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A Better Place

37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

After the death of his father, Barrett (Robert DiPatri) moves from California to the East. On his first day at his new high school, the shy teen becomes the immediate target of bullies. Troubled loner Ryan (Eion Bailey) quickly comes to his aid, and a friendship blossoms between the two. As Barret gets to know his knew friend, however, it becomes clear that Ryan harbors a bitterness which may have the potential to turn violent. A BETTER PLACE was produced by Kevin Smith and features appearances by several actors who routinely appear in his View Askew films, including Jason Lee and Ethan Suplee.

Special Features

  • Director's cut featuring scenes not included in film festival prints
  • Deleted scenes
  • Introduction by producers Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier

Product Details

  • Actors: Eion Bailey, Joseph Cassese, Molly Castelloe, Patricia DiPatri, Robert DiPatri
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Synapse
  • DVD Release Date: August 7, 2001
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305750211
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,621 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Better Place" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael Crane on July 11, 2003
Format: DVD
"A Better Place" is a disturbing and unsettling look at teen violence. This is a film that is so raw and brutal that it literally shakes you when you're not expecting it. Be warned, this is not a film to watch if you're looking for something to enjoy. This is as harsh and intense as it gets.
The movie tells the story of Barret Michaelson; the new kid in town. The first day at his new school he is picked on by almost everybody. He makes friends with Ryan; an isolated loaner who doesn't particularly like people in general. As time passes by, Ryan drags Barret further and further into his worldview of hate and darkness. It isn't long before things become violent and dangerous, leading to an unbelievably shocking and cruel finale.
It's hard to believe that this movie came from View Askew. Who would've thought they could've come out with something so intense and dark? As disturbing and chilling it is, it's an honest movie. It's not a glamorous film, and it's not trying to be one. That's why it's so effective. It has a raw and brutal feel to it all, and that's what makes it so powerful.
I thought the movie was very well-written and directed. I kind of felt that it could've been longer and that Ryan's character could've been expanded more. But for the most part, it's a very good movie. It reminds me of "Bully," except "A Better Place" is much more "slice-of-life" resembling. It's effective because it doesn't feel like a movie, but more like something that is actually happening.
The DVD has some special features, such as commentary, deleted scenes and more. There are some really cool Easter Eggs if you can find them. (Look at some of the other reviews, and you will find them.
Read more ›
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By DealHunter on June 19, 2002
Format: DVD
To acces these easter eggs, first watch the movie all the way through once (or just access the last chapter and watch the end credits), then go to the "special thanks" screen. On the second special thanks screen, you are now able to highlight a few of the names in the special thanks. Highlight "The Pizza Guy" and you will be taken to a hidden menu called "Loopholes" where you can access the trailer for the hysterical movie "Big Helium Dog" and a second audio commentary for A Better Place, this time with the members of the pervious commentary drunk out of their gords...fun stuff.
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Click on the color bars. Let them play for about 15-20 seconds and you will view a hidden montage of outtakes and deleted scenes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "pissgrease" on January 28, 2002
Format: DVD
I borrowed this movie from a friend without ever hearing of the movie itself or of the director. Although low budget, "A Better Place" turned out to be the best movie I've seen in a very long time. Right off the bat I became drawn to the main character, trying to discover what was in store for him, as him and his mother moved to a new town after the death of his father. After a rough first day at school, Barret becomes friends with an introverted nihilist who has a strong hatred for humanity (Ryan). Barret is drawn (by Ryan) into an accidental manslaughter and the movie takes off snowballing to the amazing ending. The ending is amazing because it is very surprising and complicates most of the themes and the overall message of the movie. The film deals with a lot of philosophical issues like the problem of evil, the existence of God, morals, ethics, and especially free will vs. determinism. Overall, a very thought provoking, intelligent, well made piece. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By O. Diaz on December 18, 2001
Format: DVD
Thoughtful and harrowing story about teenage alienation and its consequences. In pre-Columbine days, this story might have seemed a bit overblown, but now it rings with a truth that can't be denied. The actors put their best foot forward and the director handles the proceedings with assurance and style, despite the budget shortcomings. This disc did not play at all on my Toshiba player model SD-1200 (kept telling me "disc error" and failed to load), but my Apex AD-600A handled it perfectly.
A highly recommended independent gem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Sanders on September 7, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a huge fan of all of Kevin Smith's movies, I cannot help but try to find something, anything, of his to enjoy and pass the time before his next pic. There is only so much material out there of his work, and after seeing all his movies, listened to all the commentary tracks, and read his comics, i couldn't help but try to find something more. So lo and behold, on [a] website I found a post about a newly released dvd directed by Vincent. I immediately ordered it, and wondered how he could possibly stack up against Smith's efforts. And the end result was that I was blown away by this movie. I watched it four times in the span of two days, including once with the commentary track. I even made my roommate watch it, and even though he doesn't particularly like indie films, he was equally impressed. This movie has restored my faith in good filmmaking, especially after an uneventful summer of movies. And now I can't wait for Vulgar and Drawing Flies to be finally released on dvd. If you are looking for a smart and edgy alternative to the big effects laden world of modern cinema, I can't think of A Better Place to look than this dark and disturbing movie. But I mean that in a good way.
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