More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 19.67%
Worth A Look: 9.84%
Average: 1.64%
Pretty Bad: 27.87%
Total Crap40.98%

4 reviews, 37 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Luxor by Peter Sobczynski

Wander by Peter Sobczynski

Love, Weddings & Other Disasters by Peter Sobczynski

Black Bear by Peter Sobczynski

Poison Rose, The by Jack Sommersby

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom by Jay Seaver

Fat Man and Little Boy by Jack Sommersby

Harry & Son by Jack Sommersby

Shattered by Jack Sommersby

Deathstalker II by Jack Sommersby

subscribe to this feed

[] Buy posters from this movie
by Chris Parry

"The equivalent of beating yourself in the face with a ball peen hammer."
1 stars

I'm thinking music video god Jonas Akerlund set out to create a film that could be described as a sensual assault when he started production on Spun. There can be no other explanation for peppering the audience with shots of Mena Suvari dropping a turd, John Leguizamo jerking off into a sock, the continual abuse of a naked woman chained to a bed and a stream of inexplicable close-ups of a fat woman's panties, complete with Cheezy-Poof powder. I get the point, Jonas - drugs are bad. In fact, I got that point after the first five minutes, so what exactly did it achieve to then smash me about the head repeatedly with this point until the audience was numb? Not since seeing Bloodsucking Freaks at the age of 12 have I felt more violated, nauseated and angry at a film. Not even The Master Of Disguise annoyed me like this flick did, and to give the easy "well that was the point" argument in the films defence is to entirely miss my point. Just because you *can* smear shit on celluloid doesn't mean you should do so - and then subject an audience to the results.

The premise of Spun is that drugs will screw you up, but not since Reefer Madness has the anti-drug message been so dripping in self-importance, ineptitude and general bad taste. Like a remake of Trainspotting without any humor, any screenplay, any feeling for any character and a complete lack of subtlety, Akerlund pours a bucket of warm faeces across the audience and expects us to relish the chance to swim in his brand of poop.

Some will call it daring. Some will call it compelling. Those around me called it two hours of sensory torture that didn't present any real point until the last few minutes, and relied on cheap camera and editing tricks to make us think that what we were watching was cutting edge. Newsflash: I've seen the whole sped-up shot of a nervous eyeball trick before. I've seen it a gazillion times. I'm over it. And I was double over it after the 32nd time it was used in this film.

Jason Schwartzman is a dude who has a job working for a local speed cook. By speed cook I don't mean he can knock together a bacon cheeseburger in two minutes, I mean he cooks speed. Schwartzman drives the dude around as he picks up ingredients for his business, they all snort junk continuously, they all act like morons and we're dragged around behind them like lost children.

Why Brittany Murphy, Mena Suvari, Patrick Fuget and John Leguizamo were needed to fill these roles is beyond me. Why they would go near a project like this is beyond any form of reason. But hey, I'm sure it took all the acting talent and experience Leguizamo could muster to jump up and down on a bed, buck naked, pulling his pecker into a sock. Bravo, encore!

Okay, maybe Akerlund's mindset was to take beautiful people and make them ugly. If that's the case, he's succeeded on multiple levels because these people are so ugly they're exasperating. It honestly hurt my head to take this movie in, and only the desire to attempt to figure out why this was happening at all kept me in the theater until the finish.

This is a film that brings everything that stinks about music video directors to a feature film format and stretches it out into two hours. While Mark Romanek brought an abundance of style and skill to One Hour Photo last year when he moved up from the music video world, Akerlund seems to have the same misguided view of film that Jake Scott had when he tried to play with the big boys on Plunkett and Macleane.

