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STUDIO: Warner Brothers
MSRP: $28.98
RATED:  R
RUNNING TIME: 124 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:

Two roundtable discussions






The Pitch

A Lebanese girl gets to learn about life in Houston.

The Humans

Summer Bishil, Aaron Eckhart, Peter Macdissi, Chris Messina and Maria Bello

The Nutshell

Alan Ball is such a weird creator for me. Ball wants to shock you with Towelhead. But, it seems to go about it in this melodramatic William Castle sort of way. Take a look at a used tampon or some other bodily horror of early teenage adolescence. That’s why when we get properly introduced to 13 year old Jasira, we automatically fear for her. She’s a young woman dropped into a new world with a distant father. Her mother is half a country away and she’s left to deal with the teenage years on her own.



She’s 13 in the flick, 20 in real life.



The Lowdown

Towelhead
is a tricky adaptation of a novel based around the time of the first Gulf conflict. Balancing issues as racism and childhood sexuality, the film doesn’t go for any easy answers. Hell, you are thrown into Jasira’s role of trying to figure out who is an ally and who is any enemy. Adults can’t be trusted and they never seem to have any answers. The kids at school are just as dumb as you.



I saw a movie with Linda Blair that started out this way.



Towelhead takes this time of confusion and ups the ante to a horrifying level. When Jasira meets Mr. Vuoso, she seems to have an odd throwback to the time she lived with her mother. Her mother’s boyfriend had an odd obsession with her body. Jasira didn’t know how to comprehend this, so the interaction moved into a very dark area. Hence, she’s thrown into a new world where she’s got figures like her father and Mr. Vuoso baring down on her.


Harvey Dent says if there’s grass on the field, then he’s got to flip a coin to fuck it.


Aaron Eckhart offers up an admirable turn, as Mr. Vuoso. You’re never quite sure what’s lurking underneath his charming facade, as he sizes up Jasira. Mr. Vuoso fulfills another in a long line of failed masculine role models in Jasira’s life. But, he’s the most important as he gives her that first porn magazine. This tiny paper cue awakens Jasira’s sexuality and gets her started on a wrong-headed path. She meets up with a local boy and becomes sexually active. That’s not before Mr. Vuoso moves in on her, as he is nearing being shipped off to Iraq.



How to make living in Texas even harder.



Towelhead gets points for how it depicts misunderstood sexuality and its ability to slip into dangerous places. But, it also goes about in a serious of shock moments. Look at this spent condom, look at this bloody condom. Hey! There’s some fucking over there. These quick chops take the film down a peg, as it almost nears a territory that few films about teenagers ever do. It was almost honest and real. 



Love the Freddy Mercury moustache.


The Package


The
DVD
has a pretty strong transfer with average audio. The sole special feature is a duo of special discussions that focus on the material presented in the film. If you thought that Ball could’ve handled the material better, then this ham-fisted clips won’t do it much better. I wish that we could’ve got a commentary from Alan Ball or the original novel writer. I needed some more information about what they did and didn’t choose from the original novel. It feels like a lot was left out. But, maybe I need to give it a second chance.



7.1 out of 10