Chrystal Release Date: 2004 Genre: Crime | Drama Director(s): Ray McKinnon Writer(s): Ray McKinnon Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Lisa Blount and Harry Lennix Chrystal is another one of those very limited release indie films (four theaters) that I wouldn’t review under normal circumstances. It’s being reviewed thanks to its release being through First Look. The […]

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Chrystal
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Crime | Drama
Director(s): Ray McKinnon
Writer(s): Ray McKinnon
Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Lisa Blount and Harry Lennix

Chrystal is another one of those very limited release indie films (four theaters) that I wouldn’t review under normal circumstances. It’s being reviewed thanks to its release being through First Look.

The big selling point, of course, is Billy Bob Thornton’s portrayal of an anguished ex-con named Jim. Doing that same quiet, reserved character that won him praise for Monster’s Ball, Thornton’s Jim has just been released from prison after a run from the DEA that resulted in a wife with a broken neck and a dead son. Twenty years later he returns to the backwoods town that he crafted his life in, and what he finds isn’t heart warming. Chrystal, his once lovely wife, is a shell of her former self who lifelessly whores herself out to teenage boys to pay the bills. This doesn’t stop our brooding hero from trying to win her back, and none of them are in the cutesy ways you’d think. Joe eventually starts to be pulled back into a life of crime as well.

Chrystal is a mixed bag. From a production standpoint, Chrystal makes for a beautiful show. The picture is barely up to par on a cheap Nu Image feature, but it is full of atmosphere, both in its music and scenery. It’s the only element that pulls you into the story. What pulls you out is the hollowing of its story as things move along. While I was never driven to check how much time was left in the film, there was not a single point in Chrystal where I felt myself latching onto its story or characters.

Maybe I just didn’t ‘get it.’ Or maybe the critics who praised Chrystal were suckered in by its external features to the point where the deficiencies in areas that truly matters, like the story and characters, were simply ignored.
DVD: Barebones.

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Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Chrystal , 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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