By Eric Campos | May 27, 2004

In my book, a movie always has a leg up when it’s shot in black and white film. It’s just a personal preference of mine and it’s something I don’t get to see too much of anymore these days due to the countless digital video moviemakers out there. So when I saw that Russell Rocheleau’s feature, “Rockwater”, was created on glorious black and white film, I was all eyes and ears. I turn into a movie slut at this point – Give me a story! Any story! Just give it to me! My legs are wide open! My cheeks are spread! However you want me, I’m all yours! Just make me feel good, maybe even a little dirty.

Unfortunately, the story presented here is just a little too plain jane to keep my motor runnin’. Even with the few quirks that are thrown in to keep viewers on their toes, “Rockwater” still struggles to tell an interesting story, or at least one you haven’t heard or seen already.

Taking up the esteemed status of a college dropout, Elias returns to his hometown to live with his Aunt who raised him a good chunk of his life due to his mother committing suicide when he was a child. Trying to get his head focused on just where the hell he’s heading in life while working at a motel, he runs into an old buddy of his, Teddy, who would’ve been a major bad influence in Elias’s life if he hadn’t moved away to college. But now that they’re together again, Teddy convinces Elias to make a run with him to Montreal to pawn off a bunch of blow. So begins a road trip that doesn’t come to the most cheerful of conclusions. In fact, you might say that Elias would’ve been better off not being a fool and staying in school.

Oh well, another dumbass shitcans his life. And that thought is all you really come away with after the movie finishes. Just another loser swallowed up by his own stupidity and schleprock bad luck. It’s not even tragic really as we don’t know a whole lot about the character before he derails his life. There’s no point in this movie where you actually like Elias. So when he ultimately gets screwed, you’ll more than likely not care or even be happy about what happens to the guy. I don’t think that was the intent here. Just as I don’t think that some of the more attempted hard hitting scenes were supposed to be funny. They just came out that way. I think cliché mixed with sub-par performances brought out the humor in many of the situations.

I like Russell’s filmmaking style. It’s very in your face and I believe that he could really due justice to a hard biting story if one were presented to him. Unfortunately, this story wasn’t it. The lame tale mixed with poor performances only conjured up a nice looking mess.

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