral the next day. Humiliated by his classmates at school the next day, Devon leaves the school, but not before his concerned teacher (Patrick Ford) encourages him to find a way to fight back with mind. When Devon confides to Becky a childhood incident that may explain John targeting him and produces a letter to prove it, Becky decides that they can get John to take down the video by recording a response video in which they threaten to reveal his own humiliating secret. John goes over the deep end and, accompanied by a wild for kicks Shelley, takes Devon and Becky into the woods to kill them; whereupon Devon discovers that the secret John thinks he is going to reveal may be something even more shocking than a childhood indiscretion.

Filmed under the title THE INNOCENT, the film might have better stayed with that title as ALL AMERICAN BULLY seems to want to make a statement on bullying; but it's attempts to round out all of the characters and explain their behavior proves distracting when the inaction or lack of sympathy for adult figures is usually what makes the bullied character feel isolated and powerless (here, it actually makes its villain seem more pitiable than its hero). The approach would have seemed less problematic had the film just presented itself as a dark drama in which the preoccupations and obsessions of the characters all contribute to the tragedy rather than a message film that the new title suggests. The lead performances are generally good as is top-billed Adrienne King (FRIDAY THE 13TH) as the brittle school principal, although she seems to be the star of an entirely different (and potentially more interesting) movie with a more provocative scenario (including her gay son and a teacher) worth exploring.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 23 June 2015 (USA)

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DVD Review: Wild Eye Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Wild Eye Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:30:21
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.79 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: Wild Eye Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� Behind the Scenes: Cast Interviews (16:9; 1:12:12)
� Trailer (16:9; 1:09)
� Previews

DVD Release Date: June 23rd, 2015
Amaray

Chapters 11

 

 

 

Comments

Wild Eye's dual-layer DVD features a respectable mid-range bitrate progressive, anamorphic encode of a feature that is mostly well shot with some noise in the darker locations and some blown-out highlights in the exteriors (perhaps exacerbated by some color correction that punches up the saturation). The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track is more consistent.

The sole extra is an exhaustive set of interviews running seventy-two minutes (from when it was still titled THE INNOCENT) including Adrienne King (starting with some comments on FRIDAY THE 13TH and her experience with a stalker that ended her on-camera career for a number of years although she has done voice acting and looping), Fraser discussing the multiple rewrites of the script and how things changed further during the filming), Rose (on the subject of bullying), Ackerman on his feelings about the horrible things his character does), Davey on the way her character distances herself from reality with drugs and looking through the lens of her camera), Bob Olin - who plays Devon's father - on his stage work and creating backstory for his character, and Hicks on the on-set comradery. Although the interviews were seemingly shot on the same day in the same location, they would probably been better-presented here as individually selectable rather than lumped together.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Wild Eye Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

 



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