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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 10.53%
Average: 21.05%
Pretty Bad: 5.26%
Total Crap63.16%

1 review, 13 user ratings

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Pick Up Boyz
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by Chris Parry

"When your director's last film was for Troma, you know you're in trouble."
1 stars

The people that made this film got really lucky when it turned out to be me that wandered past their hastily set up poker table outside a SXSW screening, and not someone with a bigger stick up their ass. See, Pick Up Boyz is a really bad film, but of all the people that could have seen it, slammed it and never once thought twice about doing so, I’m perhaps the only reviewer on the planet who might see something salvageable in a flick this bad. Sure, the acting is terrible; yes, the writing ridiculous; yup, the directing of a standard that you’ll usually find involved in late night cable porn... but I’m not going to tear Pick Up Boyz a new pooper. No, I’m instead going to try to be constructive, because I get the impression these guys really do want to create something good – they’re just trying to make do with very limited resources, little or no experience and a copy of an extremely dated scriptwriting manual.

Pick Up Boyz is a tale of a pair of bail bondsmen who are watching their business go down the toilet. Cutting a long story short, a judge tells them that unless they can track down six bad guys in seven days, they’ll lose $625,000 in cash. Thankfully they’re the kind of kick-ass-first, ask-questions-later types who have no problem gathering a posse of bad-asses who’ll blast away at any bad guy, good guy or indifferent guy who crosses their path.

And apparently it helps to dress like Eminem.

So that’s the basics; essentially a modern day remake of the Isaac Hayes yawner Truck Turner, though a couple of little items seem to have been lost in the shuffle – namely production values, acting ability and script. Come to think of it, this film IS just like Truck Turner!

Pick Up Boyz, at its base, doesn’t stink. The whole idea of ‘take no prisoners’ bail bondsmen needing to track down multiple bad guys has plenty of potential for something to grow out of the idea at the core of this film, but it’s what has been done to that base that makes it essentially a negative experience.

First of all, from a technical standpoint this film is awful. Understandable perhaps if this was a rough cut, but you don’t give journalists copies of rough cuts. If the film isn’t finished, nobody bothered to tell me, but I’d hope there’s still some work to be done because the sound mix in particular makes it nearly impossible to understand any of the dialogue, forcing you to jack the sound up one moment and then blasting you with gun shots and music the next. To the film’s credit, the music isn’t bad. They producers are going for an underground hip-hop feel, which I can take or leave to be honest, but clearly the audience they’re seeking to connect with is into that kind of thing and the tunes do compliment the images on the screen.

The acting is almost uniformly awful, at least what acting I could hear. I say ‘almost’ awful because there is one lady in the cast who seems to know what she’s doing and has all the screen presence of some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Elana Pettigrew plays a receptionist who finds herself sucked deeper into the morass of the story than she’d like and, damn, the girl is hard to ignore. Granted, that could be because at one point she’s attacked with a giant blue dildo, or maybe it’s because she has a rack that you could hang a Gortex jacket on, but whatever the reason she’s a definite highlight of the Pick Up Boyz experience.

Or should I say ‘the’ highlight. Look, I don’t wanna harp on it, but this is a really ordinary film. It looks every inch a B-grade cable movie, with gratuitous violence presented to a ridiculous degree of regularity, surpassed only by the even more gratuitous nudity. If you compare it to The Pianist, clearly the comparison will be unfair – Pick Up Boyz isn’t intended to further the cinematic artform, rather it seeks to throw together boobs, bullets, bad guys and a beat in an effort to create something the teens will find watchable.
Yes, it’s crap, but that’s not to say it can’t be salvaged; what does impress me about the production is that the producers have put this together on the cheap to give a rough idea of what could be done down the road with a budget and a crew (at least I hope that’s the aim). They say they plan to produce three or four more Pick Up Boyz flicks every year and either sell them for TV distribution or as direct-to-DVD fodder.

And maybe they’re on to something there. I’ve often wondered aloud why Hollywood has abandoned the concept of the serial, especially when such things as soap operas and reality shows clearly rate the house down on TV with their ‘tune in next week’ mindset. The weekly serial was once a staple of the cinema experience, and while the producers of Pick Up Boyz aren’t exactly looking to bring back an old art form, if they can find a good cast and script for this premise (and keep the budget low), they could well make a boatload of cash out of controlled mediocrity.

To be sure, Pick Up Boyz is not good filmmaking, but it might yet be a good idea. A lot of deficiencies need to be addressed before the masses will fork out their hard earned dollars on a film this ordinary, but if a few lessons can be learned, a little money can be found, and the right experienced people are brought in to fill in some holes, we might not have seen the last of Pick Up Boyz.

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originally posted: 03/22/03 12:25:44
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2003 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/05/14 John Hackett this scum bag fraud cost me thousands of dollars, which cost me my marriage. BEWARE! 1 stars
4/18/08 justice castoreno i filed a 15pg police report on this ass hole. still waiting 4 response. 1 stars
5/14/06 David it wasn't that bad. at least the version I saw! 4 stars
12/27/05 I.B. Wright BEWARE of Eddie Beverly, Jr.- the sexual predator, bogus filmmaker and convicted felon. 1 stars
12/03/05 Eddie Beverly Jr There are only 3 people from this list who have actually viewed this movie,people stop lyin 4 stars
8/16/05 paul go see elana at the Bella lounge, she is an awesome date, or visit 7010n Greenview 1 stars
2/21/04 OBSCENE Its 2 bad that a good idea, w/good music was wasted by a sorry producer like eddie beverly. 3 stars
11/01/03 Ray Glaspie I knew I was in trouble when a crooked director and a no talent Co-producer took over. 3 stars
8/03/03 Damon Barry Good "B" movie 3 stars
5/25/03 kyle young If you only knew how cheaply this was done!Basically an XL1,script,and a hearty cast & crew 3 stars
5/14/03 Bill Perkins Eddie Beverly Jr. is FINALLY going to jail! Been Scammed also? Call your local prosecutor! 1 stars
5/06/03 Allan Smitty The director-Eddie Beverly Jr. has committed fraud to get financing and is now in jail. 2 stars
5/06/03 Elana Pettigrew I do agree with you, this film did suck. What sucks even more is that they never payed me! 1 stars
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