Spun is cliche to the core, smoke and mirrors, repugnant bullshit. I'll cede that Akerlund knows how to use a camera and can even string together a run of edits, but as far as getting his point across, giving us anything close to a feature film structure, creating characters that are more than meat puppets and giving an audience a reason to pay ten bucks to see his work... he's clueless. I feel assaulted to now have to live with the images he's put in front of me.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 03/12/03 10:05:33
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2003 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Santa Monica Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Santa Monica Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

2/12/11 vanessa belize 2 stars
7/06/08 Jason Strickland Wants to be an independent's, um, ok 3 stars
3/20/08 KaneR This movie is messed up, but in a good and entertaining way. 5 stars
10/18/07 Josh "Miles" Davis Parry, you poor joker, it's good if you realize that it's a comedy and not an anti-drug msg 4 stars
10/19/05 Douglas Reese One of 2003's best movies with terrific performances by Mickey Rourke and Brittany Murphy! 5 stars
9/16/05 Z Chloe Hunter=hot, this movie=shit 1 stars
7/29/05 Timor Waldo great film which offers a lot of insight on the nature of meth 5 stars
6/24/05 Stinky Cheeze Yes it is dire.Yes it is disgusting.So's life.It doesn't have to be uplifting.Get over it. 4 stars
5/12/05 stu completly dissapointing. 2 stars
2/09/05 Jeff Anderson WHAT A GREAT CAST! WHAT A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT! Leguizamo gives the best performance. TRASH! 1 stars
12/20/04 albert plays better if you're stoned 4 stars
11/11/04 Brandon Crow This movie is the best moive i had seen in a year, i love speed and wathcing this movie 5 stars
10/31/04 MyGreenBed Typical "drugs as art" crap done poorly. Tries desperately to be what it is not, edgy. 1 stars
10/07/04 Sfj This is the first drug specific movie Iíve seen about Meth users. It would be as easy to s 2 stars
8/20/04 Dan Hobbs How much more idiotic can they get? 1 stars
7/23/04 Jurko the Great Realistic!! 5 stars
7/12/04 ViSionS Either you get it or you don't. 4 stars
5/06/04 tatum Perhaps the most annoying film ever made 1 stars
4/28/04 i seen this movie cranked up and loved it :D 8====D 5 stars
4/14/04 David G Superb movie. Lovely eye-candy and a touching story. 5 stars
4/07/04 Verra Jones This film was about all the use of Christy Brown's right foot 2 stars
3/01/04 Dlove I liked this movie, and I think these critics are very closed minded! 4 stars
2/25/04 Justin Hester great movie about todays drug culture 5 stars
1/21/04 Nathan I was pleasently surprised by all of the characters' realism and tragic poignancy 5 stars
1/14/04 Helius A stunning film about the horrors of drug use...yeah, "Requiem for a Dream" rocked. 1 stars
11/27/03 alex stupid comfortable teen drug movie wh great performances 2 stars
10/02/03 emily holland this movie is really true 5 stars
9/11/03 Kooler "oh boo hoo, mena took a shit! I'm frightened and confused!" Christ, go rent Shrek. 5 stars
7/29/03 greensweater you have to shoot crank to fully enjoy this film 1 stars
7/26/03 .Choadushouse. One of the worst pieces of garbage ever. How bout you rip of Requiem F.a. Dream a litl more 1 stars
7/24/03 Get A Sense of Humor Well shot, written and directed. Get a sense of Humor you corroded old widows. 5 stars
7/05/03 Richard Stroker Right on... this film blew.... self-indulgent crap for the MTV generation passed off as art 1 stars
4/08/03 Fonq35 This is the kind stinking shit that prevents really daring filmamkers from being heard. 1 stars
4/04/03 Uncle Salty Wow, another drug movie, except this one is AWFUL! 1 stars
4/01/03 Balthazar This movie is a cheap ripoff of Trainspotting (get an original idea, Akerlund, you loser) 1 stars
3/26/03 Bluto McBlurt I walked out after an hour. Glad I missed the toilet scene. 1 stars
3/12/03 Rob Utterly Captivating. 4 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  14-Mar-2003 (R)
  DVD: 22-Jul-2003



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast