"Warm Bodies" Director Jonathan Levine's "All The Boys Love Mandy Lane" finally gets a release thanks to Anchor Bay Entertainment and the Weinstein Company. What plays out like a typical slasher film for 75% of its run time is saved by a dose of indie charm and wit, some clever social commentary, and an ending you never see coming. It also gives actors Amber Heard ("Zombieland") and Michael Welch ("The Twilight Saga") a chance to shine brightly as the two main characters.
Mandy Lane (Amber Heard) is constantly pursued by every male in the small Texas high school she attends, much to the dismay of her best friend Emmet (Michael Welch). He has a secret crush on her. Mandy surprisingly accepts an invitation from her new-found friends to join them in a weekend getaway fueled by drugs and alcohol. Each guy fails when taking their turn trying to get together with Mandy. As the sun sets, a mysterious figure begins picking off the partiers one-by-one.
The high-definition audio and video transfers for "All The Boys Love Mandy Lane" look great for a movie made for $750,000. It's presented in 1080p widescreen (2.40:1) and 5.1 DTSHD-MA surround sound. The picture is clean with good color levels, but maintains a gritty feel not unlike the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." The soundtrack and audio is nothing special, but is efficient in keeping you rooted in the movie.
Either Anchor Bay Entertainment or Jonathan Levine dropped the ball when it comes to special features for "All The Boys Love Mandy Lane." I'm surprised that they couldn't come up with some behind-the-scenes featurettes or picture galleries of the making of the film. They could've even featured film festival footage and interviews. You'd think 7 years would give someone enough of an opportunity to come up with some interesting bonus material. Feature commentary is provided by Director Jonathan Levine.
"All The Boys Love Mandy Lane" is justifiably rated R. It contains strong disturbing violence, pervasive drug and alcohol use, sexuality/nudity, and language - all involving teens. The movie would have you believe that all teens act in the manner shown onscreen. Not to sound like an old man, but I certainly hope not.
The kids are the bratty and bullying "cool" crowd and jocks in school and, as much as I hate saying it, didn't get much sympathy from me when getting axed. I'm not condoning violence towards anyone in real life. However, it sure looks good on film sometimes.
"All The Boys Love Mandy Lane" serve as social commentary on teenagers' obsessions with their appearances and fitting in. It also touches on the negative effects of unrequited love, deception, and rejection. Although the film isn't perfect by any means, it tackles a lot of issues for a micro-budgeted independent slasher flick.