strays.jpgVin Diesel
Joey Deido
F. Valentino Morales
Mike Epps
T.K. Kirkland
Darnell Williams
Suzanne Lanza

R           105min           1997

Frustrated by the repetitious grind of one-night stands and aimless hustling, drug dealer Rick (Vin Diesel) is looking for meaning and intimacy in his life. Like his testosterone-tweaked buddies, Rick is a “stray” – lacking a traditional family structure and wrestling subconsciously with his father’s absence.

Until Heather enters his life… Suddenly Rick sees the possibility of a committed relationship and the life he has longed for. However, trying to assimilate into Heather’s world is not easy. Rick takes heat from his perpetually adolescent and unmotivated cohorts. Though the chemistry between the couple is immediately charged, Rick’s street manner and volatile aggression flare, threatening to extinguish their relationship before it begins.

It was a good effort by Vin Diesel being his feature film debut. I think he did a good job as the writer, star, director, and producer of this film. “Strays” show a multitude of level in the character that most first time writer rarely capture. To see where Vin Diesel started out its amazing the way he career has turned out.

I think even in this film that he’s capable of handling drama but his frame prevents that. He is too overpowering physical capture a dramatic role. This is one of the pit falls of Hollywood because given the chance he could pull the dramatic off.

One thing that “Strays” did to surprise me was that it had Mike Epps in it. I never knew Mike Epps was in a movie with Vin Diesel. It creates one of those amazing “gem” links in Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. For one of his first film Epps does a great job and the making of in an informative making of.

The making of tells much of the behind the scene things it took to get “Stray” made. It has a lot of interview material from the cast and producers. I lot of the reflection by Vin Diesel makes you appreciate the film even more. It is about 45 minutes long but worth it to watch.

“Strays” is a movie preview heavy DVD. There is an making of featurette. The majority of the space is held for movie previews; they are “King of California”, “Smiley Faces”, “The Amateurs”, “Blonde and Blonder”, “Sex and Breakfast”, “Day Zero”, “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints”,“The Contract, “The Proposition”, “Journey to the End of Night”, “A Little Trip to Heaven”, “Broken”, “Guy X”, “When Nietzsche Wept”, “Paris Je T’aime”, “Big Nothing”, “Relative Strangers”, and “They Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down”.

I give it 2/5.


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