09 January 2013

Movie Review: "Spin"

Rated: PG-13 for thematic elements and some violent images
Starring: Ryan Merriman, Paula Garces, and Stanley Tucci
Year Released: 2003
I stumbled upon this movie as part of a twelve-film "Family Movie Marathon," which had various flicks from the past few decades all in one package.  It's actually the first one from that set that I've watched, and I saw the entire thing on my iPad.  How was it? Well, let's get to the review:

Story: 2.5/5
Though the story was uplifting and full of positive messages--more on that later--it did seem to drag a bit.  The pace picked up slightly in the finale, but it took forever to get to that point.  Still, the movie weaved a good yarn, one that kept me engrossed enough to watch it all in one day, which I rarely do with any movie.

Production Values: 5/5
This is where the movie excels.  The entire cast, from Ryan Merriman (The Luck of the Irish) as the main character, to Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada) as his beleagured uncle, did amazingly well.  The sets and cinematography were also great; I really felt like I was there, with the people on the screen.  A decent soundtrack only augmented the experience.

Moral Content: 3.5/5
Compared to other "PG-13" flicks, this deserves a higher score, but I have to use my own standards, not the MPAA's.  There were about ten or so profanities, and sexual content was limited to passionate kissing and seeing guys shirtless in a locker room, both of which are surprisingly restrained for a film with this rating.  Unfortunately, smoking and especially alcoholism were seen throughout, though the latter was vilified, which is good.  The "violent images" involve blood being used as ink for a message--mostly implied--and a creepy scene implying a suicide, though that was mild compared to the average "M"-rated video game.  However, the themes are definitely not for children, so I'd suggest taking the "PG-13" seriously.

Final Score: 3/5
I probably won't be watching it again, but Spin was a great film for one viewing.  Flight enthusiasts or die-hard fans of teen-centric dramas will likely watch this one again and again, but others should just stick with a rental.  Those looking for some entertainment for a night could do much worse than Spin.

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