Love Lies Bleeding : Release Year - 2008
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Overall Rating : 4.5/10

Directed By : Keith Samples

Christian Slater (Alone in the Dark)
Jenna Dewan (Tamara)
Brian Geraghty (We Are Marshall)
Craig Sheffer (One Tree Hill (TV) )

Supplied By : Sony Pictures

Film Reviewed By : Rick L. Blalock

Date Reviewed : January. 8, 2008

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PLOT
Money changes everything, at least that┐s what Duke and Amber would like to believe. Duke, a hapless Iraq War vet, stumbles onto a drug deal turned deadly and finds a duffel bag stuffed with dirty money. After stopping for a quickie wedding, Duke and Amber hit the road to start the life they┐ve always dreamed about. The dream quickly turns into a nightmare when Pollen, a corrupt DEA agent, comes to reclaim what he believes is rightfully his. The chase begins with non-stop, hair-raising action as Duke and Amber are forced to outwit the increasingly crazed Pollen ┐ as they fight for their very lives.
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THE REVIEW
In LOVE LIES BLEEDING, we meet a struggling young couple named Duke and Amber. Duke a former war Veteran has had it rough since his discharge and has spent a few years in jail for an assault charge - and since he's been out the couple have struggled to make ends meet, despite having aspirations for a bright future. Duke and Amber's luck would soon change however when Duke comes upon a shootout in the neighborhood that has gone terribly wrong. The incident started when a crooked DEA agent named Pollen arrived to collect on a duffle bag full of cash from local gang members - things got out of hand and it all ended in a deadly shootout. Well, with the previously mentioned duffle bag unclaimed, it's "finders-keepers", when otherwise struggling Duke stubbles upon it. With the money, both Duke and Amber now believe they have enough money to fulfill their life-long dreams, like buying a fancy car, gambling, and even finally getting married. For awhile, it's smooth sailing for the two as they get further and further out of their small town, but it won't last for very long. Pollen survived the shootout, and he hasn't given up on claiming the money, he believes to be rightfully his, and he is soon onto the young couple's every move -and suddenly for Duke and Amber their lives become more important to them than a few hopes and dreams.

The premise to LOVE LIES BLEEDING is a simple one really and could be called something of a "modern day Bonnie and Clyde" tale. Except, in this story, our Protagonists are not outlaws, but rather innocents whom get caught up in a game of chase with our Antagonist, who is after some dirty money they happened to fall upon. The plot was intriguing to me on first read, and I was actually anticipating a great film, pending if things were handled correctly. The film starts off with promise, our couple is introduced to us as one, whom is barely making it as they live in their bad neighborhood, but what is clear from the beginning is that Duke and Amber truly do love each other - from here it's known to the audience that the couple's relationship would serve as the indirect focal point of the film.

Hopes for a well developed love story/thriller, say in the vein of TRUE ROMANCE, were quickly lessened as the plot suddenly went from one being steady and well-paced to being one that jumped from one place to the next a little to abruptly - not to mention the introduction of the character of Pollen, of whom Christian Slater portrays with way too much exaggeratory, and is way over the top for this type of character. It may be just me, but I didn't believe Slater as DEA agent Pollen for one second, and i've come to realize that he just might not be cut out for these types of Roles(does ALONE IN THE DARK ring a bell?). So with the cheesy portrayal of the main Antagonist, LOVE LIES BLEEDING, a film that I feel could've been so much better essentially becomes one in the same, as it develops as it progresses, into something more resembling an exaggerated TV movie.

But this is not to say that there aren't any positives in the film. The relationship of Duke and Amber(played by Brian Geraghty and Jenna Dewan respectively), is a believable one, and is definitely the best element of this film. The relationship of the two characters could've actually been something that made this film more than it turned out to be had it not been overshadowed by other elements of the film that just weren't on the same level and up to par. Brian Geraghty who starred in the recent films I KNOW WHO KILLED ME and WE ARE MARSHALL continues to impress me and will soon be one of the new young stars in my opinion - he has that likeability factor. On the other hand, I have been a fan of Jenna Dewan's for quite some time now. She first really caught my eye in TAMARA and then went on to do bigger budgeters like STEP UP and TAKE THE LEAD, and I think that, although she was great in TAMARA, her acting has much improved - I think she is a great actress, but unfortunately it seems that people always want to concentrate on her looks first. Speaking of her looks, I find it funny that in every movie that she's in that requires her to look haggard and worn down(this is one such film), that no matter how hard the make-up department tries to accomplish the look, she still manages to look gorgeous.
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GORE METER
2.5/10 Some bloody gunshots, slashings and a stabbing..... nothing too graphic.
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MUSICAL SCORE
4/10 The score ranges from country acoustic to more of a "Thriller" type score toward the end...all and all, I thought it worked well.
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OVERALL IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
Well, maybe I was expecting too much from LOVE LIES BLEEDING as I thought it was ok, but not nearly as exciting as I had hoped. I expected it to be more suspenseful, more so when it came to the idea of Pollen chasing down Duke and Amber(as does the synopsis make it out to be), but I find it to be not nearly as intense as we are lead to believe. Overall it's a decent film but it's nothing that truly stands out.

This DVD will be released on January 15, 2008
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STILLS


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