Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 90 minutes
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If you’re the type of person that gets all paranoid after smoking weed, then you definitely don’t want to watch this feature while stoned. You’ll wind up having a heart attack and making yucky in your pants, but even worse, you may end up spilling the bong water.
“Resin” is shot like one of those guerilla “America Undercover” documentaries except that this one is entirely staged. The feature takes a look at the “three strikes” law in California and Vladamir Gyorski does his very best to remind you that it is wrong.
After getting busted on a bullshit charge of assaulting a police officer in Los Angeles, Zeke buses it to Santa Barbara to live with friends and sell pot to college students. Not long after arriving, he gets jumped by a group of college students looking to score some weed. To escape, Zeke has to smack one of them over the head with his skateboard, which sets the police on his trail for another assault charge. Once they catch up with him, he’s found with something like 100 pounds of marijuana in his possession. Three strikes. So seeing that the skateboard assault was self-defense and the assault against the cop was merely Zeke pushing an undercover police officer to avoid being apprehended, Zeke finds himself possibly facing 25 years to life in prison for just selling pot. Is there something wrong here? I sure as hell think so.
Gyorski has done such a perfect job of capturing this vagabond lifestyle that Zeke leads that it’s extremely easy to forget you’re just watching a movie. The actors he chose to portray his characters don’t seem like actors at all and I have to wonder whether real attorneys and street people were used here. Let’s look at another drug related film – Traffic for example. Now there’s a movie I had a hard time getting into because I couldn’t get past all of the damn acting that was going on. I kept waiting for the director to yell cut so that Michael Douglas or Catherine Zeta-Jones could drop their pretense and go have a smoke. I didn’t believe anything that was going on. Such isn’t the case in “Resin”. Of course it helps to have a cast of unfamiliar names and faces, but none of these people seemed like wannabe up and coming stars. There were no egos involved and everyone is completely natural on camera, making for an involving fly-on-the-wall experience.
Driving his message home, Gyorski shows Zeke to be a very quiet and gentle person who certainly would never deserve to be locked up for the rest of his life. Opening narration also provides a negative view against the “three strikes” law by informing the viewer that there’s over 3,500 people serving life sentences in California, some of them for merely making a false statement on an application or stealing a can of beer. “Resin” is one of those films that you will be thinking about quite a bit after viewing it. And California residents will realize that they better pony up the money for their beer because no Schlitz is worth 25 years.
Posted on September 11, 2002 in Reviews by Eric Campos
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