Alpha Dog (2006)
USA / English
"Inspired by true events. "A drama based on the life of Jesse James Hollywood, a drug dealer who became one of the youngest men ever to be on the FBI's most wanted list.
A Great Film.
Having learned about the "Jesse James Hollywood" case during my junior
year in high school, I'll admit that I was actually extremely
disappointed to find out that a film was being made depicting the
events that had happened. However, I can now say, I think differently.
The basic premise, without giving too much away, involves a drug deal
gone awry. Someone isn't paying Johnny Truelove, and that someone, just
so happens to have a little brother. A naive, fifteen year old, little
brother (played powerfully by Anton Yelchin) who just wants to live his
life. The boy is kidnapped, and held as a sort of ransom, until Jonny
gets his money from boy's brother. Johnny's friends become attached to
the boy, and eventually, the boy learns a life lesson.
It may all sound played out and done before, but this film is
electrifying in every sense of the word. It's hardcore. It's raw. It's
at times gritty. (I felt some vibes from the Larry Clark film "Bully",
with the whole "kids-doing-what-they-want-anytime-anywhere thing"). You
feel as though you're watching these people's lives just crumble before
them, making it all the more worse is the grim reality that's stuck in
the back of your mind, reminding you that this is all true. Nick
Cassavetes has created such a true-to-life depiction of what happened,
that it's almost frightening. You won't want to look away.
There are a few downsides however, one being the running time, either
the movie was too dragged out or was just moving too slow. To me, I
felt as though it could have ended fifteen minutes earlier. There's
also a lot of partying, however, this being a depiction of a real life
set of teenagers' lives, I can see why it was so vital towards the
film. These kids have parents who do as much as they do. The parents
don't care what happens to these kids, which makes it all the more
terrifying. These kids are on their own. They have nowhere to run and
no one to turn to for help.
With an all-star cast, and top performances all around (not a fan of
Justin Timberlake? You will be after this film. Trust me) this film is
one not to be missed. The ending is so shocking, that it's a wonder I
didn't expect it early on. 'Alpha Dog' is an emotional roller coaster
that will have you glued to the screen right from the emotional opening
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