MTI // 2010 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Mac McEntire // March 12th, 2010
The power to stop time.
Justin (Chris Laird) is an ordinary teenage Native American who loves snowboarding. He gets picked on by bullies at school and spends most of his time working at the family store or hanging out with his goofball friend. One day, his uncle, who has raised him after his parents were killed, gives Justin an antique amulet that's been passed down through the generations. After tinkering with it, Justin discovers the amulet has magical powers, and is able to stop time.
Elsewhere, Angelique (Shareece Pfeiffer) learns her father has a secret or two. He has an antique stone plate, which can stop time. To Angelique's surprise, he's been using to pull off heists, making a fortune for himself. He's learned that there is a missing piece to the plate, in the form of an amulet. Once the two are combined, the owner will have vast supernatural power. This puts Justin and Angelique into each others' lives, first as a flirtation, and then as potential enemies. Plus, there's a whole bunch other characters with a bunch of other subplots.
I have no idea where this movie came from. I'm assuming it's an unsold TV pilot, but who knows? The creators are going for a Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibe, by mixing high school humor with fantasy adventure, but it's a tough balance to maintain.
When Justin Time is Justin Teresting:
* There are some good ideas present, especially with the hero and villain both having the same power. Not only can they stop time, but whenever one of them does it, time stops for both of them. This sets up a fun dynamic where anytime one of them uses the power, the other knows it.
* The ending is just wide open enough that I can see potential for future adventures with these characters.
When Justin Time is Justin Tolerable:
* Talk about way too many villains. Angelique's dad is the main villain, but there are subplots about two villains he stole from, another villain he works for, and yet another villain he teams with near the end. All these various characters running around distract from the main plot.
* Not all of the comedy worked for me. The conflict between Justin and the bullies is resolved in an obnoxious sitcom way that includes dressing up a guy as a girl. This part drags (heh, heh) on for far too long, especially as its nearing the end of the movie at this point, and tension should instead be building for the big finale.
* The low budget is, sadly, a detriment. Don't expect any cool "stuff frozen in midair" effects when time stops. Instead, you get the actors doing the best to hold still as the unfrozen characters roam around, sometimes bumping into them.
* It's true, cult fave actor Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn) is in this movie, but he only has about two lines and he's only on screen for 30 seconds or so.
The picture quality is flat, with drab colors, and an overall low budget video look. The audio is adequate but not impressive. Some deleted scenes are it for extras. Overall, this one's a mild diversion, but there are plenty of other, better movies out there.
Justin Ocent? No, more like Justin Contemptofcourt.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes