Hanging Up

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: John Stanley

Plot: What’s it about?

Before Angelina Jolie was escaping from mental hospitals or showing her flair on a models runway in Gia, she was wandering into town showing a group of young girls with low self-esteem how to stand up for themselves. Foxfire is one of Jolie’s earlier films and if you watch this movie you will be able to see why this talented vixen won the best supporting actress category at this years Oscars. Simply put, she can act and act well, in this film she plays “Legs Sadovsky” a loner, wanderer and oh yeah a rebel baby! What this movie is about is pretty simple, four young girls all with there share of emotional problems are in need of a leader, a mentor, someone who can show them that they are important! (Where’s my soapbox?). The girls, Maddy Wirtz played by Hedy Burress is the main character and also the strongest of the group, she leads the rebellion so to speak. Goldie Goldman played by Jenny Shimizu is an adopted Asian teen dealing with drug abuse and an abusive father. Violet Kahn played by Sarah Rosenberg has the title of school slut, and Rita Faldes played by Jenny Lewis (The Wizard) is emotionally unstable. Now two of these girls, Violet and Rita have both been sexually harassed by the same teacher, which is what starts the whole rebellion against authority. Legs strolls into town and right into the girls classroom in fact! this is where Legs observes the wrong doing in the school and the emotional problems that this teacher has caused them. The group eventually assaults the teacher and they are all suspended for four weeks (or so). The girls don’t want to go home because there afraid of telling their parents what has happened, so they hold up at an abandoned house on the outskirts of town where a homeless Legs has already made a home for herself.

The film does deal with a lot of important issues and while it might draw more of a female audience (A solid 45% of the movies is these girls screaming and giggling) it will entertain at all levels. The performance from these young ladies is remarkable, especially that of Jolie. This film did not get a lot of theatrical attention but from what I heard it did quite well on video. Throughout the film the girls are faced with all types of obstacles, rape, drugs, abuse, and even though Legs is more unstable than all of them and only a few years older than them she has this power of a child’s superhero, to make them trust her and follow her. Im sure this film was targeted at a younger audience due to a lot of the subject matter contained in it such as the girls joking about how to put a condom on or getting homemade tattoos, but I think everyone can learn something from this film and I know everyone can enjoy it. The movie really starts to mold when Legs prevents Maddy from being raped by holding a knife to her attackers throat, taking his car and escaping. Well, none of them can really drive well so after wrecking the car (by evading police) they are brought into custody, and while the young girls are given a slap on the wrist, Legs is older so she is sentenced to juvenile hall. This sends Goldie into a deep spin of drugs and the girls are forced to group together in tragedy one more time. I wont give away too much of the ending but the movie does take some really unexpected twists from there. All in all this really is a film that’s worth seeing and if you want to see why Angelina Jolie is all the rave these days, just check out some of her earlier work like Hackers and this one as well, her performance never lacks it always seems genuine no matter how cheesy the dialog might read on paper, she makes it art. And while this movie may not be Academy Award material, Angelina Jolie’s acting ability in the film certainly is.

Video: How does it look?

Foxfire is presented in its original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect and as usual from Columbia/Tri-Star, the picture looks great. The color palate for this film was not that vast but they are very clean and the contrasts and details are good as well. A lot of the film takes place in the abandoned house that the girls reside in which is surrounded by forests of lush greens and toned browns, really a good looking movie.

Audio: How does it sound?

2.0 surround sound and again while this movie is a lot of dialog, there are a few surround sound surprises that bring the audio quality to your attention in a hurry. All the vocals are good, the bass is also good when appearing, and all the channel separation is superb as usual from Columbia/Tri-Star. The films audio track was mixed very well and I know this because im a sound perfection freak and constantly have to mess with my EQ to get the perfect sound, but not here, just great sounding.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The films trailer as well as a trailer for Girl Interrupted (Jolie’s Oscar winning role) and bio on Jolie, not the cast just Angelina Jolie. It would probably be hard to dig up a lot of extra material on this movie especially since when this film was released nobody really cared about Angelina Jolie, but looking back im sure a lot of people would have loved a commentary track.

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