Release Date: April 13th, 2007 by Lionsgate Films.
The Cast: Ray Liotta, James Todd Smith (a.k.a. LL Cool J), Mekhi Phifer, Jolene Blalock, Guy Torry, Taye Diggs, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Bruce McGill, Frank Schorpion, Donny Falsetti.
Directed by Wayne Beach.
BASIC PREMISE: District attorney Ford Cole (Liotta) investigates a possible murder when his assistant, Nora (Blalock), claims to have killed Dupard (Phifer) in self defense.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Slow Burn essentially feels like an amateur version of The Usual Suspects meets Basic Instinct. In 2005, it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and the Cognac Film Festival, which hopefully gave out real cognac to its audiences during the movie because that’s the only way to experience this mess of a movie which has a relentlessly headache-inducing and derivative plot, stilted dialogue, annoying characters and pretentious cinematography. Ford Cole’s sexy assistant Nora claims to have killed Dupard in self defense for raping her. Luther (LL Cool J), on the other hand, claims that she wasn’t raped and actually murdered him. Chiwetel Ejiofor, a very capable actor, doesn’t have nearly enough screen time here as a journalist. Jolene Blalock does a poor job of channeling Sharon Stone’s character from Basic Instinct. Her sexy body isn’t enough—she simply lacks any charisma or wittiness. Ray Liotta gives an over-the-top performance. When it comes to the cinematography, it feels rather exhausting every time writer/director Wayne Beach includes shots of characters’ half-lit faces. Many scenes feel awkwardly like music videos rather than scenes from a movie. The screenplay by writer/director Wayne Beach often shifts around from character to character with very little room for any sort of interesting, coherent development. By the chaotic third act, you won’t really care about anyone’s motives and hope that this film will quickly burn away from your memory. SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Confusing, awkward and pretentious.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 14
IN A NUTSHELL: A confusing, awkward and pretentious mess.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
The "S" Menu