Those were the debuts for a few of this generation’s most interesting, talented directors… and then one by Paul W.S. Anderson, the American-by-way-of-Britain version of Uwe Boll.
Admittedly, Paul WSA is far more talented than Boll — his movies never all that great but (usually) not unwatchable either. They do, however, share both a common disdain amongst cinephiles as well as an affection for video game adaptations.
Apparently there was some serious uproar in England over PwsA’s first feature, Shopping — starring then-unknown Jude Law — with the press screaming mad that the violent, youth-run-amok story would brainwash all of their highly impressionable teenagers, leading them to drive cars into stores and other nonsense that, of course, never came to pass.
Shopping will finally be available in all its uncut, uncensored glory on DVD and Blu-Ray by Severin Films here in the U.S., where it was dumped into theaters in heavily neutered form when it was initially released. I’ve never seen this entry in the Paul WSA oeuvre of cinema, but perhaps it shows some promise — it did launch a full-on career for him, after all, that has seen him helm the surprisingly successful Resident Evil franchise (the latest of which crushed the box office in its debut), attempt to do the same with the Alien vs. Predator series, and give us assorted other one-offs of varying quality and success.
Carl Daft, co-founder and CEO of Severin Films, likens Shopping to Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. We’ll see about that; but, Daft isn’t just waxing hyperbolic as all those filmmakers did parlay their initial efforts to decade-plus-long-and-going careers — whether or not they’ve had more hits than misses though is up to your personal preference.
I must confess that I’m a total fan of Event Horizon, so who knows — Shopping might be decent. No release date announced yet since they’re still putting together all the special features.