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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Joel Schumacher
Cast:
Chace Crawford, Rory Culkin, Philip Ettinger, Esti Ginzburg, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Emma Roberts, Zoë Kravitz, Kiefer Sutherland
Writing Credits:
Jordan Melamed, Nick McDonell (novel)

Tagline:
No one needs anything here. It's all about want.

Synopsis:
When you’re this filthy rich, it’s hard to get clean. Hollywood’s hottest young stars deliver gripping performances in this suspenseful urban crime thriller. White Mike (Chace Crawford) is a young drug dealer straddling the mean streets of Harlem and the party palaces of upper Manhattan. Mike’s double-life comes crashing down when a highly addictive new drug called “twelve” hits the streets, unleashing a shocking wave of passion and violence. Costarring Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Emma Roberts and Ellen Barkin and directed by Joel Schumacher, this adaption of Nick McDonell’s acclaimed novel will leave you wired and breathless.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$110.238 thousand on 231 screens.
Domestic Gross
$181.591 thousand.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 93 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 12/28/2010

Bonus:
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Twelve [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 13, 2011)

If a tree falls in the woods and no one’s there to hear it, does it make a sound? And if Joel Schumacher directs a “gritty” drama, is it actually gritty? Given the filmmaker’s penchant for super-stylized affairs, it’s a fair question, especially since earlier attempts at “dark flicks” such as Veronica Guerin and The Number 23 lacked much impact.

In 2010’s Twelve, Schumacher focuses on young folks caught up in drug culture. His mother’s cancer eats his family’s savings and leaves White Mike (Chace Crawford) in need of cash, so he becomes a drug dealer. He peddles his wares to the wealthy kids he’s known through life, and we follow their stories across a few days.

Most of these episodes involve basic partying and fooling around, but darker threads emerge. Mike’s cousin Charlie (Jeremy Allen White) gets into a drug called “Twelve”; when he can’t pay for it, he tries to rob dealer Lionel (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson). This goes poorly for Charlie; Lionel snags his gun, shoots him, and also offs a witness named NaNa (Jermaine Crawford).

This has other ramifications within Mike’s world. Earlier in the night, his lifelong pal Hunter (Philip Ettinger) got into a fight with NaNa during a pickup basketball game. This leads the police to suspect Hunter as the killer. We follow those developments as well as the interpersonal relationships among others, all of which leads toward a climactic party that involves most of the participants.

A whole lot of others – probably far too many for a movie that barely hits the 90-minute mark. With so many participants, the script opts for an awkward way to keep them straight: narration. Lots. Of. Narration.

Nearly non-stop narration, at least for the film’s first half. The comments maintain less of a presence as the movie proceeds, though they’re still frequently there. I get the feeling no one involved has the confidence to develop the story and characters via a more active method, so we’re stuck with relentless narration to dictate events to us.

And that’s a mistake. Voiceover can be a useful tool, but it needs to develop in a manner that makes it an embellishment, not a focus. In this case, the story depends heavily on the narration, and that becomes a substantial flaw. We concentrate so much on the external dialogue that we never invest in the characters.

Not that I’m sure we’d care about them even without the oppressive narration, as Twelve lacks much substance. That’s typical of the Schumacher oeuvre, and the director can’t do anything to bring life to the flick. Perhaps no one could’ve made the stiff, superficial script effective, but a filmmaker with more substance could’ve given the tale more heft.

Instead, Schumacher just does his usual thing and makes everything look pretty. Rather opt for a genuinely gritty feel, Twelve resembles a high-class fashion catalog. If it wants to be a cautionary tale for hard-partying, superficial teens, it fails, as it makes their lifestyle look awfully glamorous. Heck, even when one character offers her virginity in exchange for drugs, the sex scene seems glossy and appealing!

Joel Schumacher has made many crummier movies than Twelve, but that doesn’t mean this one works; though it’s relatively good compared to his other efforts, it’s still thin and undercooked. The film lacks even vague substance; while it wants desperately to be relevant, it’s little more than a high society photo shoot on the big screen.


The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B-/ Bonus D-

Twelve appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. No problems emerged in this strong transfer.

Sharpness looked solid. Even the widest shots came across as tight and well-defined, without any softness to mar the presentation. Jaggies and shimmering stayed absent, while edge enhancement failed to appear. Source flaws were a non-factor, as the movie stayed clean.

Director Joel Schumacher loves his stylized hues, so the palette of Twelve opted for a restricted range of colors. We got a lot of chilly blues, and ambers also dominated. Occasionally we got scenes with more natural tones, but the stylized elements were the main factor. Within their parameters, the hues appeared well-developed. Blacks seemed deep and tight, while shadows were decent; they could be slightly dense, but they remained positive for the most part. In the end, the image was consistently pretty fine.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Twelve, it was good but unexceptional. Most of the movie concentrated on dialogue, so other elements didn’t do a whole lot. Still, music used the five channels in a compelling manner, and various street scenes boasted reasonably nice life. Parties also were pretty involving, though music became the biggest factor in those.

Audio quality seemed fine. Speech was crisp and distinctive, with no edginess or other concerns. Music was full and rich, while effects came across as lively and accurate. The track boasted good low-end when appropriate. The somewhat restricted soundfield made this a “B-” mix.

A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Street Kings 2: Motor City, Machete, Unstoppable, Wild Target and Cyrus. The disc also tosses in some Sneak Peeks for Mirrors 2, Predators, Vampires Suck, The A-Team and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. No trailer for Twelve - or any other extras – can be found here.

With scads of characters and situations, Twelve feels like a whole season of a TV series packed into one 90-minute flick. That means a lot of superficial explorations and not much else, as the film’s elements fly by so quickly that they make little impact. The Blu-ray offers excellent visuals, acceptable audio and no real supplements. Short and not especially insightful, this is a lackluster character piece.

To access the ABC's OF TWELVE FLIPBOOK, please visit http://www.twelveblu-ray.com/.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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