[Film Fest] Day Four is when my tolerance for utterly unredeemable crap at Sundance vanishes entirely. I'll start to bail out on the movies with that stench of "I had a DV cam and a burning desire to write a terrible script." Usually I last at least 30 minutes, hoping against hope that sometime around Plot Point #1 (read up on your Syd Field Screenwriting for Dummies, boys and girls), something interesting will happen.
North Starr did not invite me to make it to that magic half-hour mark. I knew I was in trouble when the film opened with a dream sequence, the filmmaking equivalent of “I really don’t know how to start my movie.” It got hilariously worse with a conversation between two African-American gentlemen – one of them an aspiring rapper, apparently, the other his “homey” – which appeared to be constructed out of a hip-hop-themed Mad Libs: “Yo, you packin’ a [street slang for gun]?” Apparently writer-director Matthew Stanton never saw Airplane!’s two jive-talking passengers, because he has re-made that scene as though it were not meant to be funny. After our protagonist flees Houston, having witnessed the murder of his pal, he wanders down a road, sits under a tree, smokes a cigarette and begins writing rap lyrics describing the scene we just endured – all in the course of a single static shot. I was done.
I have now spent more time writing about this movie than I spent watching it. (Scott Renshaw)