Eden, played by Jamie Chung, is a Korean-American girl who works in her parents’ tedious shop and wants to escape the humdrum life and across the border into New Mexico.
Based on a true story, as experienced by Chong Kim, and set in 1994, this tells the tale of 2 years of her life as she is kidnapped and forced into prostitution. And there’s a lot of those girls out there, many of them underage. Where exactly is “out there”? Who can tell, but the ringleader, Bob Gault (Beau Bridges), tells them that there’s 50 miles of wasteland in every direction. So, by that token, escape is impossible.
Of course, Eden isn’t the name she was born with, but it’s the one Bob gives her for her ‘profession’.
The girls are also each given a kitten to look after, presumably to stave off the boredom of being locked up 24/7.
Probably the only one who looks like they’re acting is Matt O’Leary as Bob’s underling, Vaughan. Bridges is fine, but it feels like the kind of role for which he doesn’t exactly have to put the boat out. And while Jamie Chung is also fine… she doesn’t seem to go beyond that. She just meanders from scene to scene, pulling a face at anything disagreeable.
And, on an annoying front, her character has a number of chances to escape along the way, yet doesn’t take them, so that just becomes irritating.
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio and while there’s no issues with the print, it’s hats off to cinematographer Sean Porter for some wonderfully-composed scenes.
The sound is in DTS 5.1 but I didn’t notice any split-surround content here. Then again, it’s not really that sort of film. What we have is purely perfunctory.
The extras on this disc are as follows:
- Joe Dante (26:47): The man talks about how much Roger Corman has influenced him in his career and his love for the director’s films.
- Making the film (12:45): Chat about the film with Jamie Chung, Matt O’Leary & Beau Bridges, plus Chong Kim and various cast and crew members, along with on-set footage as it was made. Topics discussed include sex trafficking.
Some of the interview segments in this are filmed in HD, but not all of them.
- Cast and crew audio commentary: with director Megan Griffiths, Jamie Chung, Matt O’Leary, and producers Jacob Mosler and Colin Harper Plank.
And, erm… that’s it. The extras menu makes it feel like there are five featurettes, but you soon realise they’re actually the individual chapters of the one featurette.
To add insult to injury, the back of the box states “Cast and Crew interviews” and “Behind the scenes footage” and “Jamie and Matt’s audition tapes”. Well, there’s elements of the first two in the main extra on this disc, but there’s certainly none of the latter. Either way, it’s false advertising.
Sadly, Clear Vision also fall at the next hurdle on this disc in three ways: 1. by not bothering with subtitles – which isn’t good when not all the dialogue is clear; 2. giving us only the same poor chaptering with just 12. Very lazy; and 3. Putting trailers before the main menu. What do you think the extras menu is for?
The menu features clips from the film playing with the theme playing in the background.
Running time: 98 minutes
Released: September 9th 2013
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Megan Griffiths
Producers: Jacob Mosler and Colin Harper Plank
Screenplay: Megan Griffiths and Rick Phillips Jr. (based on the story by Chong Kim and Rick Phillips Jr.)
Music: Jeramy Koepping and Joshua Morrison
Eden: Jamie Chung
Vaughan: Matt O’Leary
Bob Gault: Beau Bridges
Svetlana: Naama Kates
Priscilla: Jeanine Monterroza
Mario: Eddie Martinez
The Nurse: Tantoo Cardinal
Abbie: Tracey Fairaway
Jesse: Scott Mechlowicz
Ivan: Roman Roytberg
Avni: John Farrage
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.