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Charlie Zone (2013)

sex addict
Amanda Crew stars as crackhouse beauty Jan in Charlie Zone (2013).

At a glance:
I've read many glowin reviews about this little Canadian crime caper that managed a very limited theatrical release a while back. Michael Melski's under-supported Charlie Zone (2013) is about a disgraced First Nations boxer and ex-con (native actor Glen Gould) who resorts to streetfightin for YouTube videos to make ends meet, before fatefully takin up a job to retrieve a young heroin addict (Amanda Crew) from a crackhouse in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Title is in reference to a rough part of town, I understand.
Jan (Amanda Crew) gets nicked by Avery (Glen Gould).
Bad news on the doorstep:
It's a little too long and it tends to wanna cover too much. Also it overdoes the unpolished, grainy feel. Is this how the East Coast underworld is really like, I wonder? I've never been. Modest little Canadian crime flick with borin camerawork and lethargic editin but it does feature some decent lead performances, especially the gritty Gould. The movie is most interestin when he's on the move and weakest when people talk too much. Two or three more rewrites would've landed more solid punches.
Perennial wonderment:
How come pushers and junkies are always so unconvincin in under-budgeted movies? I believe that sometimes, all that an actor needs to get so much better for such roles is to spend some time on the streets.
No safety.
Reminds me of:
Always liked Amanda Crew since I watched her in Sex Drive (2008). She reminds me of Kristen Stewart, only with talent. Wished her role could've been sexier here, though it'll probably serve as a distraction from the proceedings. Still, could've gone for a more lascivious edge, in all that doom and gloom.
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I enjoyed all the personal little touches and also the attempt for a certain level of intimacy but I think the heart of the story is underwritten. Norman Milner notes: "It’s cheaply made and a little on the long side, with maybe one speech too many about the rich taking advantage of the poor. But strong performances by Gould and Crew – clearly relishing the opportunity to go beyond the frowny-pretty roles she’s usually given – compensate for the production’s ragged edges, and director Melski, who co-wrote the script with Joseph LeClair, shows promise as a meat-and-potatoes storyteller. Give these guys a little more money and a bit more prep time and the results could be really impressive." Check out the official website and Facebook fan page for more info.★★1/2

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