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Wild Tigers I Have Known (Unrated)





Release Date: February 28th, 2007 (IFC Center) by IFC First Take.
The Cast: Malcolm Stumpf, Patrick White, Max Paradise, Tom Gilroy, Fairuza Balk, Kim Dickens, Ruth Elliott, Jonathan Caouette.
Directed by Cam Archer.

BASIC PREMISE: Logan (Stumpf), a lonely 13-year-old, explores his sexual identity when he befriends Rodeo (White).

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Wild Tigers I Have Known could have been much more engaging with a more imaginative, focused plot. The character of Logan doesnít have any friends other than Joey (Paridise) and lives with his single mom (Balk). Heís a lonely and confused boy, yet he doesnít fit into any particular stereotype such as a jock or a nerd. Unfortunately, there arenít enough details about his character to make more interesting than he seemsólike Napoleon Dynamite, for example. When he meets an older, attractive boy named Rodeo, they donít have a strong enough bond. What would have been interesting, though, is if the school guidance counselor (Dickens) had more scenes with Logan to get inside his head given that the audience canít. Therefore, his critical transformation into the imaginary, cross-gendered character of Leah comes across as awkward and bizarre. Writer/director Cam Archer, in his feature film debut, goes a bit too far with the visual effects. Archer should learn for his next film that less is more. Many scenes indeed look like they could be paintings. The many dream-like, surreal effects gradually disconnect you from the plot and the characters who have very little qualities to allow you to care about them to begin with. Wild Tigers I Have Known, ultimately, drowns in its own pretentiousness.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Weak plot and character development.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 5

IN A NUTSHELL: Dream-like, but low on character and plot development with too many pretentious visual effects.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: DVD


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