Friday, May 30, 2008

Alpha Dog (2006) R - 4 Stars

True story of an unpaid drug deal where kids get the idea to kidnap a family member in order to collect on a debt. The story is based on the real life of Jesse James, age 21 from Hollywood, CA, that made his claim to fame in 1998, as the youngest person to make it to the top of the F.B.I.'s most wanted list. I just loved this movie. The acting is great from everyone and it had me on the edge of my seat till the very end. I don't think the boys really wanted to do wrong, but more got caught up in something they just never really thought out. A lot of the movie was filmed in North Hollywood close to my grandmother's house, so I recognized a lot of the scenes.

Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsch) is a 19 year old teen that has made a life for himself selling drugs. He owns the nice home he lives in, drives a nice car and has a lot of loyal friends. Elvis (Shawn Hatosy), Frankie (Justin Timberlake), and Tiko (Fernando Vargas) are his main homeboys. Most every night drugs, girls and parties are happening at Johnny's home.

Jake Mazursky (Ben Foster), is a consist ant customer of Johnny's but when he can't pay his latest huge debt, he instead pisses Johnny off to the point he induces psychotic behavior in him. Johnny is going to get paid and will find a way to show Jake he's serious about collecting his dough.

The group of boys are out driving and sees Jake's younger brother Zack (Anton Yelchin), walking along the side of the road. Their plans were not well thought out when a hasty decision has them grab Zack and throw him into the back of their van. The boys don't hurt Zack but merely keep him under wraps until Johnny tells them what do to next.

Zack becomes a willing participant, loving this new life style of drugs, parties and girls and even losing his virginity. He begins to trust the boys are just doing what they need to do and even when Zack is given the opportunity to run, he decides it's in his brothers best interest if he doesn't rock the boat.

When Jake figures out his brother's disappearance must be his fault, he decides to confide in his father Butch (David Thornton), and stepmother, Olivia (Sharon Stone). His parents become livid when they hear that Zack could have been kidnapped in order to pay off Jake's drug deal. They try to get help from Johnny's father Sonny (Bruce Willis) and now it's a race against time to find Zack before something bad happens. The kidnappers, now looking at life in prison, must decide what their next move should be.

In 1999, Johnny Truelove disappeared - He was arrested in Paraguay in 2005 - In 2006, when this movie was made, he was in California awaiting trial. I was unable to find any info, regarding the status of the case today.

New Line Cinema
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Writer: Nick Cassavetes
Producers: Sidney Kimmel, Chuck Pacheco
I viewed 5/07

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