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Film review: Spun

Discussion in 'TV Show Forum' started by TheBoingoBandit, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. TheBoingoBandit

    TheBoingoBandit
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    I'm an aspiring journalist trying to get some of my writing published to help me when applying for work experience or employment in the future.

    A few weeks ago, I sent a film review to another website who shall remain nameless for their consideration.

    Two weeks past and I had received no reply. Upon contacting them, I was told that they had not received it so I re-sent it to them. This time they did acknowledge receipt.

    Since then, weeks have past and I have still not heard anything from them and my review hasn't been published on their site.

    Of course I understand that maybe I would need to change some parts or that my writing was not to their style but a little courtesy wouldn't have gone amiss.

    Obviously I am annoyed about this especially after it took more than two hours to write.
    I have decided to post the review here on the AV Forums (a site I trust, respect and enjoy) instead. Even if no one likes it, at least it'll get read!

    Sorry for the whinge, onto the review.......
















    SPUN – Cinema Release review

    By John Mason


    The film Spun marks my first return to a cinema since 1999! Over the last few years I’ve instead received my movie viewing pleasure via the comfort of my own home via DVD’s versatile shiny disc and the slightly less shiny satellite dish.

    Spun (known as ‘The Cook’ in the states) was produced back in 2002, but I was privileged to attend it’s first British showing. That privilege was free as well thanks to LBC radio doing a special preview showing for it’s listeners! Thumbs up to that!

    I had no clue what the movie would be about and groaned inside when I heard that it was an ‘art-house film’, expecting it to be rather boring. I’m more of a crash, bang, wallop in Dolby Surround kind of guy when it comes to watching movies at the cinema.

    For a small independent film, it’s certainly got big star names such as Brittany Murphy, Mena Suvavi, a cameo by singer Debbie Harry and Mickey Rouke playing semi-lead character The Cook.
    Even porn-superstar Ron Jeremy manages to appear as an extra playing a barman in the local strip-club.

    Set in a seedy part of California, the film begins with a youngish group of three men and two women sprawled around a sofa in an untidy house. A spotty male going by the nickname of Frisbee sits upon the floor transfixed by his PlayStation game as the rest bawl and shout at one of the other men after he confesses that he may have lost the package that he had gone out to get.
    The package it transpires contained the group’s next fix of the drug speed.

    To appease the group’s lost of their favourite vice, one girl in the group Nikki (Murphy) announces that her boyfriend makes and can supply them with their drug of choice and asks buddy Ross (played by Jason Schwartzman) to drive her home so she can go get them all a sample. Ross obliges and upon arriving at Nikki’s home is met by the boyfriend, affectionately known as The Cook. The tall domineering figure dressed in cowboy boots and hat pacing over to Ross’ battered Volvo initially scares him, but Ross then relaxes when suddenly paid in drugs as a token of thanks for the ride.

    Without haste, Ross snorts the drug there and then and this is where trick camera-work and the creative mind of the director comes into play as a loud thud plays complete with a close-up of his dilated pupils as the speed takes effect. This continues with the viewers taking a sudden leap into Ross’ spaced out mind. Throughout the film, every dosage of drugs taken by each character is portrayed in this way with animation, jerky unusual visuals and thumping bass panning out each drug-induced trip. Probably the best of these is when Ross ties his lap dancing girlfriend to his bed and has passionate sex with her where many sexual scenes depleting intense orgasm and pleasure are flashed up on screen.
    It’s during this scene that Ross suddenly gets an urgent call on his phone and is whisked away to again play driver to Nikki’s travel demands.
    Expecting to be untied from the bed, Ross’ girlfriend is visibly upset when he instead glues her eyes and mouth shut with masking tape.
    His warped understanding of gentlemanly conduct goes as far as putting a loud heavy metal CD on repeat play to ‘entertain’ his girl. Unfortunately in his rush, he slams the door so hard that the disc jams and continuously repeats a jittering split second burst of sound. Talk about mental -or should that be metal- torture!

    Ross’ driving duties morph into a regular arrangement over the next few hours with Ross becoming Nikki’s and The Cook’s unofficial chauffeur (with Ross’ girl still waiting in chains), making many trips with them to the liquor market, the porn store and the local vetenary surgery so that Nikki can hand over her pet dog -whose from living in a substance filled kitchen has turned green- to the bemused staff! Remember kids: DIY drugs-making and domestic pets do NOT mix!

    Frisbee, the PlayStation pounding spotted geek of earlier is a real slob of a character. Constantly stuffing greasy food into his ever willing mouth, while his equally nasty –and permanently peckish- mother yells orders across their trailer for more grub to fill her already bulging belly.

    While she’s sprawled across her sofa watching police reality shows, unknown to her outside the local goofball detectives (themselves both being junkies too) complete with camera crew are waiting ready to pounce upon her trailer to arrest her son suspecting that he’s the source for all the local drugs dealing. In pretty amusing but complete ****-take Starsky and Hutch style, they raid her house and stick them both in the slammer.

