Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Slow Burn DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Assistant DA Admits to Killing in Self-Defense in Unoriginal Whodunit

Based on the debut novel of the same name by Euro-Filipina Sabina Murray, Slow Burn is an intriguing whodunit about a big city Assistant DA, Nora Timmer (Jolene Blalock), who admits that she’s just confessed to killing a man (Mekhi Phifer) she claims raped her. This development comes at the worst possible time for her boss (Ray Liotta), since he’s been carefully plan to run for mayor.
Now, the politically-ambitious prosecutor has quite a problem on his hands, because not only is his beautiful protégé behind bars, but he needs to get to the bottom of the case without letting it come out that he’s been carrying on a secret affair with her. Then, a witness (LL Cool J) comes forward who contradicts the accused’s story, stating that she and the deceased weren’t strangers, but had been dating for months.
With only one evening to pull the assorted pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together, DA Cole’s embarks on an investigation in which he crosses paths with an array of potential material witnesses, including an ex-con (Taye Diggs), a journalist (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and the chief of police (Bruce McGill). It seems that
the ethnically-ambiguous Nora, who sports flowing dreadlocks, was known to hang out on both sides of the tracks, in both the white and African-American communities.
Unfortunately, this poor-man’s version of The Usual Suspects is so convoluted and poorly scripted that this flawed film noir’s only compelling theme is the recurring question of whether its femme fatale is black or white. But because the Genome Project has conclusively proven that there’s only one race, the human race, the mystery about Nora’s roots is too outdated to care about.
Slow Burn = Slow Death.

Fair (1 star)
Running time: 93 minutes
Studio: Lions Gate Home EntertainmentDVD Extras: Director’s commentary, deleted and alternate scenes, and a featurette entitled “Fire in the Streets.”

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