Monday, April 21, 2014

DVD Review: JUNK (2012)

JUNK (2014) 
Label: Breaking Glass Pictures
Duration: 104 Minutes
Rating: Unrated
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0
Video: Anamoprhic Widescreen 
Director: Kevin Hamedani
Cast: Kevin Hamedani, Ramon Isao, Brett Davern

Indie film makers Kaveh (Kevin Hamedaniwere) and Raul (Ramon Isao) were once the best of friends but after a falling out are estranged. Kaveh's girlfriend has dumped him and Raul is off doing his own things at Columbia University, a runion doesn't seem likely but when their action-comedy ISLAMA-RAMA 2: MOUSTAFA LIVES is accepted at the Outsider Film Festival in Seattle they're forced to patch things up in order to promote their movie and pitch a script to legendary b-movie producer Yukio Tai (James Hong, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA). 

Let me just start off by saying I have not see ZOMBIES OF MASS DESTRUCTION so I came into this with some hesitation. I wouldn't say I am anti-weed comedy but the marijuana leaf on the cover sort of put me on guard and went in expecting straight-up stoner stupidity... and there was a bit of that but there's a lot more to it. I loved the interactions of the reunited friends. Kaveh's a bit of an emotional mess and a stoner who's definitely not over his ex quite yet. Raul is in a different place, happily in a relationship but he's a bit embarrassed by his involvement with ISLAMA-RAMA 2. Oppositely Kaveh's just excited to be at a festival promoting  one of his films and he thinks his friend has become a bit of a snob after being enrolled in an ivy league writing program. 

The duo have a great rapport which comes of very natural and playful with some moments of personal pain and humor - pretty sure these guys are probably longtime friends in reality and it shows onscreen. The film is also a send-up of indie filmmaking, the festival circuit and pitching movie ideas and that's the part I enjoyed the most. They're goal is to pitch a pro-life zombie western to schlock producer Yukio Tai but they have competition from another pair of arthouse filmmakers who have a weird Jodorowsky meets Kafka idea of their own. Along they way we get to see visualizations of their pitch for a CHUCKY sequel which is hilarious, I love the movie-within-a-movie moments.

we also have a fun cast of side characters including a festival liaison who throughout the film transforms from straight laced super-Christian into a sex-crazed hipster. There's an ego maniacal actor who betrays his friend in a very cutting way and a host of bodyguards who are a bit upset when the duo attempt to sneak into the producers penthouse, which doesn't go quite as planned. My favorite parts were the clips from ISLAMA-RAMA 2 and the CHUCKY sequel and the extreme lengths indie filmmakers will go to pitch their ideas. These guys obviously love genre film and it shows throughout, a very smart and honestly entertaining watch. . 

The DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures looks pretty decent - the image isn't the most stable or consistent but for a low-budget production it has a nice sheen to it. The stereo audio is pretty clean and the OK GO performances sound very nice. There's a feature length commentary from the filmmakers, a brief making of featurette and nearly an hour of deleted and extended scene plus trailers. 

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary by writer/director Kevin Hamedani, co-writer/actor Ramon Isao, and actor Brett Davern
- Deleted Scenes (52:47)
- Making of Junk featurette (8:51)
- 2 OK Go music Videos (6:24) 

- Trailer (2:38) 
- Breaking Glass Trailers

Verdict: An entertaining satire of low-budget fimmaking/writing with some fun movie-within-a-movie moments and if that's not enough there's also a very small appearance by TROLL 2 star George Hardy! 3 Outta 5