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Life is Hot in Cracktown - drama DVD / suspense DVD review
LIFE IS HOT IN CRACKTOWN Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 1 star
Actors: Kerry Washington, Victor Rasuk, Evan Ross, Shannyn Sossamon, Lara Flynn Boyle
Director: Buddy Giovinazzo   Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
DVD release: 25 August 2009   Runtime: 102 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Color, DVD, NTSC
DVD Features: Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English; Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English, Spanish), Closed-captioned, Last Exit To Cracktown, Deleted scenes, Trailers

Life is Hot in Cracktown is not so hot. The characters begin fully developed - they are exactly what one expects from the title - and the plot is, simply, not there. It does manage to redeem itself with actors and actresses who can, and do, act. Kerry Washington's transsexual is able to draw the viewer into the movie. Unfortunately, with the predictable, love-hate trope displayed by her lover, the possibilities for bringing more realism into the lives of partners like these fall flat.

Manny, played by Victor Rasuk, works back-to-back shifts to care for his wife and baby. He, too, brings reality to the screen, acting the poverty role predictably. He shrinks from his baby's crying, and the mother of his child appears to dislike him. However, his wife and child remain as background objects, leaving the viewer unsure of the status of their relationship - a status that is never disclosed. Do they love each other? Are they stuck with one another? The viewer never discovers this morsel as the film doesn't ever tell us.

Cracktown falls down. The script is there, the actors are ready and acting, but they never have a chance to emerge from their beginings into people the viewer can care about. By having them emerge fully made at the begining of the film, the director loses all hope of ensuring an ending that matters.

And, true to course, the ending doesn't matter. People get shot, families' homes break apart, but viewers won't feel it - it simply doesn't involve them. Isn't that what a good film does for the viewer - make them involved? Sorry folks, but unless you have never heard about crack addicts or poverty, this film is not one for you.
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reviewed by Lucinda Tart
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