    After threatening to confiscate all of Fribee’s (pretty worthless) valuables, the greasy geek reluctantly agrees to wear a wire and lead them straight to the source of his illegal substances – Spider Mike’s (John Leguizamo) home. Before he reaches their door, he’s unaware that Spider Mike and his girlfriend Cookie (Suvari) are in the throngs of love making when the call of nature suddenly demands that it’s time for her to take a number two, much to the annoyance of her boyfriend and his excited genitalia.
    I must admit, the sight of the beautiful Suvari struggling to take a constipated dump is a bit surreal!
    Too horny to wait, Spider Mike decides to call a sex chat line and take nature –so to speak- into his own hands. Amazingly, the man-hungry hot honey he thinks he’s talking to is actually Ross’ lesbian neighbour.
    She requests that he puts something over his manhood –he finds a sock- so that he can *cough* apply for a sausage making job while she talks dirty to him. After relieving herself, Cookie is disturbed to hear that Spider Mike is too …with help from another woman. So she seeks revenge by giving the big come-on to Frisbee when he arrives at the door. She jumps on top of him, then proceeds to rip his clothes off.
    Frisbee -the likely virgin- is so engaged by this, he forgets he’s wearing a wire that Cookie then discovers on him as Spider Mike rushes into the room.
    Realising that their plan has gone to rot, the Police burst into the house just as Spider Mike who is angered of being set up by his friend decides to shoot Frisbee in his testicle. OUCH!

    After being told the news of his friends’ arrests (and Fribee’s hospitalisation), Ross helps Nikki escape her now ex-boyfriend who she’s had an argument with. After collecting her green doggie, he drives her to the bus station for her farewell trip to Vegas.
    The Cook meanwhile manages to blow up his flat, escaping unscathed and finds refuge at his favourite local porn shop where he decks the gay store assistant for his suggestive comments and manages to get arrested.

    The movie’s plot goes a little off-course from here as a mystery friend bails The Cook out of jail. Cook then decides it’s time to leave town forever and gets the ever-willing Ross to drive him there, not forgetting to check up on his old friend first.

    From there the journey continues as the film ties up all it’s loose ends (except the real relationship between Cook and his bailer) before slightly letting itself down with it’s ending which is a real blink and you miss it moment – which I almost did! The film makes up for itself with a nice twist regarding Ross’ now-rescued girlfriend.

    Spun is a perfectly watchable decent film, which comes across as Trainspotting meets American Pie. A serious anti-drugs message complete with a touch of toilet humour and silliness. More fart-house than art-house maybe?
    If we’re talking numbers, I’ll give it a generous seven out of ten and declare that it was much better than I had initially expected.
     
  2. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder
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    Bit long for a review without any spaces, try dividing it into 3 sections, one dealing with the film plot, one dealing with the picture quality and perhaps the way it was directed and another dealing with the audio content, also one tip don't give too much of the plotline away as it ruins it for others who might rely on ur review to go see it but who don't want to know everything.

    Film is called Spun in america also and not The Cook anymore.
     
  3. TheBoingoBandit

    TheBoingoBandit
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    The reason I didn't mention the PQ is becuase it was a cinema review not a DVD review.






    Thanks for reading! :)
     
  4. Will K

    Will K
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    It might be a little late, but I think that your review was a tad too long and was more a plot description than what I would normally think of as a review. I think you need to concentrate more on the acting, direction and feel of the film.
    Hope this helps, anfd good luck with any further reviews!:)
     
  5. STOWITBELOW

    STOWITBELOW
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    I quite like the sound of the movie, but agree with the previos posts.
    Also....... Probably the best of these is when Ross ties his lap dancing girlfriend to his bed and has passionate sex with her where many sexual scenes depleting intense orgasm and pleasure are flashed up on screen.
    Do you mean depicting? (proves I did read it & I don't know how to put quotes in little boxes!!!)
     
  6. TheBoingoBandit

    TheBoingoBandit
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    Yeah, I think my spell-checker was having a bad day.


    I thank you all for your views and I hope you all will agree that it was bad not to get any reply back from the webmaster I originally sent the review to.

    As mentioned before, I actually would rather write about technology rather than movies but thought that getting some movie reviews out there on websites could equally help with getting pratical experience.
     
  7. Garrett

    Garrett
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    I too agree with the above you seem to be giving a blow by blow account of the film. You have to let the audience find some things out for themselves.
    Don’t ever do what a reviewer did the other week in one paper and gave the whole plot away and he managed to do it in the space of your first three paragraphs that will be the last time I read his reviews as a lot of off other members of this forum will if they read it.

    For instance if you was reviewing SPOILER i.e. film name
    The Edge
    you could mention up to the point of them being stranded in the wilderness and then say they will they put there differences behind them to survive.
     
  8. seany

    seany
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    Just too long pal, we never really needed to know how you came to watch the film. You went in to the plot in too much detail, it felt like you were trying to sell a film to a producer rather then reviewing one
     

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