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Slow Burn

3.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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(Sep 12, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A story of three unlikely, unwilling and unpredictable partners who are forced to work together to recover a fortune in stolen diamonds. Beautiful Trina has spent a lifetime in the blistering Mexican desert, determined to find the priceless gems her mother and grandmother foolishly sacrificed their lives for. But just as she closes in on the lost treasure, she is shocked to discover that two escaped convicts have beaten her to it. Taken prisoner by the pair, Trina befriends her captors, trying to gain their confidence. But under the scorching desert sun, loyalty and trust are as rare as an ice-cold stream, while greed and violence become as common as scorpions among the sands.

Amazon.com

Minnie Driver produces and stars in this sometimes unusual but largely familiar and undercooked crime thriller, a project seemingly aimed at hardening her good-girl image with a touch of the femme fatale. She plays Trina, the surviving daughter of a couple who spent their lives searching the Mexican desert for a fortune in lost diamonds. What a shock when a pair of escaped convicts (James Spader, chewing on an accent that could make him Ratso Rizzo's long-lost son, and Josh Brolin) stumble onto her camp, dragging the treasure behind them. Completely obsessed with the diamonds, she turns ruthless in her pursuit--these boys are rank amateurs next to Driver's hardened schemer. Director-cowriter Christian Ford carves the film out of sharp, sun-blasted colors that seem to bleach out over the course of the film, but the script's blatant echoes of Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Greed (including characters named after author Frank Norris and Greed protagonist McTeague) never allow the film to establish its own identity. Brolin turns in a fine performance as a holy innocent on the wrong path, and Stuart Wilson is excellent as the narrator and Trina's desert-rat protector, an ambiguous, dangerous figure always on the periphery of the story. The story concludes in a clever climax of dark irony, but the rest of the film is less satisfying--not quite predictable but never very surprising. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Minnie Driver, Stuart Wilson (II), Nicole Fellows, Caprice Benedetti, Chris Mulkey
  • Directors: Christian Ford
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Artisan Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 12, 2000
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004UE5U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,669 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Slow Burn" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
When this title crossed my desk I became curious. The star power was notable and history tells me that neither Minnie Driver or James Spader would be appearing in something on a shoestring budget. So...why did I not recall a theatrical release? Why was it going direct to video? Anyway, I took it home and screened it and had quite a time of it. This is a totally worthwhile movie. The story involves Minnie's grandmother who died in the desert with a rather large stash of diamonds. Minnie's mother, father and father's friend search for granny's remains and the stash (only to come to a dastardly end), and now Minnie susequently spends her life in the desert trying to find those same blasted diamonds. But of course there wouldn't be much of a movie if things were that easy. Who should stumble onto the diamonds right under her nose but James Spader and his intellectually challenged buddy played by Josh Brolin. They are escaped cons being pursued by Minnie's dead dad's friend. Much ensues as a touchy cat and mouse game is played out amongst the participants, and everything culminates in a rather fitting conclusion. This is no low-level crime thriller. The desert is used to great effect. It's alive with an entire history and set of rules all its own. All the actors draw memorable characters. They are interesting and there is an immediacy to the proceedings. You feel the heat and dryness and you really get the heebie-jeebies when lives are threatened by such unforgiving surroundings. The end might tick some people off, but it's logical. This certainly doesn't attain the level of some similar movies such as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, but this is a good flick that more than satisfied the time I invested in it.
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Format: DVD
I loved this film from the first time I saw it. What is so compelling for me is the familiar Hollywood subject matter: lost treasure, lust, greed, obsession and death. I must have seen dozens of films of this genre and enjoyed every one: Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Makenna's Gold, The Deep, Indiana Jones 1,2&3. But this one stands out among the recent efforts, although on a more modest theatrical scale and budget. The natural landscape, photography and the settings are outstanding. The characterizations are vivid and interesting, but crazed, even by treasure hunter standards.

Mini Driver is a looker. She keeps the movie "cooking" as the central character through many unexpected turns. An enigmatic desert rat, she has been searching the hot dry Mexico desert alone for years, looking for the long lost family jewels. Needless to say they eventually turn up, but in the wrong hands.

The story line is a bit cumbersome and convoluted, but nothing to get upset about. I think the film requires that you suspend your disbelief for the duration. If it is reality you want, go find it elsewhere. I see it for what it really is: an age-old sourdough yarn like those spun around the campfire by the master storytellers of the age before television. That's pure entertainment, in my book.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of my all time favorite movies with James Spader. He is a wonderfully gifted actor and is unbelievably good in this film. Minnie Driver is equally good and wonderful to watch.
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Format: DVD
Had never heard of this movie when it came out, only saw it recently. The plot sounds good, but it was just plain terrible. Calling this stinker a "thriller" is some stretch. Some of the scenes were downright preposterous. Hiding loose diamonds on your head under a straw hat? The scene with the bellows and Trina (Minnie) forging parts for their vehicle in the middle of the desert was just plain silly. They were traveling around and trying to find water, when they did, they filled up enough 5 gallon cans to drink for weeks, but I saw no food and never did they ever run out of gas. I'm surprised that such a talented cast would agree to be in such a silly movie. How unfortunate that I sat through it hoping it would get better, but it never did.
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Format: DVD
I will not spend time dissecting each action and try to compare this to a combination of "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948), and "Legend of the Lost" (1957).

Trina (Minnie Driver) is treasure hunting at any cost. We see why through a series of flashbacks. Diamonds exchange hands a few times.

This film stands on it's own as a slow paced (which gives sagacity) interaction of cunning minds in a desolate area vying for a prize more important than the other person. You have seen it before and you will see it again; so sit back and enjoy this variation.
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Format: VHS Tape
I watched it and was really surprise at how the plot thickened and kept me wondering what was gonna happen next. I ewas surprised that three people could hold it all together and each one were great!!Many surprises and Josh Brolin has really had a hidden talent thesre past years for he was fabulous in this --I daresay that is when he met his now wife Minnie Driver. It's very well acted, very well directed, and writing that will keep it on your mind.
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Format: DVD
SPADER WAS GREAT!

after watching THE BLACKLIST, i've become a huge spader groupie, so i've started following all his films. so, i read he's in this one, right?
and i start watching. but they're wrong - he's not in it. ok, wait. look closer at the little squinty guy who talks funny............omg, it's spader!
(i even checked IMDB to make sure)

the movie was ok, but a hardly recognizable james was exceptional, as always. weird, always quirky, a bit crazy, and grand fun to watch!
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