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  • As you can probably deduct from the film's title, 'Rolling' is much ado about Ecstasy. The advertising for the film caught my eye at Ultra Music Festival in Miami in 2008 by handing out flyer's for the film with a small button bag with a piece of candy inside that closely resembled a hit of E. After taking it's sweet time to actually make it to DVD, I finally received my copy in the mail from Amazon and knew immediately I had to share a review with all of you.

    The film is a mock or faux-documentary and although this is an overused tactic in cinema, 'Rolling' seems to execute it's premise nicely. Several people, each from their own unique walk, prepare themselves for a night of drug induced euphoria at a warehouse party. As we follow each character with interviews, the story develops on cue with the theme of each ongoing interview. Nice character development is the result and I'm sure that those that have ever existed within the world of Ecstasy will feel like they know or know someone like each and every character.

    The film is obviously Pro-Ecstasy, with a general but strong warning message... Almost like a public service announcement created by E-Tards. Accompanied by the music sty-lings of Simply Jeff, a popular breaks DJ from Los Angeles, 'Rolling's' soundtrack is mostly full of beautiful beats... however, they're were a few moments when the music got a bit 'trancey' or 'hypnotic' and actually sucked me right into the film. At one point I even got nervous and felt like I was doing something wrong... Really, I mean it got intense.

    As beautiful of a picture that I have created for this movie so far I have to say that it is not all candy and fuzzy bunnies. As a matter of fact, the movie begins to drag once we hit the after party and the script is sometimes weak and overacted. Still, there is no doubt in my mind that some of you, especially those who are or have been ravers, will enjoy this movie. In comparison to 'Groove', I dig 'Rolling' much, much more... So yeah, it's worth checking out... but don't expect a masterpiece... After all, they are all rolling for Christ's sake!

    Here is why we deem it at a slightly above average 6.5/10: +2 for accurate depiction of the world of Ecstasy +2 for the most genuine performance from all actors of the 'Rolling Face' +1 for the clever structure +1 for not overshadowing it's message +.5 for featuring breaks legend Simply Jeff

  • Rolling is perhaps what you might be able to gather by looking at this poster. This documentary-style film is about the L.A. Ecstasy-riddled underground party scene. What attracts me to the film is that the location does not have to be CA, it could be any U.S. city. Rolling takes as entertaining a look as one can of this odd drug phenomenon.

    Here's the downer. This film would have been so much better had director Billy Samoa Saleebey attempted a genuine documentary of the subject matter. There is certainly enough in the film to draw the interest of the audience, but the hokey script and low budget 16mm just doesn't hold the attention for feature length.
  • "Rolling" is a low-budget independent film focused on a handful of young Angelenos who have all had experience with the drug Ecstasy. Done in the style of a you-are-there docudrama, the movie alternates between traditional dramatic sequences and staged interviews with the characters who speak directly to the camera about the drug and the effect it's had on their lives. (The term "rolling" refers to the high one gets when tripping on the drug).

    The movie certainly means well, and there are definitely some lessons to be learned from the characters' experiences. And, in all fairness, director/co-writer Billy Samoa Saleebey is to be congratulated for not engaging in quite as much melodramatic finger-wagging as the material might have warranted. But the amateurishness of the execution - the jittery, hand-held camera, the time-lapse psychedelics, the unconvincing performances, the lackluster writing - robs the movie of much of its impact. Somehow, when all the characters do is party and talk about partying, there isn't much room for them to grow and develop into compelling and engaging figures. The result is that we become detached observers rather than fully engaged participants in the scene - and that, given the urgency of the subject matter, is simply unacceptable.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Warning, possible spoilers.

    Dangerous, drug crazed loons, with an amphetamine arsenal to sink a battleship.

    I have to disagree with the reviewer who believes Rolling to be a Pro-Ecstasy film. Yes the characters enjoy and explore the drug through the film - but this is not crack cocaine, Meth or Heroine. MDMA is not highly physically addictive, it would have been inaccurate for the film makers to have shown poverty and grimy crack-houses like Train-spotting. E is a club drug, and users have a very good time whilst high.

    But the message of the film is in the finale which shows the risks as one of the characters pays the ultimate price. "The party always stops eventually." Through monologues the characters look at some common themes with drug use - dependence, alienation, peer pressure whilst gently probing the reasons that people choose to start, then continue to use narcotics.

    Rolling is well acted, balanced and powerful. It had unfolds like an American version of Human Traffic. I really enjoyed it but can see why others may not have. It is rare to see a movie on this subject so honest and candid about both highs and lows of drug use, and this ultimately makes it quite niche, but my advice? Crack open some Amyls, procure a prodigious quantity of mescaline, and maybe judge for yourself...