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What we get is the typical botched kidnapping plot. Tom (Macnamara) arranges with his hot tub dealer employer to abduct his boss daughter and hold her for ransom, draining his boss boozy, prescription pill popping wife of her daddy's trust fund. Tom gets his girlfriend, Ann, to think they are baby-sitting the little girl, Katie, while her mom is drying out in rehab. Naturally everything begins to go wrong. Tom asks for 8 times the money they were planning ($800,000), and his boss is found shot in the chest, murdered by either the wife or Tom's hand. Ann eventually gets clue that Tom is psycho, and feels "implicated" by her involvement and fearful that Tom will kill her and Katie.
A couple of detectives are on the case and spout lame lines like "There's one note thats singing off-key". They figure out that Tom is not who he says he is but dont do much other than that. Ann has a contrived backstory of having lost a child, thus making her more attached to Katie. It is all pretty terrible and leads to an insipid finale.
I honestly cannot think of a single redeeming factor this film has to offer. It is unremarkable in every way. The story is flawed, unconvincing , and predictable. The characters are contrived and stereotypical. The direction is bland. The editing is sloppy. The music is forgettable. The photography is amateurish. And, the acting is dull and passionless. It doesn't even veer into unintentional moments of humor. Nope, every moment is flat.
As if they were infected by he child actress that plays Katie, every actor delivers their lines with an almost painstaking amount of unreality and lack of conviction. Macnamara is a complete dud every moment he's on screen. When the script calls for it, he manages to not be convincingly charming, smart, or psychotic. In all of his "intimidating" scenes, you'll have little doubt that a quick slap to the face would send the wimp flying into a corner crying. The script also always uses dominoes as his referance to his grand plan ("I told you, nothing is allowed to interfere with the falling dominoes.") and this only makes you want to slap him more. Locane's Ann is a terribly conceived character and comes off as selfish, stupid, and spineless because she illogically doesn't try to take Katie and run from this nut despite being given plenty of wide-open chances to do so.
If you want a story of cumbersome kidnapping with character, suspense, and wit, go with Fargo and forget this nonsense.
The DVD: Columbia
Picture: As you play the movie you are greeted with those words true film fans dread to see- "This film has been modified..." Yes, a full-screen, aka. we didn't care and figure you wont either, transfer. So, it is a throw away transfer. Its actually impossible to get a good transfer of the low budget film anyway because the cinematography is pretty bad, including plenty of scenes that are slightly out of focus. And, then, if that wasn't bad enough, during the final two chapters the disc I reviewed pixellated and froze. I tried it on three different DVD players, and it was exactly the same with each one, so be warned. I wouldn't be surprised they mucked up all of the discs and just didn't notice.
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. Eh. Really, I'm out of words. Eh is all I can think of to say. Yeah, the sound is fair, but really the dialogue recording and music is of such a low quality to begin with there isn't much you can do. The film features English subtitles too, so every lame line of the script can be read in its full yellow glory.
Extras: Chapter Selections--- Some trailers.
Conclusion: Worthless film. Worthless transfer. Need I say more? It isn't a good movie in just about every way possible and the transfer not only is barebones and in a cropped ratio, but according to the copy I reviewed, it may be flawed and breaks apart/freezes in the films final section. And at $24.99, there is just no real reason to care.