88 Blu-ray Review
The movie 88 also happens to be 88 minutes long… sooo there’s that.
88 wants so badly to be the cool kid in school. Unfortunately, it’s so stupid that every time it tries walking with some swagger, the film doesn’t realize that its clothes are ill fitting and mismatched with untied shoelaces, causing it to fall flat on its face.
I really don’t like being mean and try to find the positive in any film, because I respect the gumption of actually making it happen. Sadly, 88 is a poor product of a Quentin Tarantino influence with far less talent and nearly zero brains. The story and layout are not without merit as the basic structure and idea of the film is halfway creative.
Gwen (Katharine Isabelle, AMERICAN MARY) is the product of a Fugue State – a strange form of amnesia where the person takes on a completely new identity, usually triggered by a major traumatic event. Hopping back and forth between two time lines, 88 follows the present with Gwen as a confused, frightened, and helpless individual to the events prior where Gwen is a cold, sexy killer wanting vengeance. The catalyst to Gwen’s fugue state appears to be the death of her boyfriend, which we assume has something to do with Gwen’s father like figure and mob boss, Cyrus (Christopher Lloyd, BACK TO THE FUTURE).
88 focuses on style rather than plausibility. A fun scene where a crazy weapons dealer switches her meetings between business time and leisure time is fun in theory, but is executed so poorly with policemen busting in without any logical protocol that it immediately pulls the viewer from the film. Of course, that would mean that the viewer would have to be invested into the characters and the story from the beginning. In fact, nearly every character, particularly the police officers, constantly run out in the open shooting without any reason or care for safety. The very first scene involves Gwen shooting a waitress, while two police officers with their guns drawn, choose not to shoot the evil doer.
Working together in the comedy horror film DEAD BEFORE DAWN 3D among others, director April Mullen and writer Tim Doiron, who both also star in the film, clearly are excited about their work and I commend their passion. But 88 is a mess on many levels, insulting its characters and the audience. Rather than being cool in its outlandish scenarios, it inexplicably chooses lame and foolish actions that could have easily been avoidable. 88 is flash without purpose.
Video: (MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p 2.39:1) The picture looks great with a vibrant color pallet.
Audio: (Dolby TrueHD 5.1) The sound has some issue with the dialogue not being quite as loud or clear as the effects or music, but overall it was OK.
Behind the Scenes (37:29): This is a great in depth look into the film with interviews from everyone, mostly by director April Mullen and writer Tim Dorion. The passion and excitement from the filmmakers as they were creating the film and explaining their reasons and techniques is sadly far more enjoyable than the actual film. Ms. Mullens passion is contagious and I wish her the best. I recommend this feature over her film.
Making Of (3:14): Repeating some of the same stuff from before, this making of is a very quick run though using movie snippets and interviews.
Previews: REACH ME, AUTOMATA, BY THE GUN, GOOD PEOPLE