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14 January 2007

Movie Queue: 'Alpha Dog'

Starring: Bruce Willis, Sharon Stone, Justin Timberlake, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Dominique Swain, Shawn Hatosy,Anton Yelchin.

I saw this movie for one reason and one reason only. And it was to answer one question: Can Justin Timberlake act as well as he can dance? The answer: Well, this is a start.

This movie is based on a true story about Jesse James Hollywood, the youngest man in history (19) to be on the FBI's Most Wanted List. Johnny Truelove (Hirsch) is the "alpha dog" drug lord of San Gabriel Valley and his father, Sonny (Willis) is his supplier. When one of Johnny's friends, Jake (Foster), welches on a $1200 drug debt, he decides to kidnap Jake's 15-yr-old brother, Zack (Yelchin), and hold him as a marker. Now mind you, Johnny's crew, including Frankie (Timberlake), give the kid numerous chances to escape, but he decides to "ride it out and see what happens". Yeah, big mistake there.

After seeing how the other half lives--he's referred to as "Stolen Boy" by a couple of girls, to whom he loses his virginity to later on--he thinks anything is better than going back home to an overprotective mother (Stone). When it becomes apparent that Jake can't repay his debt, Johnny comes up with a new plan: murder. Once you get past all the exaggerated male posturing and every-other-word-is-a-cuss-word (or a combo thereof), you can feel the underlying sense of dread. You know what's going to happen and it's not good, and all the build-up to it leaves you feeling anxious. The movie is interspersed with interviews with Johnny's father and a few witnesses. And in case you don't know who the witnesses are, you're reminded during the course of the movie.

I think Justin did a good job for his first time on the big screen. In the second half of the movie. When he was acting all tough in the beginning, upper body covered in tattoos (some of which I'd heard he'd designed himself), it seemed like he was trying too hard. All the swearing and puffed-out chest posturing just didn't seem to come naturally to him, so it was like he was overcompensating. After the kidnapping, however, when the seriousness of the situation started to kick in, the "real" Justin stood up and took over. His next movie is Black Snake Moan with Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson. I'm looking forward to seeing how well does in that.

Review: 3 1/2 Snaps Up

*Note: Hollywood fled the country, but was caught in August 2005. His team of lawyers tried to block the release of this movie while he was on trial because they claimed it maligned their client's character.


posted by GeminiWisdom @ 12:23 PM |


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