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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Teens > Suidice > Drugs > Sexuality > High School > Afterschool (2008/IFC/MPI DVD)

Afterschool (2008/IFC/MPI DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Film: C



Trying to emulate other filmmakers is a tricky business, especially when you try to juggle Gus Van Sant, Stanley Kubrick and Larry Clark, but Anthony Campos tries to do just that in Afterschool (2008), a mixed tale of a computer addict (Ezra Miller of the cable hit Californication) named Robert who is spying on everyone and is isolated and unhappy.  He is also a bit perverse and when he captures two girls having a drug overdose, his isolated world is suddenly


From dealing with a mother who is better at wanting him to take medication for being depressed than actually being available to him and his interest in a beautiful young classmate (Addison Timlin), he suddenly has a life that is swimming, but when he is asked to do the tribute video for the dead girls, that may just put him over the edge.


Unfortunately, all that is not enough to put this film past being predictable and never working out into its own unique piece.  I liked the approach and ambition of the project, but it does not add up into a work that really says anything and is just imitation that sometimes does not know what it wants to be or what it is saying.  Note that when the case says “not rated” that this is hard-R territory and not for children.


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image was shot on 35mm film in the anamorphic J-D-C Scope format, which is likely one of the biggest reasons it got the acclaim it did, lensed by Director of Photography Jody Lee Lipes.  However, the transfer here is soft (likely from the digital internegative, then downtrade of the image) and the addition of low definition and degraded video images throughout further undermine the playback.  Color also suffers, while Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is dialogue-based with the occasional surround engagement.  More than a few moments are silent.


Extras include the original trailers and posters for the film, The Last 25 short film by Campos, unused video from the film, Storyboards, outtakes, Deleted & Alternate Scenes and an interview with star Miller.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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