• Lost Angels

    Released by: MGM Limited Edition Collection

    Released on: April 2, 2012.

    Director: Hugh Hudson

    Cast: Adam Horovitz, Donald Sutherland

    Year: 1989

    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    The acting debut of Adam Horovitz, better known as the king Ad Rock finds the Beastie Boys alumni playing a troubled teenager named Tim ‘Chino’ Doolan. The child of a damaged family, he doesn’t have much respect for his mother (Celia Weston) or her new man and tries to keep some distance from his biological father, who is a bit of an abusive asshole. Tim meets a foxy girl named Cheryl (Amy Locane) at a party one night and after going home with her, winds up arrested – see, Cheryl thought it would be a good idea to drive her mother’s car into the pool, but her mom didn’t think so and she called the cops on her. Both kids wind up in a psychiatric hospital where most of the staff couldn’t care less about the patients, save for one doctor named Charles Loftis (Donald Sutherland).

    While initially Tim has no intentions of changing his ways, much to the delight of his nutty troublemaking older brother (Don Bloomfield), eventually he and Loftis are able to connect but not before he screws around with Cheryl in the shower. Loftis does what he can to help Tim and the others, though the ‘machine’ that runs the detention center is obviously running it only for financial gain, and not for the greater good.

    Lost Angels has a few interesting things going for it, primarily in terms of character development. Tim is portrayed not so much as a typical troublemaking teen but more as a victim of his environment. His parents are more interested in money and material gain than anything else, they even lie to him about where he’s going when they drop him off at the facility. They’re not honest with their kid, so why should he be honest with them? Cheryl, likewise, is in a similar situation though she handles things differently. She’s a natural born liar, skilled a deception and not above playing to exactly what the authorities want to hear from her. She’s also well aware that her mother, at this point, is tired of her and wants to get rid of her. There’s some good character development here and both Horovitz and Locane do alright with the material. Sutherland is fine in his role, but we know who he is and what he’s all about very early on, his character offers no surprises at all but he handles his duties just fine.

    The problem with the movie is that it’s meandering and predictable. It goes pretty much exactly where you’d expect it to and while director Hugh Hudson (probably best known for Chariots Of Fire) gets decent performances out of his cast, the film never quit gives you the emotional catch you need for it to completely work. That, coupled with a rather horrible ending, winds up ruining what is actually an otherwise fairly intelligent and well acted movie.


    Lost Angles looks pretty solid in MGM’s 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen. Colors are very nice and the seedy side of Los Angeles contrasts interestingly with the glitzier side thanks to the film’s good use of color, reproduced well on this DVD even if the reds are a bit much. Black levels could have been a bit stronger and detail won’t floor you but overall, this movie looks good.

    The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track sounds just fine, offering up clear dialogue without any noticeable background hiss or noise. The levels are well balanced, the score sounds good and there are no problems here to complain about.

    Extras? Nope. Not even a trailer, though the movie is divided into chapters in ten minute intervals.

    The Final Word:

    More a curiosity item for Beastie Boys fans than anything else, Lost Angels is dated, fairly predictable and not all that good. It’s entertaining enough in its own goofy, melodramatic way but not a movie you’re going to need to see time and time again. MGM’s DVD-R release looks and sounds okay but it’s completely barebones. Like the movie itself, it’s fairly mediocre.