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13
3.5 out of 5 stars
Holy Rollers Blu-Ray [DVD]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2011
The film itself was a great story but the quality of the dvd was really bad. Poor light quality, (I know, I know ... lots played out on dark streets and dingey clubs) and the sound was terrible. As there were no subtitles for the hard of hearing - which I am not but could have been an option for helping me along - I had to guess at most of the conversation. The plot wasn't difficult to follow so I made up my own lines. No manner of adjustments to my tv or dvd player were useful so I assume it was just the quality of the dvd copy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2011
Since seeing Zombieland I have fallen for Jesse Eisenberg, this is such a good film, telling the story of a young man torn morally between what he knows is right, what he thinks is right and what he desires. All of this takes him out of his sheltered religious community and in to a world of Ecstacy, loose women, gangsters and danger. Jesse as usual delivers a wonderful performance (i just love him!), but Justin Bartha - the straight man in the Hangover and rom com top man is really good as the very naughty yosef - the devil on Jesse's shoulder, you will never see him in the same light again after this.

A really good fall and rise tale of drugs, money and religion, I will be buying!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2011
Great film, for fans of 70's classics like the French Connection and the Godfather, Holy Rollers tells the story of a young chap who is bound by religious constraints and is tempted by a so called friend in to smuggling ecstasy. Obviously it all goes turbo and there are tears, arrests, fights, guns and running. Jesse Eisenberg who stunned us all in the social network turns in a great performance as usual but its our man from the hangover Justin Bartha who turns in a fantastic performance as the unhinged friend who temps jesse in the first place - this is justin's goodfella's. A brilliant indie film!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2011
I caught this in the cinema and have to say that I love this movie. Jesse Eisenberg is utterly fantastic as the innocent chap who gets caught up in drug smuggling, becomes seduced by the dark underworld and then desperate to get out. Justin Bartha steals it for me. We've seen in in the Hangover 1 and 2 but his performance here is unlike anything I've seen before from him.

I heartily recommend this movie - great story, acting and journey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2011
I hadn't heard of this film, but bought it yesterday as a one off because I saw Jesse Eisenberg on the cover and I had really liked him in The Social Network. Another 'based on real events' film from him, but I actually found Holy Rollers to have more intrigue. It also seems to have an impressive list of extra features, which I'm sure I'll delve into with my other film buff friends when I watch this again with them. Can't wait!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2011
This is loosely based on the true story of an orthadox Jew who gets involved with smuggling ecstacy tablets from Europe into the US and how they hired other orthadox Jews to smuggle the tablets (it is thought they managed to smuggle a million tablets in the six months before they were caught). I was originally drawn to the movie by the appearances of Jesse Eisenberg as the main character, Sam Gold, Justin Bartha as Yosef Zimmerman and Ari Graynor as Rachel Apfel but, unlike previous excellent performances from these actors this was merely average, particularly Eisenberg. The story itself is interesting if a little slow in parts but the dialogue flows well and I still found the film to be entertaining enough. Rent it. 3/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2012
Cant understand why this film isnt more well known and loved . Ok it shouldnt be compared to the classic good fellas [ not the same depth of story ] and some of the jews characters do seem a little hammy out of The Jazz singer , But Jesse Eisenberg is great and his whole fall from grace from synagogue to amsterdam is such a great story . Ignore the trashy cover , this isnt a film about drug violence but about the struggle to balance tradition and temptation .
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on 17 December 2012
Although based on true events I found this film's portrayal of the Orthodox Jewish Chassidic community of New York to be Shambolic and poorly researched.
Firstly Jesse Eisenberg's dress, hair and peyot were out of sync with the real thing.

Whilst Chassidim have long peyot,they are normally accompanied by a beard, short or no hair, and round, brim up hats. Jesse's hair was long, he had no beard with long peyot and a none chassidic hat. Although Chabad chassidim have such hats, they do not have long peyot.

Other scenes in the film were most unorthodox - such as the mixed synagogue scene of lighting the menorah. Chassidim in their synagogues are sex segregated very strictly to the extent that you cannot see the women.

My view of the film is that it was probably a quick cheapy to cash in on Jasse Essenberg's popularity. Although there have been a few tragic instances of Chassidim getting caught carrying drugs, the premise remains unlikely due to the social schism that such occurances cause for the individual and his/her family. This was well portrayed and is surely the main point of the film, that drugs destroy people both physically and socially.

Worth a watch overall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2011
Eisenberg is brillant. Soundtrack is funky and takes me back to a fond time when the rave scene was 'kicking off'. A must see for all Eisenberg and Bartha fans.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2012
Jesse Eisenberg is an actor who has the rare ability to span both the serious drama and comedy genres. `Holly Rollers' is a film that fits squarely into the serious drama bracket, but perhaps should be pushed further into the dull drama bracket. Eisenberg play Sam, an Orthodox Jew who is tricked into carrying drug on a plane; rather than learning from his mistake Sam realises that this is an easy way to make money. His criminality is diametrically opposite to the values of his friends and family, will he repent before it is too late?

`Holly Rollers' is a film that is hard to like, because so many of the people involve seem alien or unlikable. The Orthodox Jewish society is a closed one so it should be interesting that director Kevin Asch has chosen to peer inside. However, rather than making the viewer relate with the family of Sam, you feel just as alienated as he does. In many ways the family's strict lifestyle is to blame for Sam's actions. I'm not sure if this lack of sympathy is due to inadequate direction and acting on the part of the film makers, or my own inability to understand. Either way, with the moral compass of the film being off it is hard to care about anyone at all.

Eisenberg himself does not fare much better as he plays such as wimpish character that he soon becomes unlovable. Rather than facing his issues he chooses to whine about them. The one glimmer of light is Justin Bartha as the fallen Yosef. Bartha is able to bring some life into an otherwise near death film. Directed on a relatively low budget, Asch paints a grey world that is not great to look at, so High Definition is not really needed. The extras show that the intentions behind the filmmakers were good, but perhaps the tone was wrong.
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