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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » River of Grass
River of Grass
Wellspring // Unrated // March 11, 2003
List Price: $24.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Don Houston | posted April 13, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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Movie: Have you ever watched Bonnie & Clyde? How about The Getaway? I could name a few more if you like but the common theme is a man and a woman on the run. How each movie handles the theme is obviously going to vary but most of the time, Hollywood seems to want us to believe that the characters are larger than life. They tend to be attractive, exciting, and witty with an attitude towards life that make them popular anti-heroes. That brings me to a little low budget film called, River of Grass.

In River of Grass, Director/Co-Writer Kelly Reichardt, takes a different approach to this type of movie. In her view, the couple is not only destined for a trailer park somewhere, but each seems to be depriving a village of an idiot by being on the road. Lead male Larry Fessenden makes David Spade's character in Joe Dirt look like an upper crust Princeton graduate while his female counterpart Lisa Bowman reminds one of every two bit skank found in a bar in the seedy section of town at closing time. Filmed in May of 1993 (per the cue cards), the story follows the life and times of Cozy (Lisa) who wants out of her lousy marriage to have something more out of life. She runs into loser Lee (Larry) when he nearly runs her over on a road. The two meet at a bar, seem to fit together (in the sense that losers tend to gravitate towards one another), and then leave to play around. While trespassing in a guy's pool, they accidentally shoot him (so they think) and run, thinking they've killed him. The major subplot being that Cozy's Dad is a cop with a lost gun (guess where Lee's gun came from). How it all ties together is the focus of this decidedly weird indie movie.

Picture: The film was presented in full frame format although the outtakes were in widescreen. It really had the look of a very low budget indie film-a soft focus, lots of blemishes on the screen, and uneven composition. In a sense, it contributed to the movie much better than if it looked crisp and clear.

Sound: While the movie was shot in Mono, it was released here in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. There wasn't a lot of quality here but again, it contributed to the overall mood of the movie.

Extras: There was a collection of outtakes and bloopers, some trailers, and a few filmographies.

Final Thoughts: The movie was depressing and a true testament to the old saying "Crime Doesn't Pay". Perhaps if movies like this were more popular, people would be less prone to engaging in criminal behavior since the typical Hollywood criminal (which is very unrealistic) is usually seen as being far superior to the rest of society. The leads were PWT (poor white trash) with absolutely no hope of redemption, living dead end lives in low income areas. I'm recommending this one to those of you looking for a bit of insight into poverty stricken mindsets. As a first effort on the part of the director, it's pretty interesting to watch for all it's limitations.

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