Apr 12, 2008

Heart of America

I'll start off by saying that I don't hold a grudge against Uwe Boll. Hell, I find his video game adaptations to be hilarious. People don't put in perspective, that if Uwe didn't direct them, hype would be present, and the let-down would be incredibly severe. Uwe Boll's name is a warning label for film. Little know, that before the critically acclaimed release of House of the Dead, he made many "serious" films, one of which is about a school shooting.

I was hoping for Boll to wise up. With his promise of it not focusing on video games and rock music, he loses his New Year's resolution quickly and embodies the rock aspect. When our young troubled pre-pubescent angsty teen wakes up to his heavy metal music. He gets a phone call. He tells them to hold on, puts the phone down, and takes a long exaggerated yet exasperated sigh of emotion. Boll lost most of his audience right there. The opening credits are lined with techno-metal tracks that for the most part. Issues fair warnings that kids are time-bombs.

They then bombard the screen with pointless title card statistics on the amount of deaths that correlate to some random incident that no one cares about. This boy then logs onto his instant messaging device. The screen name which I am not quoting goes along these lines (vAMPIREmETAL6669) Already, Boll has incorporated that he is a satanist, or damn well wishes he was. After using his password "metal" and discussing today's events with much mystique, he ventures out to begin his day.

The common suburbia is the easiest setting for a film. If you use it right, it can even provide instant "depth" and "allegory's" to your film. Boll needs to learn something from cinema's masters of expressionism. His scenes are quaint and have total disregard for any substance. This suburbia does include the following; joggers, skateboarders, paper boys, white picket fences, and the beautifully trimmed grass. After we meet several characters, we meet one named Dara.

Dara is the one who lives in the biggest house on the block, but she is what as known are "Gothics" Her mom is never there so she must rebel against the world in any way she can, which may or may not include whoring herself out to jocks at gas stations. I think this scene was the only scene that really had emotion or even grabbed my attention. Boll makes his attentions clear that Heart of America is presumptively an anti-drug film. Dara buys some drugs from local dealer Wex. When Wex gets caught, he tells his counselor "Hey! What's the worst that can happen?!" Cut to the scene of Dara standing on top of the school. She looks as if she is contemplating suicide and is doing so by copying poses that make her look as if she watched The Crow too much.

The whole "medicated angst" theme is recurrent in most 90's films, such as Heathers and Girl, Interrupted. I could imagine what Boll wanted from this film but it all falls flat. Heart of America is that one film that has nothing in it to even give it credit as an auteur's work. It is bland, full with inane dialogue, and manages to bring nothing new to the school shooting phenomenon. Maybe if Boll stopped creating much-maligned cinema, kids wouldn't lash out against their peers.


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