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Dallas 362 (R)

Release Date: June 24th, 2005 (NYC-Village East Cinemas) by THINKfilm
The Cast: Scott Caan, Shawn Hatosy, Jeff Goldblum, Kelly Lynch
Directed by Scott Caan.

BASIC PREMISE: Rusty (Hatosy) wants to stop living a troubled, aimless life with his friend Dallas (Scott Caan), so he spills his guts to a therapist (Goldblum) who happens to be dating his mother (Lynch).

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: There are many pleasant surprises throughout this directorial debut of Scott Caan. The acting is quite good, particularly Hatosy as Rusty who years for a better, peaceful life. The plot sounds a lot like Analyze This, where Robert De Niro also wanted to escape from his life of violence. However, this is not a comedy; it is a drama and a very engaging one. There are many other conflicts within the plot, especially because Dallas continuously pulls Rusty back into the life of crime. Then there is Jeff Goldblum as the therapist who not only analyzes Rusty but also has a relationship with his mother. There are a few scenes with situational humor, but most of the humor built into the script is dry, witty humor. This could have easily been a very gritty, violent film just like Layer Cake and every other crime-related movie. Fortunately, there is very little violence; instead there is enough character development for one to be entirely engaged in Rusty's character and hope the best for him. The excellent cinematography adds another amazing element to the film---especially a scene that shows a voyeuristic, long shot of a room and all the characters interacting within it.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: It is very uplifting, inspirational, and moving when Rusty allows himself to be analyzed by a therapist. That shows that he is both smart and mature---two traits that are rarely found in movies about crime. Often in life, one encounters a fork in the road and it is very easy to feel emotionally confused over this decision. Most of the time, the best cure for this confusion is simply guidance. In this case, the therapist does a very good job of guiding Rusty into finding who he really wants to be or, technically, where he wants to spend the rest of his life.



THE BOTTOM LINE: A surprisingly well-written, moving and well-acted film that is also quite inspiring. A very impressive directorial debut for Scott Caan. May he continue to direct many more!

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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