It’s a good message, and it’s delivered by good actors, all the way around, as well as a good (even if novice) director.  The cinematography isn’t bad either, with Vancouver lovingly displayed for would-be tourists.  They even managed to leave out the clichéd, cinematic sunsets—although the city has some of the best in the world, every single day.

Unfortunately, Copeland never offers a remedy to the soulless living he so devastatingly describes.  Like his book, his film ends on an extremely nihilistic note—which is, of course, the curse of this postmodern age.  “You’re corrupt,” Ming says.  “But it’s okay.  It happens to everyone.” 

When we deny the existence of absolute truth, where does morality begin and end?  It must necessarily fall to each individual to define for himself.  Yet this merely perpetuates the cycle of meaninglessness, materialism and hypocrisy, because values and egotism of millions of individuals are bound to collide. 

The only solution to this conundrum?  Find love.  And, as Ryan insists, “be real.”  Whatever that means.

AUDIENCE:  Adults only

DVD EXTRAS:

  • Video Pop-Ups
  • Trailer
  • Extended Scenes
  • Lincoln Clarke’s Photo Gallery
  • Poster Gallery
  • Musicology
  • Special Brownie Recipe (includes “1/2 ounce herb of choice” ingredient, with “seeds and stem removed” which is cooked in butter then “reserved for later use”)
  • Audio Commentary

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Drinking (usually beer) in several scenes, usually within a social context; various references to drug use; a large-scale drug operation is shown and discussed in several scenes as being extremely profitable for both owners and workers (some characters are eventually arrested but never accept responsibility for their crime).
  • Language/Profanity:  A handful of profanities and obscenities, a few of which are strong.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity:  A man appears to be looking at porn on his computer, but quickly shuts it off; a couple meets and immediately goes to her apartment, where he takes pictures of her in sexual poses, wearing lingerie; office employees gather around computer screen and watch a pornographic Web site (no nudity); character sees a friend on pornographic Web site having sex (not shown) with his one-night-stand.
  • Violence:  Various references to Japanese mafia; men fist fight (no injuries); fearful Chinese grandmother holds up knife when mail comes through slot; angry wife crushes car windshield with baseball bat.