Blu-ray Review: Wrong Reasons

Blu-ray Reviews, Reviews, Top Story

The rock and roll life isn’t that glamorous. MTV’s Cribs was a lie. When you’re a kid, you assume anyone with a major label record contract is living the high life. They’ve got mansions in the Hollywood Hills, a fleet of sports cars and the best vices that record royalties can buy. But as you get older, you realize that not every major label recording act is rolling in cash like the Rolling Stones or Taylor Swift. You discover many musicians live in a two-bedroom apartment with three roommates. A few might still have day jobs that let them take a two-month unpaid vacation so they can be an opening act for Weezer. A lot of people supporting the bands are making a great living. Even with a notable hit, most recording acts end up making less than the janitorial staff at the label. I knew a band that went on tour and the roadie-van driver made as much as all of them combined. It’s a rough life with rarely any payoff. Yet the drugs do happen. Where do they find money for getting high? Many of the rockers I knew with major substance abuse issues had trust funds or a rich “patron of the arts.” Wrong Reasons is writer-director Josh Roush’s film about an out-of-control punk rocker and the shocking intervention plot.

Kate Oden (Liv Roush) is living the punk rock life. The Australian singer has a video on MTV and even gets to do a goofy intro. Back at home, she’s a little more sedate. Her boyfriend Nick has already passed out on the sofa and she’s tying up a vein. Right before she nods off while doing a hit of heroin, someone breaks into her house and gives her a towel soaked in ether. She’s taken out to a remote hotel in the country. Detective Charles Dobson (Ted‘s Ralph Garman) is assigned to the kidnapping case which includes interviewing her now revived boyfriend who between answering questions about Kate’s disappearance is creating content for his Instagram site. He’s a major influencer. When Kate gains consciousness and finds herself chained to a bed. She confronts her masked kidnapper (The Hateful 8‘s James Parks). She’s not sure why this guy grabbed her since her boyfriend is worth more. Instead of demanding a ransom, the abductor wants Kate to kick her smack habit. Kate doesn’t want her freedom so much as another hit. Detective Dobson keeps hitting brick walls only to watch the media circus or guys on the internet cracking clues. This leads Captain (River’s Edge‘s Daniel Roebuck) swearing he’ll fire Dobson if he doesn’t track down Kate before the tabloid TV reporters. How far will Dobson go to keep his badge or at least have a cushy parachute?

Josh Roush has made a punk rock kind of film. He gets to the gritty truth as everyone around Kate is doing well for themselves. Even the detective is getting more groupie action than the rock stars. The TV news shows covering her kidnapping are giving her more attention than her label ever did. They’ve elevated her into a bigger star than her royalty checks admit. There is a refreshing moment when she confronts her abductor with the harsh reality that her boyfriend would have been more profitable. Liv Roush pulls off the character who isn’t supposed to be a pampered superstar. She looks like a performer that would have wandered down for a set at The Fallout Shelter. Ralph Garman is hilarious as the washed-up detective who uses his incompetence to crack the case. James Parks gives us a concerned punk kidnapper who isn’t using this as a get rich quick scheme.

Besides executive producing, Kevin Smith has a small part as a member of a news team on the kidnapping story. Also in the cast is Donita Sparks of the band L7 as a gas station clerk. David Koechner shows up as a sibling of the kidnapper. There’s even a cameo of Matt Pinfield, the former MTV VJ and currently heard on KLOS. The film feels right on all levels of this twist on a network cop show. Wrong Reasons has the indie vibe that such a tale deserves as it strips down the glamor of the music industry.

The Video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The film has a great gritty feel in the remote cabin location. The Audio is DTS-HD MA 5.1 and LPCM 2.0. You’ll hear the punk rock fury of Kate’s band. The movie is subtitled.

Introduction by Kevin Smith (8:39) has him explain how he ended up an executive producer on the film. Writer-director Josh Roush has been shooting documentaries about Kevin Smith for over a decade. This is Josh’s first fictional film. His praise of star Liv Roush gets a little far-fetched. He’s speaking from his own movie theater.

Audio Commentaries includes the first with just director Josh Roush and Kevin Smith. That gets into their relationship and Josh making the move up to directing his own film instead of capturing Kevin Smith for documentary projects. The second track has Josh return with Liv Rousch, producer Matt Rowbottom and composer Cam Mosavian. They all have numerous jobs on the shoot as what happens on an indie films. Liv admits what they did during the shooting up scene since a prop needle would cost $200.

Idiot Cops Short Film (2:16) is a parody of Cops. There’s two cuts of the slapstick action.

Original Opening (4:27) has them back at the apartment with a Fred Armisen has a cameo. Strange thought of cutting out Mr. Portlandia from an indie film, but it doesn’t work as well as the final cut.

Peanut Butter and Pickle (2:48) is a deleted scene between Kate and her kidnapper. It does involve making a peanut butter and pickle sandwich.

Hopscotch (0:51) has the detective and the captain arguing over the phone in a deleted scene.

Outtakes (14:55) includes plenty of NiN newscast footage.

Q & A with Josh Rouch, James Parks, Ralph Garman and Liv Roush moderated by Kevin Smith (56:02) has the introduction to a screening before they lift up the screen for a bigger space to discuss. Kevin gets into his time with Josh and Liv. Josh has a mohawk. Josh talks about making the movie he wanted to see about punk rock. Liv admits to learning how to play guitar and write songs for the role.

Trailer Gallery includes Wrong Reasons, Wrong Reasons with Intro, Max Reload, Clerk and Film Hawk. The Intro version has Liv kidnapping Kevin Smith. Clerk is a documentary about Kevin Smith. I want to see Film Hawk about Bob Hawk since he once helped me with a script. I got more out of working intensely with Bob Hawk on my script than the screenwriting faculty at my film school.

MVDvisual presents Wrong Reasons. Directed by Josh Roush. Screenplay by Josh Roush. Starring Liv Roush, Ralph Garman, Keven Smith, David Koechner and James Parks. Running Time: 97 minutes. Rating: Unrated, Release Date: August 15, 2023.

Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.