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Case Number 22870: Small Claims Court

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Main Street

Magnolia Pictures // 2010 // 94 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // December 5th, 2011

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All Rise...

More like "Lame Street," says Judge Roy Hrab.

The Charge

An offer too good to be true…it just might be.

The Case

Main Street premiered at the Austin Film Festival in 2010. It was then released on DVD in Sweden in April 2011, followed by a limited US theatrical release in September 2011, and now DVD. What does that tell you? Nothing good, that's what.

There is only one reason why this movie is seeing the light of day: Colin Firth won an Academy Award for The King's Speech. I can't think of any other. The film also features Ellen Burstyn (The Stone Angel), Orlando Bloom (Troy), and Patricia Clarkson (The Station Agent). All must wish that this film would disappear from their résumé.

What's Main Street about? In a small, economically distressed city of Durham, North Carolina arrives a Texan named Gus Leroy (Firth with an absolutely terrible accent…he's lucky Academy voters didn't see this performance) to store hazardous waste in some empty warehouses. The warehouses are owned by the elderly Georgiana Carr (Burstyn), who has a niece Willa (Clarkson). There's also police officer Harris (Bloom with a slightly better accent than Firth), roaming around town. When the town finds out that Leroy is storing waste in the warehouses some get upset and tension builds in the community. Is this they way they want to make money?

Does the above description sound exciting and/or intriguing? No? Good, because it's neither. Main Street is a total bore. There is nothing to care about. The "crisis" of having hazardous waste stored in the town doesn't involve any lies, or deceit, there is no real debate or drama, no villain, no hero, and there is only one moment of potential danger that, of course, doesn't pan out. Leroy is actually a responsible guy who wants to things to work. On top of that, the issue of storing hazardous waste is not interesting to start. Everything from the story, dialogue, and relationships between characters is superficial. The acting is pedestrian at best. It's hard to figure why this film was made…and how it managed to snare such a cast.

The technical aspects are fine. The picture is clear and colors are fine, although the film has a made-for-television vibe to it, but that just may be a reflection of how boring I found this film. The audio is acceptable. Dialogue, music, and sound effects come through without any problems.

There are actually (and unfortunately) some extras here. There is a set of deleted scenes (if only more were deleted!), a behind-the-scenes featurette called "A Day Behind the Scenes of Main Street," and a theatrical trailer.

Ignore lame…err…Main Street.

The Verdict


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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 35

Perp Profile

Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Video Formats:
• 2.40:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Spanish
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
• Bad
• Drama

Distinguishing Marks

• Deleted Scenes
• Featurette
• Trailer


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• Official Site

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