88 is a different breed of the revenge plot with a lead actress who is great in a dual role, one squeaky clean, the other bad ass criminal, while it’s fun seeing Christopher Lloyd getting work again making a quasi resurgence appearing in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and a variety of DTV flicks (as well as a cameo in A Million Ways to Die in the West). Outside of the acting, though, this is one of the more insane, and inane (with much love), films I’ve seen in some time and its one hell of a way to start 2015.
Genre(s): Drama, Crime, Mystery
Millennium | NR – 89 min. – $24.99 | January 6, 2015
THE MOVIE – 3.75/5
I’m exhausted. Even though 88, the first film released in 2015, is a mere 88-minutes long, it is one insane ride from beginning to end. Think of this as if Quentin Tarantino and Oliver Stone decided to get together and remake Memento…
I’ll do my best to recount the story, though it does jump around but the gist is a young woman named Gwen (KATHARAINE ISABELLE) goes through what is called a fugue state in which the person undergoes a personality identity change, brought on after a traumatic event, unable to remember certain events or in Gwen’s case, receive memories in flashes.
Under the sexy bad ass persona of Flamingo, she sets out to find the man who killed her boyfriend, strip club owner Cyrus (CHRISTOPHER LLOYD) and receives help from Ty (TIM DOIRON) who also wants revenge against Cyrus for the disappearance of his wayward sister. It’s Ty’s entrance into the picture where the insanity gets ratcheted up with a few of the more ludicrous moments and one hell of a way to start the New Year…
In a recent review of The Guest, I said the film was ridiculously stupid, well on the opposite end of the spectrum, 88 was ridiculously awesome and consistent in its lunacy. The film is hardly great, of course, but the performances are mostly good headlined by Katharine Isabelle who, save for one melodramatic scene, is great holding her own, and kicks all sorts of as her Flamingo alter-ego, as the lead. The kicker for me, however, taking it over the line is seeing Christopher Lloyd as the antagonist and is utterly amazing in his relatively brief role.
One of the bigger surprises for me was Tim Doiron who was also the screenwriter but one of the highlights in some of the more insane scenes including a shootout after purchasing guns from a dealer (played by the director). More often than not, whenever you get a writer and/or directing attempts at acting in a significant role, it doesn’t exactly work, but with this plot, for some reason both really help the movie on the whole.
The film was helmed by April Mullen, who previously directed Dead Before Dawn 3D, and to call it frenetic is an understatement. As I said, it’s a combination of Tarantino and Stone, albeit Mullen doesn’t possess the same talent as either, but she does her best putting together this fragmented story in a way that will both frustrate yet still fascinate audiences at the same time. Oh, and it also helps she makes sure this film doesn’t take itself too seriously.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover. Unfortunately not much is included save for a standard Behind the Scenes (37:29; HD) and Making Of (3:14; HD) featurettes, the former providing a bit more information and on-location interviews with members of the cast and crew while the latter is more of a promotional featurette.
VIDEO – 4.25/5
88 shoots its way onto Blu-ray presented with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. For the most part, this is a good looking picture with decently sharp detail levels throughout, bright colors and stark blacks during the darker shots. This is a clean transfer with no obvious signs of artifacting, pixilation or aliasing.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The disc includes a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track which is effective providing for crisp and clear dialogue levels and during a scene or two, there is some depth with good ambient audio and the LFE channel does kick in a time or two giving that extra oomph to an otherwise so-so lossless track.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, 88 is a different breed of the revenge plot with a lead actress who is great in a dual role, one squeaky clean, the other bad ass criminal, while it’s fun seeing Christopher Lloyd getting work again making a quasi resurgence appearing in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and a variety of DTV flicks (as well as a cameo in A Million Ways to Die in the West). Outside of the acting, though, this is one of the more insane, and inane (with much love), films I’ve seen in some time and its one hell of a way to start 2015.
The Blu-ray released by Millennium Home Entertainment does have above average video and audio transfers while the bonus material is a bit underwhelming though the one featurette does get provide for some in-depth information on the production.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.