Image Entertainment // 2005 // 89 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 21st, 2010
The hard business of growing up.
From the 2005 vault, Image has unearthed this dark comedy about a horny teenage boy named James, trapped in Ireland and desperately trying to get back to New York City. Through a series of circumstances, he hooks up with the local scumbags, gamblers, crimelords, and smirking a-holes who populate these macabre endeavors.
James cuts his teeth running errands for these guys, before conjuring up his own tasty underground market: the distribution of nudie magazines to the sex-starved denizens of the community. While a big hit with the local population, James's entrepreneurship rubs the motley crew he's been hanging with the wrong way and hard lessons are in store.
Turning Green is something of a thematic oddity. It has the look and feel of an edgy coming-of-age saga (and really, that's what it is), but there's a pervasive comedic tone that leads to a bit of gender confusion. While I enjoyed the film and would endorse the effort to those looking for a stylish slice of period Irish-flavored tomfoolery (set in the 1970s), the schizophrenic nature of its tone could be off-putting.
Also, James (Donal Gallery) -- tasked with the heavy character lifting -- is dull. As far as I can tell, his primary goal in life is to masturbate as often as possible, which makes him more than qualified for getting in the pornography business, but renders him half a loaf of sleazy.
On the more serious side of things, the stuff with the gangsters is well-realized with some nice work from Timothy Hutton (Leverage) and the underused Alessandro Nivola (Howl). There's a hard-edged payoff at the end, running counter to the sometimes whimsical nature of the hapless-kid-with-the-huge-libido-trying-to-score-a-date-with-the-pretty-redhead-while-watching-over-his-spunky-little-brother. But that's the weirdness of Turning Green.
If you don't mind the tonal shifts, there's some value here. And the Irish accents are endlessly entertaining, especially as generated by actors who aren't Irish.
The DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 surround, and nothing else.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated R