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 Ive instead received my movie viewing pleasure via the comfort of my own home via DVDs 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 its first British showing. That privilege was free as well thanks to LBC radio doing a special preview showing for its 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. Im 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, its 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 groups next fix of the drug speed. To appease the groups 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 Nikkis 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. Its during this scene that Ross suddenly gets an urgent call on his phone and is whisked away to again play driver to Nikkis 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 Nikkis and The Cooks 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 shes 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 hes 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 Fribees (pretty worthless) valuables, the greasy geek reluctantly agrees to wear a wire and lead them straight to the source of his illegal substances Spider Mikes (John Leguizamo) home. Before he reaches their door, hes unaware that Spider Mike and his girlfriend Cookie (Suvari) are in the throngs of love making when the call of nature suddenly demands that its 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 hes 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 hes 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 Fribees hospitalisation), Ross helps Nikki escape her now ex-boyfriend who shes 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 movies plot goes a little off-course from here as a mystery friend bails The Cook out of jail. Cook then decides its 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 its loose ends (except the real relationship between Cook and his bailer) before slightly letting itself down with its 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 were talking numbers, Ill give it a generous seven out of ten and declare that it was much better than I had initially expected.