Blu-ray Disc Features:
- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 27 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: July 14, 2009
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Peace Arch Trinity
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Entertainment Weekly - 03/13/2009
"Two of the cast members shine: Lou Taylor...and Rosario Dawson....Webber has a knack for bringing out actors at their showiest..." -- Grade: B-
Hollywood Reporter - 05/13/2009
"[A]n observant, empathetic tale of people in a daily struggle with hardship..."
Accomplished indie actor Mark Webber (STORYTELLING, THE HOTTEST STATE) makes an ambitious debut behind the camera with EXPLICIT ILLS. Set in the same Philadelphia streets where he himself was raised, Webber's script introduces a wide range of characters and follows them over the course of one eventful summer: Michelle (Frankie Shaw) and Jacob (Lou Taylor Pucci) are aspiring artists who fall victim to the temptations of drug abuse; Jill (Naomie Harris) and Kaleef (Tariq Trotter) are the spiritually healthy but financially tenuous parents of Heslin (Ross K. Kim-McManus); the asthmatic Babo (Francisco Burgos) lives under the watchful eye of his mother (Rosario Dawson); young teenager Demetri (Martin Cepeda) must tone down his macho act to score the girl of his dreams; and Rocco (Paul Dano) is an aspiring actor who's struggling to make it through each day.
Webber uses a fresh visual palette for each of his narrative threads: a synthetic, videogame surreality fuels the story of the drug-addled young lovers; a well-tempered precision frames the home life of Jill and Kaleef; and the innocent tale of Babo is photographed with a nostalgic, aged hue. Webber is careful not to force overlaps between his characters, which makes his film's conclusion all the more powerful. As the characters come together to march in the name of affordable universal health care, EXPLICIT ILLS reveals its ultimate agenda without ever feeling preachy.