Friday, January 12, 2007

Alpha Dog

It's January and the tradition of dumping the Hollywood trash continues with the release of "Alpha Dog". Another in a long line of films about wealthy disaffected California youth, "Alpha Dog" is memorable only for a decent turn by Justin Timberlake and the scary thought that's based on a true story.

In 1999, A lowlife drug dealer "kidnapped" the younger brother of a druggie who owed him money. This is the story of that incident in all it's tattoo'd glory. Emile Hirsch is miscast as Johnny Truelove, the dealer with a dopey plan. If this is supposed to be based on a real person, I don't know how he ever became a successful dealer in the first place. Playing Frankie, his right hand man, is Justin Timberlake. With tattoos all over his body, Timberlake brings life to his pseudo-gangster and acts as the somewhat moral center of the story. Playing the "kidnapped" teen is Anton Yelchin, best known for playing Birdie on Showtime's "Huff". Yelchin is a very good one dimensional actor. If you need a naïve, innocent, virginal character, he'd be the first one to call. As his drugged out and really scary older brother, Ben Foster continue to shine in very edgy roles. Picking up a paycheck is Bruce Willis as truelove's father and Sharon Stone as Yelchin's step mom. I'm sure they, along with Harry Dean Stanton, only did this film as a favor to director Nick Cassavettes.

If you're attracted to reenactments of true crime tales or a major fan of Mr. Timberlake's, then wait for the DVD otherwise adopt a different film than "Alpha Dog".

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