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Monday, September 30, 2013

Drawing Flies Blu-ray Release: The Lost Mall Rats Sequel, Lost View Askew Picture or Other?

Kevin Smith provides an introduction to Drawing Flies as an extra on the Kino Lorber release. It's an alternate introduction with Jason Mewes as opposed to his previously logged introduction. In that intro he disclaims the movie, explains the movie, makes you laugh and then thanks Kino Lorber. Fans of the great, new higher definition format of Blu-ray who are also fans of Kevin Smith and the spawn of this popular work (Drawing Flies is not directed by Smith) will also thank Kin Lorber. Fans of the characters of Jay and Silent Bob you'll be happy to see them ever so briefly. If you like the cast of Mall Rats and eventually Chasing Amy... you're in luck. I want to make one thing clear before discussing further. This is NOT  a comedy. If it isn't a comedy, then what is it?

Synopsis from Kino Lorber:

Drawing Flies tells the story of Donner (Lee), the unofficial leader of a troupe of slackers who've just been kicked off of welfare. Donner convinces his friends that what they need to turn their lives around is a camping trip; but as they go deeper and deeper into the woods, Donner's behavior grows increasingly erratic and unbeknownst to the group, finally reveals that "visions" have put him on a quest to find Bigfoot.
So it sounds deep right? The hunt for Bigfoot and feelings. And it sort of is. Looking at it now at 33 it seems that this type of social searching and social awkwardness, questioning the greater reality and what it all means and how we relate to the world, well it just seems like those times have past. I remember how it felt to do all of that. Take on "really good idea". Sell it to your friends. Go off into the woods and try to break the rules. Become your own society and your own person. Well that's the ideal, and as the cynical me will tell you right here and right now, the ideal never really works out the way you dream it. Everyone grows and changes and the ideal becomes something to dream about, tell your kids about. It's almost a cautionary tale. That's what Drawing Flies is only it all unfolds as you're watching; The dream realized or in the attempt of realization and then having that run smack up into cold hard reality. It's actually hard to watch having experienced those life events already though very far away from the camera's unforgiving lnes.

The cast of characters, faces you know and love are back, only this time in more serious roles many who seem to shadows of Kevin Smith characters of movies past. It's not a Kevin Smith movie at all which usually would watch like a John Hughes movie for the late 90's. This is directed by Malcolm Ingram and Matt Gissing, produced by Smith. It feels more like a Big Chill or Less Than Zero without the drugs and infinitely less depressing. It's how the 90's would do 80's in much the same way as several of Kevin Smith's other films. Yeah, it's shot on a lower budget. Yes, it's Black and White like Clerks was Black and White. It's a solid effort that feels like a student film but with older eyes and heart.

The quality is somewhat poor which is as a result of the actually filmmaking and not the transfer itself. The Blu-ray contains commentary and introductions discussing the work in depth, perfect for fans of this picture or fans of Kevin Smith/View Askew works.

Drawing Flies isn't the outgoing, obscenity filled, gonzo romp with piled on slapstick that you might expect from a film produced by Kevin Smith that involves similar actors and characters used in a Kevin Smith film. Set your expectations. It's a coming of age tale, not funny and in that, more true to life. The good guys don't always win and there aren't always right or easy idyllic answers. Sometimes reality is cold. Sometimes it just stinks. Sometimes the fantasy ends. Most times.

You can pick up Drawing Flies on Blu-ray for Kino Lorber. The DVD is available as well.

-Dr. TERROR


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