|A Babe, a Hunk, Jerry Granelli & Anne of Green Gables:|
All this and more for you in Halifax!!!
Dir. William D. McGillivray
Starring: Douglas Smith, Laura Wiggins, Megan Follows, Jerry Granelli
Review By Greg Klymkiw
Ditch (Douglas Smith) is a hunky dreamboat loner who lives with his single Mom (Megan "Anne of Green Gables" Follows) and a very cool boarder (legendary jazz drummer Jerry Granelli) in their modest Halifax home. Mom urges Ditch to better himself and enrol in community college, but he seems satisfied with his job at the local dump where he can play frisbee-fetch with the junkyard dog and have carte-blanche access to his employers' beater van. He dreams of becoming a musician himself, like Granelli and his long-out-of-the-picture itinerant drummer Dad, but as is typical of Canadian heroes, Ditch doesn't do much about it. He's yet another in a long line of English-Canadian cinema's "Beautiful Losers" that began with the likes of Pete and Joey in Goin' Down the Road and Marshall Dillon in Paperback Hero. When a mysterious American mega-babe (Laura Wiggins) comes-a-sashayin' into town, Ditch's tongue hangs to the ground and he befriends the young beauty with a - you guessed it - dark secret. Not a whole lot happens save for some Mother-Son disputes, an unexpected death and Ditch burning a strange tattoo off the babe's lower back with a piping-hot iron (at her request, of course). Things race to a "I-did-the-math-on-that-one-in-the-first-half-hour" revelation and hard-to-swallow denouement.
Hard Drive is a superbly-acted and beautifully shot drama with a fine indigenous sense of place, but it pokes about far too foreseeably, riddled with an annoying de rigueur indie soundtrack, a surprisingly awkward Granelli score and that dour earnestness of so many Canadian films. McGillivray is one of Canada's great filmmakers. He's given us the astounding Life Classes, Understanding Bliss and the wonderful, but idiotically cancelled CBC-TV series Gullage's. Alas, once in awhile, even the best fail (I'm looking at you John Ford, Frank Capra and, among many others, Ingmar Bergman), so it's hardly the end of the world. He's got a few masterworks left in him.
|A deep, dark and predictably Canadian secret just 4 U!!|
THE FILM CORNER RATING: **½
Hard Drive is enjoying a first-run engagement at Toronto's Royal Cinema.
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