The Salton Sea

YEAR: 2002

WRITER: Tony Gayton


BUDGET: $18 Million (estimated)

GROSS: $765,554


if i was putting a list together of directors who have wasted their potential, D.J. Caruso would be on that list. however, if the only films of his you have seen were Taking Lives, Two For The Money, Disturbia and Eagle Eye you would probably be thinking where is the "potential" in the first place? what is he wasting?

sure, Eagle Eye was ok, but Taking Lives wasn't very good and Disturbia was a film that i liked till the final act where it all fell apart and took the film down with it. so, where is the potential you ask? it is at The Salton Sea.

the film looks great and has an interesting story that plays within the drug/crime/revenge genre but makes its own way through it. even the few twists aren't that predictable. The Salton Sea was caruso's first film and it feels like it - and i mean that in a good way. like he is making the film he really wants to make. like he had a real vision for how he was going to film and tell the story and he was able to get on celluloid what he had in his head.

the question i have is, are the films he has made since The Salton Sea the ones he has wanted to make or have the studios been more involved and hence has there two cents ended up stifling what the films could have been. not to say they all would have been good regardless.

but, i think Eagle Eye had a pretty interesting premise. and, ya it was an alright film, but not great. then, with a film like Disturbia which was quite good for the first 3/4 of the movie and then just gets ruined with the last 1/4 i want to believe it was outside influences that forced it to happen in an attempt to appeal to more audiences and play better at screenings, etc...

now, i could be all wrong and maybe what we are seeing now from mister caruso is all we are gonna get from now on and The Salton Sea was an anomaly. but, im not ready to say that just yet...

and, given that most people have probably seen his more popular films and not The Salton Sea it could have the reverse effect. watching this one it will be like seeing a director break out from his place as a solid go to hollywood director who toes the company line to a film-maker to watch with vision and style.... maybe, in the end its just all about perception?

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