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Slow Burn (Full Screen) [Import]

Jennifer Ann Evans , Stuart Wilson , Christian Ford    R (Restricted)   DVD
2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Minnie Driver produces and stars in this sometimes unusual but largely familiar and undercooked crime thriller, a project seemingly aimed at hardening her good-girl image with a touch of the femme fatale. She plays Trina, the surviving daughter of a couple who spent their lives searching the Mexican desert for a fortune in lost diamonds. What a shock when a pair of escaped convicts (James Spader, chewing on an accent that could make him Ratso Rizzo's long-lost son, and Josh Brolin) stumble onto her camp, dragging the treasure behind them. Completely obsessed with the diamonds, she turns ruthless in her pursuit--these boys are rank amateurs next to Driver's hardened schemer. Director-cowriter Christian Ford carves the film out of sharp, sun-blasted colors that seem to bleach out over the course of the film, but the script's blatant echoes of Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Greed (including characters named after author Frank Norris and Greed protagonist McTeague) never allow the film to establish its own identity. Brolin turns in a fine performance as a holy innocent on the wrong path, and Stuart Wilson is excellent as the narrator and Trina's desert-rat protector, an ambiguous, dangerous figure always on the periphery of the story. The story concludes in a clever climax of dark irony, but the rest of the film is less satisfying--not quite predictable but never very surprising. --Sean Axmaker

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Customer Reviews

2.2 out of 5 stars
2.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:DVD
Minnie Driver plays treasure-hunting Trina, whose motive is not so much her love for money or easy life as her obsession with getting back the diamonds her ancestors had been involved with for four generations, and as a result, the film is more like a character-based drama than a thriller or action (you can see very little of it). Trina keeps on searching the treasure in spite of herself and her elder friend Stuart Wilson, who tries to trace the vanished Trina in the desert of Mexico, in order to bring her back to better judgment.
The confusing story of "Slow Burn" develops those settings above as follows; opposite Minnie Driver, we have a pair of unrecognizable James Spader (with very heavy accent) and Josh Brolin, both of whom accidentally hit the paydirt where the said treasure had been hidden for a long time. AND again Minnie Driver happens to pass them by, to find exactly what she wanted .... The far-fetched story doesn't have enough speed to make us forget the implausible things going on the screen, and in fact, the film burns with its good cinematography of the desert, but way too slowly. The middle part of it reminds us of "Treasure of Sierra Madre," but doesn't have enough driving power of actions or characters which this Huston - Bogart classic is endowed with.
The ironic ending, which is clearly inspired by that of the silent-film masterpiece "Greed" (with a caged bird and chained bodies), shows considerable momentum, greatly assisted by Wislon's performance and the good images of the scorching desert and sun, but it takes too much time to reach there.
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Format:DVD
This is quite honestly the first and probably only review I will ever list on this site. I chose to do so, becuase of the popularity of this site for buying movies online. As a fan of many types of movies, all I can say is, PLEASE do not waste any part of your life watching any part of this. My girlfriend has a habit of watching B-movies, movies with cheesy actors, or after school special types of flicks. I reluctantly watched this with her and I'll call this an S-movie. S stands for *@#!, Slow, Stupid, and Straight to video which is exactly where it went. It is the worst movie I have ever seen with fimiliar actors in it (except JAMES SPADER - he hasn't been familiar since we hated him in "Pretty in Pink") Don't listen to any wannabe critics hyping it up. You want a description - it resembles something brown and flushable. :-)
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3.0 out of 5 stars I could slow burn with this movie. April 12 2001
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I will not spend time dissecting each action and try to compare this to a combination of ["The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948) ASIN: B00003CXD5] and ["Legend of the Lost" (1957) ASIN: 6301972163.]
Trina (Minnie Driver) is treasure hunting at any cost. We see why through a series of flashbacks. Diamonds exchange hands a few times.
This film stands on it's own as a slow paced (which gives sagacity) interaction of cunning minds in a desolate area vying for a prize more important than the other person. You have seen it before and you will see it again; so sit back and enjoy this variation.
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3.0 out of 5 stars This one was slow! Nov. 8 2001
Format:DVD
Just like the title, it was slow but it had its moments! I enjoy Minnie Driver's acting but I bought it because of Stuart Wilson who as usual, does such a superb job! I liked the story line but it seemed really "drawn out" to me. Thought it was never going to end. If you like Stuart Wilson, you'll still love this one as I did.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow Burn July 20 2000
By Eric Sanberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
When this title crossed my desk I became curious. The star power was notable and history tells me that neither Minnie Driver or James Spader would be appearing in something on a shoestring budget. So...why did I not recall a theatrical release? Why was it going direct to video? Anyway, I took it home and screened it and had quite a time of it. This is a totally worthwhile movie. The story involves Minnie's grandmother who died in the desert with a rather large stash of diamonds. Minnie's mother, father and father's friend search for granny's remains and the stash (only to come to a dastardly end), and now Minnie susequently spends her life in the desert trying to find those same blasted diamonds. But of course there wouldn't be much of a movie if things were that easy. Who should stumble onto the diamonds right under her nose but James Spader and his intellectually challenged buddy played by Josh Brolin. They are escaped cons being pursued by Minnie's dead dad's friend. Much ensues as a touchy cat and mouse game is played out amongst the participants, and everything culminates in a rather fitting conclusion. This is no low-level crime thriller. The desert is used to great effect. It's alive with an entire history and set of rules all its own. All the actors draw memorable characters. They are interesting and there is an immediacy to the proceedings. You feel the heat and dryness and you really get the heebie-jeebies when lives are threatened by such unforgiving surroundings. The end might tick some people off, but it's logical. This certainly doesn't attain the level of some similar movies such as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, but this is a good flick that more than satisfied the time I invested in it.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost treasure in the desert Aug. 7 2005
By Erik H. East - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I loved this film from the first time I saw it. What is so compelling for me is the familiar Hollywood subject matter: lost treasure, lust, greed, obsession and death. I must have seen dozens of films of this genre and enjoyed every one: Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Makenna's Gold, The Deep, Indiana Jones 1,2&3. But this one stands out among the recent efforts, although on a more modest theatrical scale and budget. The natural landscape, photography and the settings are outstanding. The characterizations are vivid and interesting, but crazed, even by treasure hunter standards.

