The second effort from writer/director Erica Dunton, Find Love offers up a compelling, distinctly authentic look at the friendship that forms between two lonely strangers. The movie follows a pair of nameless protagonists (played by Christian Camargo and Alexie Gilmore) as they meet in an airport and subsequently try to sort out their feelings for one another over the next 24 hours. Dunton has infused Find Love with an ethereal sense of style that effectively complements her spare screenplay, although there's certainly no denying that the film's lack of plot occasionally becomes more pronounced than one might've liked (ie Dunton's directorial choices are sometimes just a little too experimental for their own good). That said, the palpable chemistry between Camargo and Gilmore goes a long way towards keeping things interesting - with the two actors effortlessly transforming their respective characters into thoroughly fleshed-out figures worth rooting for. Find Love is, ultimately, a touching, downright haunting portrait of loneliness - one that, despite its rough-around-the-edges vibe, is surely a sign of bigger and better things to come for Dunton.
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (March 18/07)
Though infused with an evocative and downright authentic vibe by first-time filmmaker Dito Montiel, A Guide to Recognizing Yours Saints is ultimately undone by Montiel's relentlessly ostentatious sense of style - to the extent that it becomes increasingly difficult to genuinely care about the plight of any of the movie's many characters. Based on the director's real-life experiences, the film follows an adult Montiel (Robert Downey Jr) as he reminisces on his tumultuous teen years - where he (Shia LaBeouf) and his friends (including Channing Tatum's Antonio) are perpetually on the verge of either being beaten halfway to death or sent to prison. Montiel's use of various cinematic tricks - including grainy, jittery camerawork and disorienting editing techniques - ultimately transforms what should have been a gritty little coming-of-age story into a fairly interminable experience, and although there's certainly no faulting the actors, the relentlessly unpleasant vibe virtually negates its few positive attributes.
About the DVDs: Both films arrive on DVD courtesy of Maple Pictures, but despite what the packaging may indicate, Find Love does not feature an anamorphically-enhanced transfer. That being said, the film does come equipped with a number of unadvertised bonus features - including a commentary track by filmmaker Erica Dunton, two short films, a stills gallery, deleted scenes, and a trailer. Likewise, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints comes armed with a commentary track, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and more.