It's hard reviewing a film like K-11: a film lacking in focus paves the road for a review lacking in focus. First, I suppose, some production history: the film was directed and co-written by Jules Stewart, mother of Kristen. Stewart's famous daughter was once slated to play Butterfly before Twilight turned her into a Hollywood megastar (in the finished film, Stewart makes a vocal cameo in the movie that literally lasts seconds). Then again, maybe she would have bailed on her mother anyway: K-11 is a distressingly sloppy mix of stereotypes and cliches. Although Stewart blends these elements into a series of events, there's not really a story here.
Take Saxx, for instance. The DVD of K-11 is graced with a quote comparing the movie to The Shawshank Redemption, which is also about a guy who was framed for murder, but that film (skill aside) had 180 minutes to actually be about that character coping, adapting, forming relationships, etc. Comparatively, Stewart informs the viewer that Saxx didn't commit a crime we never see via TV newscast, a scene that tells us who did, and...that's about it. Nearly every other scene in the movie with Visnjic (and there are lots of scenes without him) is basically centered around him passively observing the ups and downs of life in K-11, telling us nothing about his character or doing anything in the way of giving that character an arc or journey aside from looking less upset and shocked at the end of the movie than the beginning.
"Life in K-11" consists of a string of salacious nonsense, none of which really forms into a cohesive whole. There's a poorly-explained drug ring of some sorts going on in the office with Johnson and Mousey's boyfriend Ben (Jason Mewes). Emotionally troubled prisoner Detroit (Tommy "Tiny" Lister) begins raping Butterfly on a regular basis, which everyone stands around and listens to in horror. Johnson himself looks to have his way with Saxx, while spiraling into a coke addiction. There is no connection between these elements other than the fact that they occur in the same movie, and are all meant to indicate how terrible the unit is. Interesting to note that K-11 actually exists in the LA prison system, and that it is voluntary, but that must not make for a good movie.
The worst part of the movie, though, is Mousey herself, a character built solely out of every stereotype you can think of about angry Latinas, violent women, "bitches", and transgendered women. Every moment she's on-screen is obnoxious, fueled by del Castillo's commitment to these painful, reductive ideas. No doubt people like this do exist, but even with the slow transformation of the character as the movie continues, the underlying message of the beginning is that this person is scary, that being surrounded by gay people as a straight person is scary, and that Mousey's exaggerated appearance is disturbing. In doing so, Stewart also writes herself into a corner in which the only way out for Saxx is a series of morally questionable actions. Whether or not a certain kind of wrong deserves another is an interesting question for a movie to tackle, but K-11 isn't it.
The Video and Audio
"Behind the Scenes" (1:57) is mostly a clip of the actors off the set, although there are two B-roll segments that follow. A few deleted scenes (1:39, 2:43, 1:51, 0:07 -- that's right, seven seconds) are next. The first is the most interesting, and would've provided at least a little crucial backstory for Raymond. Interviews are also included, with Goran Visnjic (5:27), Kate del Castillo (4:36), D.B. Sweeney (2:30), and "Others" - Cameron Stewart, Billy Morrison, producer Tom Wright, Markus Redmond, an unidentified woman that might be executive producer Michelle Berk, and Jason Mewes (6:25). The enthusiasm of Visnjic and del Castillo is endearing and infectious...too bad the film doesn't capitalize on it (although, even though it's innocent, del Castillo should probably rethink her choice of the word "creepy"). The disc wraps up with a "My Liberty" music video (a song you'll already be tired of after hearing the menu loop a few times), and a photo gallery.
Trailers for Laurence Anyways, Dead in France, and Silver Case are accessible from the special features menu. An original trailer for K-11 is also included.