DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
HD DVD / Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
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 » Blu-ray Reviews » Twelve (2010) (Blu-ray)
Twelve (2010) (Blu-ray)
Fox // R // December 28, 2010 // Region A
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Brian Orndorf | posted December 15, 2010 | 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
Skip It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly

THE FILM

In 1985, director Joel Schumacher made a name for himself dramatizing the lives of the young and pouty in "St. Elmo's Fire." In 2010, Schumacher updates his take on the state of the youth union with "Twelve," an unsavory piece of dreary, mindless ick from a director who can't seem to get his act together these days. That is, if he ever had an act to begin with.

On Upper East Side of Manhattan, the boarding school generation is home for vacation, their pockets flush with cash passed along by parents who want them out of their sight. Self-absorbed, beautiful, and drawn to ugly behavior, the teens are ready to party the night away, consumed with acquiring popularity and drugs. Enter White Mike (Chace Crawford), a promising college student destroyed by the death of his mother, talking to the business of drug dealing to pay the bills, supplied by volatile pusher Lionel (Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson). Jessica (Emily Meade) is a dim-bulb with plenty of cash, soon finding herself desperately hooked on Twelve, a liquid designer drug. Also floating around this world is Chris (Rory Culkin), a virgin who'd love nothing more than to be deflowered by snotty heartbreaker Sara (Esti Ginzburg); Claude (Billy Magnussen), Chris's unstable juicer of a brother; and Molly (Emma Roberts), an innocent teen friend of White Mike who doesn't have a clue he's up to no good.

"Twelve" is an elongated story of spoiled brats with nothing in the way of redeeming human qualities. Don't we already have E! and The CW for crud like this? Of course, "Twelve" takes itself very seriously, with material pulled from the novel by Nick McDonell, giving Schumacher a sense of literary importance to work with or hide behind, depending on your point of view. It's a Salinger-lite take on the wounds of youth, gifted puffing narration (passages from the book) from Kiefer Sutherland, who's here to remind the audience that the nonsense onscreen is meant to retain some form of bleak poetry. It feels more like exploitation and just plain old-fashioned lousy filmmaking -- a tuneless pass on the cruelty of entitled youth and their clich├ęd, shirtless debauchery.

Schumacher doesn't show a particular control over his film, randomly slapping together a collection of subplots intended to create a community of affluent sourpusses. There's a murder mixed up in here as well, along with the normal routine of drug addictions, mommy and daddy neglect issues, and clique brutality. The story is nonsensical and hilariously melodramatic at times (White Mike spends the night in the bowels of a roadside construction project to connect to his mother's burial), with the director unable to connect the relationships organically, leaving huge gaps in logic I'm sure the book was careful to fill. "Twelve" is a mess, but Schumacher wants it to be an awfully pretty mess, having his beautiful actors prance around delivering ghastly performances (swimsuit model Ginzburg wasn't hired for her vast Shakespearean training), with special attention paid to Culkin, who barely bothers to stay awake during his scenes, and Magnussen, who's been branded the nut of the film, spending his screentime overacting to a piercing degree.

THE BLU-RAY

Visual:

Shot on HD, the smeary cinematography is offered a relaxed home on the AVC encoded (1.85:1 aspect ratio) presentation. Colors are stout throughout, depicting the autumnal city feel with a good read on reds and browns, while the party interiors also offer bountiful hues to maintain the striking appearance of the lavish homes. Detail is available, delivering the particulars of the pretty young things and their bloody adventures, while locations and costuming retain pleasing textures. Shadow detail isn't as pure as desired, with darker corners and fabrics muddied up. Skintones survive pleasantly, communicating the altered states of the characters.

Audio:

The 5.1 DTS-HD sound mix actually retains more of a personality than expected, with a strong feel of the soundtrack, offering a superior low-end response. Atmospherics are explored in full, from city street interactions to the thick of partying, with surrounds engaged, carrying a full sense of background life. Hallucination sequences also bring a circular hold, deepening the visual intent. Dialogue is crisp and separated well, allowing for a firm hold on exchanges from a variety of actors and known mumblers. Scoring is light, but effective.

Subtitles:

English SDH, Spanish, and French subtitles are included.

Extras:

None.

FINAL THOUGHTS

These kids smoke weed, drink, gossip, text, whine, have sex, and die (rather comically too), and there's just not a single reason to care about any frame of it. Schumacher doesn't agree, delivering hilarious moments of sacrifice and humiliation as if his film is going to make a difference in the lives of others. Much like the rest of his recent output, Schumacher would be lucky if anyone besides dutiful film critics even see this unforgivably ridiculous turkey.


For further online adventure, please visit brianorndorf.com
Other Reviews:
Find the lowest price for 'Twelve (2010) (Blu-ray)'
Popular Reviews
1. Ben-Hur (Diamond Luxe Edition)
2. Natural Born Killers: 20th Anniversary
3. The Equalizer (2014)
4. The Skeleton Twins
5. The Long Goodbye
6. Running Scared
7. Tales From The Crypt / Vault Of Horror
8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
9. Super Mario Bros. (Region B)
10. Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season Seven


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 2014 All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use