DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Sugar
Sugar
Pathfinder Home Entertainment // Unrated // February 7, 2006
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Scott Weinberg | posted January 15, 2006 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Rent It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Movie

Here's what the DVD case has to say:

"When a woman rents a miserably tiny room, she finds mountains of belongings from the previous tenant, "Anthony," as well as messages on the machine from the landlord, his mother, and a calm, threatening Irishman. As she cleans up the place, she begins to experience uncanny visions, nightmares, and the feeling that Anthony is much closer than she imagined. SUGAR is a terrifying, cockroach-eye view into the sweet surrender of hysteria and comforts of urban claustrophobia that will have you crawling out of your skin."

I don't know who they have writing copy over at Pathfinder Pictures, but the guy deserves an honorary degree in film studies for deciphering this flick in a way that implies narrative cohesion ... because I had no idea what was going on. And, including college, I've been studying film for about 20 years.

Sort of an "early David Lynch meets Stan Brakhage on a bad acid trip" experience, Sugar is what one of my critic pals often refers to as a "film school film," the sort of experimental, difficult, and intentionally esoteric nightmare of a movie that aspiring filmakers put together to show off their "weirdness" chops. (And when I say "nightmare," I don't mean it in a derisive way; I mean the movie actually feels like a bleak, disturbing nightmare that you can't wait to shake off.)

Packed with creative cinematography (which switches between B&W and color at the drop of a hat), a near-total lack of spoken dialogue, and enough visual shivers to keep the experimental folks entertained, Sugar isn't a drama, a horror film, or a traditional character study. I can't say I actually enjoyed the thing, but it's evidence of a trio of filmmakers (Patrick Jolley, Reynold Reynolds, and Samara Golden) who are shooting for something more than just another "foot in the door indie calling-card flick." Lord knows we already have more than enough $17,000 rom-coms floating through the film festivals.

Bottom Line: I might not have known what the hell was going on in Sugar, but I sure as hell was interested to find out. Still am, actually.

The DVD

Video: The film is presented in a full frame format. Video quality is pretty dark and grainy, but I'd say that was more a directorial choice than a lame transfer.

Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. You won't need much more than that.

Extras: All we're offered in the way of explanation is a small stills gallery, but that's cool. Filmmakers should have to "explain" their work the same way a magician should be required to divulge how his tricks are accomplished. Pathfinder also includes a trailer gallery highlighting titles like Gozu, Schlock! The Secret History of American Movies, Until the Night, Mascara, The Calamari Wrestler, Barocco, Ju-Rei, and a Bollywood film called Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

Final Thoughts

Just because I'm not normally a big fan of the narrative-deficient and visually wacko "experimental pieces," I'd by lying if I implied that there's no talent behind Sugar. If offbeat and somewhat difficult stuff like Eraserhead is your cup of tea, you should certainly consider Suagr worthy of at least a rental.

Popular Reviews
1. Big Hero 6
2. Munich (Best Buy Exclusive)
3. New Year's Evil
4. All Neat in Black Stockings (Warner Archive Collection)
5. Dying of the Light
6. Frank Darabont Collection
7. Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons - The Complete Series
8. Blacula / Scream Blacula Scream
9. Tales of Terror
10. Psych-Out (director's cut)


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2015 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use