Preening attitude and mock tough-guy theatrics swamp "Push," an especially vapid and woefully unoriginal look at why young, innocent white guys should never get into the drug trade. "Push" is sure to draw few, but it's merely a prelude before pic's DVD release on Oct. 10.

Preening attitude and mock tough-guy theatrics swamp “Push,” an especially vapid and woefully unoriginal look at why young, innocent white guys should never get into the drug trade. Co-writer and director Dave Rodriguez’s film appears unaware that setting up an obviously doomed situation for its protags — telegraphed in the opening minutes — demands a truly inventive spin on a genre that’s been worn thin by many mini-Michael Manns on screen and the tube. Four-walling at a Laemmle Theatre screen in Los Angeles, “Push” is sure to draw few, but it’s merely a prelude before pic’s DVD release on Oct. 10.

Twenty-eight-year-old Miami barkeep Joe (Chad Lindberg, straining for effect) has big dreams and sees an opportunity: Push Ecstasy pills for brutal, bigtime kingpin Paul (Otto Sanchez). Joe’s pals Mickey (William DePaolo) and Kevin (Pierce Forsythe), an itchy stockbroker in a boiler room run by Tommy (Michael Rapaport), enthusiastically join in. As certain as an OD, bad times follow, with Kevin’s greed getting Joe and Co. way in over their collective heads. Chazz Palminteri’s brief but effective scenes can’t rescue pic.

Push

Production

An Allumination Filmworks presentation in association with Severe Pictures of a Rodriguez/McMenamin production. Produced by Dave Rodriguez, Paul McMenamin, David Schwartz. Executive producer, Paresh Kanani. Co-producers, Don P. Mandrik, Jorge Flores Rodriguez, Russell LaFreniere. Directed by Dave Rodriguez. Screenplay, Rodriguez, Ben Carlin.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W, DV, widescreen), Steve Goodman; editor, Lauren Schaffer; music, Soma Sonic, Tony Finno; production designer, George Goodridge; sound, Eric M. Moorman; associate producer, Paola Bossola; assistant director, Caroline O'Brien; casting, Ellen Jacoby. Reviewed at Laemmle Fairfax Theatre, Los Angeles, Aug. 21, 2006. (In Method Fest, New York Latino Film Festival.) MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 110 MIN.

With

Chad Lindberg, Charlotte Ayanna, Pierce Forsythe, Otto Sanchez, William DePaolo, Paul Ben-Victor, Michael Rapaport, Chazz Palminteri, Christopher Jordan.
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