DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Havoc

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Matt Stone, Nov 26, 2005.

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  1. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]
    Havoc (Unrated Edition)
    Directed By: Barbara Kopple

    Studio: New Line
    Year: 2005
    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic)
    Running Time: 92 Mins.
    Rating: UR (For Strong Sexual Content, Nudity, Pervasive Language, Violence, Drug and Alcohol Use)
    Audio: 5.1 DTS (English), 5.1 Dolby Digital (English), 2.0 Dolby Digital (English)
    Subtitles: English and Spanish
    MSRP: $19.97
    Street Date: 29 November, 2005

    Review Date: 26 November, 2005
    (Ratings are out of five stars)

    Summary
    Havoc follows a group of young unaffected teens in the Californian suburbs who become immersed in the gansta lifestyle. In the forefront is Anne Hathaway’s Allison and her best friend Emily (Bijou Phillips). Their infatuation with the “other side” leads them directly to downtown LA, where they see what they’ve been romanticizing up close. The film was promoted as Anne Hathaway Gone Wild, do to the dramatic departure from the rest of her work.

    The cast is actually pretty solid. I wasn’t looking forward to this film, but when the opening credits started appearing, my interest perked up a bit. There’s a level of uncomfortable humor associated with watching a bunch of rich, spoiled, white kids acting like stereotypical urban black youth. This may not be a problem with the film, per se, but it makes the first half-hour of the film a little hard to sit through. The film gets off to a rocky start, but it does get going after a while. Anne Hathaway stands out among the kids, but Matt O’Leary also turns in some solid work (as the films moral compass/documentary film-maker). I really liked O’Leary in Bill Paxton’s excellent Frailty and I was glad to see him again here. Six Feet Under’s Freddy Rodriguez also has some strong supporting work as a Hispanic drug dealer.

    The film is obviously trying to work as a commentary on the identity crisis apparently affecting rich, white youth in California. Regardless of if the subject matter is accurate or not, it’s presented far too melodramatically. In general, I’m not a fan of Larry Clark films, but I prefer some of their raw elements to the pretentiousness of this film. For the most part, it just felt white kids playing dress-up for a movie. On the other hand, Hathaway got to play a good portion of the film straight, which leaves a large disparity in the quality level between the straight and gansta scenes.. Some of the acting is suspect (Joseph Gordon-Levitt does really, really bad gansta-talk), but for the most part it’s not too bad.

    On the plus side, Anne Hathaway is very, very hot. I’m starting to see what John Williamson can’t stop raving about [​IMG].

    Film Rating: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Video
    The transfer is very good. Grain was very limited and I didn’t notice any edge enhancement, pixelation, or other artifacting. New Line tends to make very accurate transfers, and this is no exception. The color palette is stylized with darker, redder colors for the urban sequences and lighter, bluer colors for the suburban scenes. I’m assuming this is how it was presented theatrically, and luckily the transfer doesn’t over-correct the color timing.

    Video Rating: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Audio
    The film sounds just as good as it looks. There aren’t any rooftop, bullet-time sequences or any starship battles, but the music and ambiance sounds very accurate. The soundtrack comes in both DTS and Dolby Digital varieties, and as you might expect they sound pretty close. The DTS track sounded a little more “open” during the louder scenes, but that may just have been because it was mastered louder. Cliff Martinez’s score sounds very good as well. He does ambiance as good as anyone, and it sounds especially good here.

    Audio Rating: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Extras
    This DVD features the Theatrical Trailer for Havoc as well as trailers for a few other New Line films.

    Extras Rating: ZERO

    In Closing…
    I may not be the biggest fan of the film, but I’m definitely an Anne Hathaway fan now. She acts circles around most of the rest of the cast and has a very strong screen presence. If she decides to leave the Disney movies behind her and stick to more dramatic work in the future, she’ll really thrive. As for the film, I’m a little mixed. Talking to people who saw it premiere at Sundance a couple years ago, I wasn’t looking forward to watching it. Going into it with my low expectations, I was surprisingly pleased with the end result. The film isn’t without faults, but there were a lot of good aspects, and a few great sequences (especially the one-on-one stuff between Hathaway and O’Leary). If you’re a fan of gritty teen dramas, I can definitely recommend this one as a rental. I only recommend you buy this if you’ve already seen it, and already intend on buying it. The special features are non-existent, and I don’t see much of a reason to re-watch it.

    Overall Rating: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Matt Stone
    26 November, 2005
     
  2. David_Blackwell

    David_Blackwell Screenwriter

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    So this is more of a rental or buy previously viewed type of DVD.
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    If you're an Anne Hathaway fan, there are 2 reasons to gain possession (using whatever means necessary) of this DVD. [​IMG]
     
  4. Eric Emma

    Eric Emma Supporting Actor

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    This movie completely fell off the radar, I remember the huge amount of internet buzz it was created due to the Anne Hathway nude scenes and the stark contrast it was to her disney stuff, then it just kind of disappeared. Any reason why? Couldn't find distribution?
     
  5. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    New Line probably didn't know how to market it.

    Even though it was directed by multiple Academy Award winner Barbara Koppel (director of the great documentaries HARLAN COUNTY USA and AMERICAN DREAM) and I believe from the writer of TRAFFIC / SYRIANA, with that talent behind the scenes, all the buzz was about the nude scenes, so I guess they cut their losses and went right to video with it.
     
  6. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    I do think it was a case of not knowing how to market it, combined with poor performance at the festivals. When it premiered, I only remember hearing bad things.
     
  7. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    I watched this last night from Netflix.

    I can see why it went straight to video. Not much of a film, especially considering Koppel's involvement. Poorly done at times, didn't really feel any sense of danger. Sort of like the episodes in the OC when they went back to Ryan's old neighborhood.

    So, not worth buying, even if you are a Hathaway fan.
     
  8. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Producer

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    Hathaway also has a brief topless scene in the upcoming BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, which will not be going straight to video. Maybe PRINCESS co-star Julie Andrews gave her nudity tips.
     
  9. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    John Williamson
    [​IMG]

    Do I even HAVE TO say whether or not i'm getting this dvd? I didn't think so.
     
  10. Britton

    Britton Supporting Actor

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    This thread is worthless without pics! [​IMG]
     
  11. Kain_C

    Kain_C Screenwriter

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    I've got the important footage on my PC so that's all I need! [​IMG]
     

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