Dark... has a lot of bright spots... great cinematography
Byoba | 05/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The editorial view of this movie is quite misleading to say the least... As the plot isnt as clear cut as suggested about the main character dark... This is a movie about a young bruhda who is pretty much struggling with demons... mainly of his father killing his mother when he was a boy... As the movie shows flash back scenes of the incident,indicating that the main character is traumatized about his past... In addition to that, it affects his relationship with his girlfriend and how he relates to his friends in general... which he spends a lot of time running through the movie and snapping over whatever it is that makes him feel insecure in the moment... If anything the title is true to the character... Dark is very withdrawn and internally out of touch with reality as he appears to be more of a drifter who just draggs himself through life being absorbed by self-pity... Very mundane in the end... but is very realistic about most ppl probably... The cinematography is excellent in this movie... and the behind the scenes of extra footage and how the film was made is well worth the purchase for anyone who is interested in how a movie is made and the hard work that is involved... D.A Bullock has delivered a good movie... That isnt over the top with the typical black on black violence... I like how he kept those types of elements controled and subtle through out the movie... Me, being a screen-play writer looks for work that doesnt follow the normal script... especially when it comes to black films... As most just go for the buck and give the usual stereotypical nonsense... Nehow, I enjoyed this film for moving at a slow pace and letting the characters unfold on there on... Instead of trying to create a superflous action ghetto exploit... I look forward to the next film from D.A Bullocks... Nuff said!!!!"
Gritty, intelligent, and entertaining
Sophie | Atlanta, GA | 01/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"By its cover, you might think that 'dark' is just another sweet love story, but it is so much more. Finally, a movie portrays the complexity of black life-- beyond the standard monoliths that is typical of black life on the movie screen. Its a coming of age story minus gun scenes and minus the typical buppy ensemble. Yes, it has its share of grit. Set on the gritty south side of Chicago, it is impossible to ignore the bleak and violent surroundings. Yet, the movie is not wholly about those surroundings, those surroundings set the stage, acting as a backdrop to understanding what 'dark' the man is all about. And yes, the buppy makes an appearance in this flick, but we are treated to a more complex, less glamourous portrayal. dark's themes are subtle, yet riveting and familiar. We root for dark because we know him in all his complexity and confusion-- a man caught between two worlds, neither of which seem to fulfill his dream. In one world on the south side of chicago, the streets call-- dark, hopeless and despairing. Yet his deepest ties are here-- family and childhood friends. In scenes that are often haunting flashbacks, we see these ties created, deepenend and sometimes severed. dark's roots are affirmed here while his often hypnotic and aloof appearances make it clear that this place is no longer home. In the other world, the halls of his predominantly white, ivy league university-- dark is just another black face fully described in the minds of his white professors before he ever opens his mouth. While clearly having the aptitude, he just can't find the motivation. The thing he yearns for-- self realization, the answers to the larger questions-- eludes him in both places. Broken and misunderstand, we watch dark's hasty spiral downward. Congratulations to actor Jason Bonner for an outstanding debut performance. He keeps viewers on the edge of their seat by so deftly displaying the complexity of his character. He is listless and confused and he is also a ticking time bomb. He is lonely and depressed and also angry and disengaging, his anger seemingly fueled further by his girlfriend's indelible sweetness. He is intelligent and articulate and also self destructive and unproductive. The ending is a treat, providing lure for a sequel. Congratulations to director D.A. Bullock, also for an outstanding debut. Movie-goers want more movies like his, which affirm the belief that movies can be both highly entertaining and highly intelligent. If you judge this film against others on a similar budget, 'dark' is easily a 5."
D.A. Bullock has delivered a solid film.
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 10/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I came across this DVD the other day sitting on the Independent film section at the library and thought I give it try. I thought the dialogue and acting of the movie was very natural and well-done, and I thought it captured the atmosphere of the South Side of Chicago pretty well.
In his feature film debut, independent director D.A. Bullock introduces us to 21-year-old Dark Freeman (Jason Bonner), a University of Chicago student who grew up in the violent South Side neighborhood that surrounds the prestigious campus. Caught between two disparate worlds -- neither of which seems to be wholly his -- Dark must discover his true identity -- or face a lifetime of feeling like a fake.
I find that anyone could relate to Dark Freeman. Everyone has had a moment in their lives where they plateau. Nothing seems good enough and motivation towards everything runs low. This is exactly what Dark is going through. The scenes are very well directed and shot. Especially those cycling scenes. However , the story was a bit weak. There is a bit of a monotone throughout the beginning, but to my surprise it ended up displaying a nice moral of strength, commitment and dedication.
"Dark" is not the greatest movie in the world but if you have two hours to kill I wouldn't recommend against it.