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Slow Burn

2.9 out of 5 stars 195 customer reviews

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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.

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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: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004UE5U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,919 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: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Entertaining dynamic plays out in the desert in the quest for lost diamonds that takes a heavy toll on 4 people blinded by their greed. Great but sparse cast. Good cinematography and dialogue. I loved Minnie Driver's character, she is capable and tough and knows how to survive on her own in the unrelenting desert of Mexico. Recommended before it leaves Prime.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This film succeeds in getting a moral lesson across to the viewer. It is also interesting to see actors early in their careers who have gone on to become mature professionals. The actual setting must have been very uncomfortable for both cast and crew, but they stuck in there and made a movie that is well worth watching.
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This was a slow, character-driven film with excellent casting. It was quite surprising to see Josh Brolin cast as a intellectually challenged man who was being taken advantage of by his cousin. He and the other characters made me love and hate them all in different turns. Excellent ending! But no spoilers so watch it for yourselves.
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If you like movies that require you to spend a lot of mental energy trying to figure out what is going on, this one is for you. Plot line and direction are aimless, fragmented, chaotic. I gave up on it before it was halfway through. You know how some films have the kernel of a story that should be really interesting, but can't pull it together? This would make a good case study in "what can go wrong."
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Movie was OK. All the actors did a good job with their parts, and my main criticism was the pace was SLOW for what is supposted to be a thriller, but was more drama. The ending was predictable for me, but at least the movie made me want to see it through to the end.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I like Minnie Driver, James Spader and Josh Brolin as actors. With that said, watched about half the movie and then gave up. To some it might be worth watching, for me, the plot could not hold my attention. The movie had the potential to be better, it just never gets there.
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