Mini Driver is a looker. She keeps the movie "cooking" as the central character through many unexpected turns. An enigmatic desert rat, she has been searching the hot dry Mexico desert alone for years, looking for the long lost family jewels. Needless to say they eventually turn up, but in the wrong hands.

The story line is a bit cumbersome and convoluted, but nothing to get upset about. I think the film requires that you suspend your disbelief for the duration. If it is reality you want, go find it elsewhere. I see it for what it really is: an age-old sourdough yarn like those spun around the campfire by the master storytellers of the age before television. That's pure entertainment, in my book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sizzling July 5 2010
By Wesley W. Byas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of my all time favorite movies with James Spader. He is a wonderfully gifted actor and is unbelievably good in this film. Minnie Driver is equally good and wonderful to watch.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Film Really Burns With Good Photography BUT Too Slowly April 26 2002
By Tsuyoshi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Minnie Driver plays treasure-hunting Trina, whose motive is not so much her love for money or easy life as her obsession with getting back the diamonds her ancestors had been involved with for four generations, and as a result, the film is more like a character-based drama than a thriller or action (you can see very little of it). Trina keeps on searching the treasure in spite of herself and her elder friend Stuart Wilson, who tries to trace the vanished Trina in the desert of Mexico, in order to bring her back to better judgment.
The confusing story of "Slow Burn" develops those settings above as follows; opposite Minnie Driver, we have a pair of unrecognizable James Spader (with very heavy accent) and Josh Brolin, both of whom accidentally hit the paydirt where the said treasure had been hidden for a long time. AND again Minnie Driver happens to pass them by, to find exactly what she wanted .... The far-fetched story doesn't have enough speed to make us forget the implausible things going on the screen, and in fact, the film burns with its good cinematography of the desert, but way too slowly. The middle part of it reminds us of "Treasure of Sierra Madre," but doesn't have enough driving power of actions or characters which this Huston - Bogart classic is endowed with.
The ironic ending, which is clearly inspired by that of the silent-film masterpiece "Greed" (with a caged bird and chained bodies), shows considerable momentum, greatly assisted by Wislon's performance and the good images of the scorching desert and sun, but it takes too much time to reach there. Moreover, the famous ending of "McTeague," the original book of "Greed," is recreated here, but the author Frank Norris provided us with a good reason for McTeague and his nemesis to act the way they did, which is not given sufficiently in this film. Why should they act, is never explained to convince us.
For Minnie Drivers' fans the film is a disappointment as the leading two cast, for all their efforts, seem miscast. Not that her the acting is bad; just she someshow shows she is acting the character she is not. Sorry for this harsh review, but I prefer Minnie in "Return to Me" very much.
The film is co-produced by Kate Driver (Minnie's sister) who is also responsible for the production of "Beautiful."
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars th;is movie is so hot its cool!! Aug. 18 2001
By Walter P. Kramer - Published on Amazon.com
I watched it and was really surprise at how the plot thickened and kept me wondering what was gonna happen next. I ewas surprised that three people could hold it all together and each one were great!!Many surprises and Josh Brolin has really had a hidden talent thesre past years for he was fabulous in this --I daresay that is when he met his now wife Minnie Driver. It's very well acted, very well directed, and writing that will keep it on your mind.
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