First and foremost a marketing experiment, spearheaded by director Steven Soderbergh, in releasing a film simultaneously in theaters and on cable TV and DVD. Otherwise an exercise in frugality. An hour and a quarter in length. A strummy solo guitar for background music. A chamber-sized ensemble of nonprofessional actors in awkward semi-improvised dialogues, flat and unaffected, certifiably unhistrionic, yet not so much natural as forcibly constrained. (Excepting only the real police detective who authoritatively plays a police detective.) A doll-factory locale in the Ohio hinterlands worth maybe five, ten minutes of documentary shots in the Errol Morris vein. A shred of a plot, a kind of a triangle, an offscreen murder, a microscopic motive. A conscious striving, all around, for banality and bleakness and an accidental achieving of condescension. A digital camera backed up to the farthest corner of the room, maximizing and exaggerating its distance through a wide-angle lens. A "high-definition" video image evolved above the complaint zone, safely into the comfort zone, still below the commendation zone. A bubble, a bauble, a bust. With Debbie Doebereiner, Dustin James Ashley, Misty Dawn Wilkins, K. Smith, Decker Moody. 2006.

1.0 stars

— Duncan Shepherd

  • Rated R | 1 hour, 13 minutes

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