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got my 2-D goggles on, and I'm ready to watch the movie!

R

Debbie Doebereiner, Dustin Ashley, Misty Wilkins

Detective: So when you left, she was alive and everything was fine?
Jake: Well…I wouldn’t say everything was fine…but she seemed to breathe…and speak…and move about.

Martha (Doebereiner) and Kyle (Ashley) are friends who work at a doll making factory in a small town.  They have to work multiple jobs just to get by and don’t have much time for anything else.  Martha has to take care of her elderly father, and Kyle lives with his mother so he can save up as much money as he can.  When a new woman, Rose (Wilkins), starts working at the factory, she and Kyle become fast friends, leaving Martha feeling a bit jealous.  Soon, their lives will be shaken up further by a murder.

Ah, Steven Soderbergh, you do enjoy a good experiment now and then, eh?  I suppose I understand the thought process behind doing something so low budget, but the results are rarely enjoyable to watch.  Hiring non actors for every part in your movie is risky, and I don’t think it paid off here.  It’s funny how hard it is for people to sound natural when the camera starts rolling.  In some cases these first time actors succeed, but in many cases they do not.  I found that rather distracting.  And when there’s not much going on, story-wise, for the first half of the movie, there’s not much else to concentrate on besides the acting.

Once the story does pick up half way in, it does become somewhat interesting and a little bit creepy.  Though, by that time I was sick of watching these people and the dismal, depressing views of the small town they exist in.

It’s hard to discuss a movie like this because it all relies on one big story turn and one revelation at the end.  Otherwise it’s just a window into small town life and the sadness of the human condition.  Some people have to spend all their time working just so they can care for a family member or just so they won’t be living on the street.  Rose comes along and talks about breaking free of this town and this oppressive life, but…well…let’s just say she’s going to hit a pretty severe roadblock along the way.

I’m sure one could do an essay on the underlying themes in this movie, but that really doesn’t help with my enjoyment of it.  Since that’s what my ratings are all about, I can’t rate it very highly because I just didn’t have a very good time watching it.  Though, if you’re into deep analyzation of movies, you might get more out of it than I did.

Doll factories are kinda creepy.

10 – 2.5 for the low budget look and low budget acting – 1.6 for just being too boring for most of the running time + .1 because it picks up a bit at the end = 6.0