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Case Number 09001

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Tweeked

Go Kart Films // 2001 // 86 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 6th, 2006

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All Rise...

This film reminded Judge David Johnson of his wild college days and his daring experiments with speed. Actually, that's Speed, with Keanu Reeves. He tried to do jumps with his Saab like the bus in that movie.

The Charge

Sex…drugs…out of control.

Opening Statement

You want a methamphetamine movie? I've got your methamphetamine movie right here!

Facts of the Case

Carrie (Darling Narita) and Michelle (Ali Raymer) are two friends who love to party. And by "party" I mean, of course, spend all afternoon snorting speed and drooling. The two live a care-free existence, concerned only with scoring their next hit and lounging with their friends.

Recently, Michelle has been cultivating a relationship with Carrie's druggie roommate Rikki, and apparently has flipped sideways for him. But one day, when the girls find Rikki sprawled out dead on the floor of his apartment, his brains blown out through a depression-fueled suicide, everything changes.

Michelle blames the dealer who sold Rikki the drugs (which she infers led to his mental collapse) and confronts him at gunpoint. An itchy trigger-finger leads to the dealer's getting shot and wounded, and, panicked, the girls flee. They fear the dealer will come after them, so the two steal a car and head for San Diego, thus embarking on a drug-riddled sojourn of Thelma and Louise-lite.

As the two seek refuge, and find time to meet some new people, including the normal, well-adjusted Shawn (Gavin Hignight), Michelle increasingly goes bonkers, consumed with her desire for more speed and buckling under the weight of withdrawal symptoms.

You know what that means, right Carrie? Intervention time!

The Evidence

Tweeked is a solidly-made, effectively-acted effort, sporting a handful of affecting scenes. It didn't really wow me, but I'll readily admit to its quality. Essentially, Tweeked is a road movie, with a strong anti-drug message. This latter element surprised me, as, for some reason, I was expecting some kind of "edgy" glorification of drugs and the lifestyle that comes with it.

No way. Michelle, by far the most @#$%-ed up on the speed in the film, comes across as a hopeless, pathetic junkie, totally out of control, and eventually reduced to a blabbering human shell. Her scenes are the most disquieting (except for an over-the-top bit of wailing and gnashing of teeth when she finds Rikki's body, a borderline laugh-worthy bit of emoting). We see her in a non-erotic casual sex encounter (filmed with zero stylization in a bathtub), letting fly with hurtful, paranoid rants aimed at her pal Carrie, and, finally, when she's hit rock-bottom, hallucinating, mumbling, and basically existing as a hollowed-out former-person. Probably the one scene that sticks out most was of her standing on a boardwalk, seeing visions and speaking gibberish, while a couple of punk kids throw hotdogs at her. It's pretty unnerving—though, I confess, it does sound moderately humorous as I type this—and works as a display of how far she has tumbled thanks to her addiction.

I know this all sounds preachy, but I have to give credit to writer/director Beth Dewey: The film eschews blatant anti-drug proselytizing. It's classic "show don't tell" tactics, as we watch Michelle's downward spiral with sympathy and revulsion. In fact, it isn't until the last scene, where Carrie dumps out her stash in disgust, that I felt the film wandered slightly into "after school special" territory. No matter—Tweeked is light years away from something you'd see in health class. The message is there, but the performances and the lighter-than-expected atmosphere spin this just-say-no movie into a more engaging direction. I didn't love it, but for what it is and what it's trying to do, Tweeked works.

The 1.85:1 widescreen transfer is non-anamorphic, but it looks fine, shot from a digital source. Sound is a serviceable 2.0 track. The extras are unimpressive: two minutes worth of deleted scenes and some trailers.

Closing Statement

Tweeked is pretty good.

The Verdict

The accused is sentenced to a mandatory stomach pump and three months in rehab. And get that girl some makeup.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 80
Audio: 80
Extras: 70
Acting: 80
Story: 80
Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Go Kart Films
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2001
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Drama
• Independent

Distinguishing Marks

• Deleted Scenes
• Trailers

Accomplices

• IMDb








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