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SIFF 2011 Movie Reviews: Wasted on the Young, Salvation Boulevard

Wasted on the Young:�This is yet another one of those films that is a well-known and potentially overdone trope, and yet is done here so well that it is definitely worth seeing. Students of a private school get embroiled in a struggle over morality, apathy, and disinformation when a wild party thrown by the captain of the swim team goes a step too far. Visually, it is vibrant, exciting, and stylish. For the cinematography alone, I enjoyed this film. Beautiful angles and use of contrast, clever shifts and special effects that compare and contrast the real from the imagined all contribute to make this a visually arresting film. The story is grim, but a fair depiction of the balance of power in a school system and the abuses thereof that happen in any social situation where those who have beauty, money, and the means can get away with almost anything. One of the more intriguing choices is the notable lack of any parents, teachers, or adult authority figures throughout the entire film; a haunting echo of�Lord of the Flies on multiple levels.

U.S. Distributor: Indomina Releasing Australia, 2010 (97 minutes) Director: Ben C. Lucas Cast: Oliver Ackland, Adelaide Clemens, Alex Russell, Georgina Haig, Gerraldine Hakewill 
Director Ben C. Lucas scheduled to attend.
Festival Screenings 9:30 PM Thu, June 2 Neptune Theatre 1:30 PM Sat, June 4 Harvard Exit
Salvation Boulevard:�If you're looking for a silly, fluffy, dumb fun movie in the festival this year, this would probably be it. After an unfortunate accident, the minister in charge of a huge Christian community that is on the brink of creating their very own 'city' decides to frame one of his constituents in the hopes of escaping any fallout. Wacky hijinks ensue. It has a huge and impressive cast that is, for the most part, wasted in terms of talent, but all of whom play their parts with panache and humor. Pierce Brosnan is particularly delightful as the minister convinced that the devil is trying to destroy him. Basically, don't come in expecting too much other than a bunch of laughs and a well-paced and entertaining romp. The premise is played quite broadly, with stereotypes everywhere you look, but the story is amusing and entertaining, the acting funny and cheesy, and the overall experience pleasantly mindless and enjoyable. It's nothing to write home about, but you'll find some genuine laughs and likely some genuine winces, if you have issues with evangelical Christianity, and plenty of fodder to poke fun at and snark over. The ending is a bit abrupt and unexpected, leaving one with a faint sense of, "huh?". Part of me feels like there was more to be done, but I'm honestly not sure what exactly that would be.
U.S. Distributor: IFC Films USA, 2011 (95 minutes) Director: George Ratliff Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear, Marisa Tomei
Director George Ratliff scheduled to attend.
Festival Screenings 9:15 PM Fri, June 3 Egyptian Theatre 1:00 PM Sun, June 5 Admiral Theater