Punk Rock Emo Satire

A punk rock musician is kidnapped by a misguided fan in the uneven “thriller” Wrong Reasons and a wacky media circus ensues. The low-budget indie film from documentary filmmaker Josh Rouse stars his wife Liv Roush and includes fringe Hollywood players Ralph Garman, James Parks, and David Koechner. While the Kevin Smith connection may intrigue some curious fans, the unpolished movie flops around a contrived plot gimmick with milquetoast social commentary about celebrity media. If you lived through the O.J. Simpson trial, there’s nothing you haven’t seen before with stronger thrills and more excitement.

Rouse’s first foray into scripted drama is a love letter of sorts to punk rock music with a loaded soundtrack that includes Tim Armstrong, L7, Black Flag, The Wipers, Channel 3, William Elliott Whitmore, and The Unseen among others. Rouse’s buddy Kevin Smith makes a small cameo, who helped produce Wrong Reasons and likely secured the bigger names involved.

Rouse’s buddy Kevin Smith makes a small cameo, who helped produce Wrong Reasons

Star singer Kat Oden (Liv Roush in her first lead role) is a strung-out junkie who ends up kidnapped by James (James Parks). Abducted while still high on drugs, James and Kat slowly bond over their shared love of music as he attempts to detox her from a painful addiction.

Police detective Dobson (Ralph Garman) is the smarmy cop assigned to the case. Dobson quickly realizes he can take advantage of a media desperate to cover the sensational tale of Kat’s abduction for his own benefit. A sprawling media surrounds her kidnapping as Kat slowly weans herself off the drugs under James’ care.

Wrong Reasons is all over the place in terms of tone and cohesive storytelling. More a social satire than thriller, better moments include honest exchanges between Kat and James over their situation and how each of them got there in life. Liv Roush isn’t bad in the role though it’s never a great idea to build an entire movie around an unproven actress.

It’s a credit to Parks he thoughtfully handles the misguided but well-meaning kidnapper, making him a sympathetic figure. James is the heart and soul of Wrong Reasons, even if the movie as a whole doesn’t necessarily work.

The subplot with Garman’s corrupt cop should have been a separate movie. His character is a thinly-veiled version of Mark Fuhrman, the controversial L.A. detective known for the O.J. Simpson murder case. Much of the film’s energy and focus is directed at mocking the media circus which often follow high-profile celebrity crimes.

Wrong Reasons is rough around the edges, an unpolished satire which has some funny lines. Josh Roush handles both writing and directing duties, possibly biting off more than he can chew. The cast is fine, mostly consisting of veteran actors wringing as much wit and soul as they can from the haphazard screenplay. The movie as a whole isn’t necessarily compelling but there are a few noteworthy scenes with interesting ideas. Unfortunately, they are too few and far between in Wrong Reasons.

Video

Shot during the heights of COVID in 2020 with a small crew, Wrong Reasons’ 2.39:1 presentation reflects modern indie digital filmmaking. The main feature runs 97 minutes on a BD-50, encoded in adequate AVC. Released by MVD Visual, the Blu-ray transfer appears to be an untouched 1080p replication of the movie’s average-looking digital intermediate.

The overall picture quality is sharp, if a bit erratic in consistent lighting and bright clarity. Definition is solid with serviceable black levels and a mostly fine contrast. Close-ups are fairly revealing, utilizing the full resolution for better detail.

There’s nothing to get too excited about in the video, Wrong Reasons is an indie film with cheap graphic effects lacking eye candy. There are no primary technical issues in either the encode or transfer.

Audio

5.1 DTS-HD MA and 2.0 PCM audio deliver a big, meaty soundtrack packed full of punk and rock tunes. The surround track fills the soundstage with killer dynamics and edgy highs. Loud music is given central prominence, occasionally making the dialogue a little muddy and indistinct.

Optional English subtitles play in a yellow font outside the scope presentation.

Extras

Executive producer Kevin Smith (Clerks) is all over the special features for Wrong Reasons. There are two separate commentaries. It may be the only reason this movie gets a few sales on physical media. MVD releases the Blu-ray in a clear case with a slipcover and reversible artwork. The BD is coded for all regions.

Introduction By Kevin Smith (08:39 in HD) – The formerly rotund filmmaker gives this amusing talk hyping up his connection to the production and Josh Rouse.

Audio commentary with director Josh Roush, producer Matt Rowbottom, composer Cam Mosavian and actress Liv Roush

Audio commentary with director Josh Roush and executive producer Kevin Smith – If you’ve heard Smith’s usual shtick as speaker and movie fan, you’ll have a good idea of how this jovial discussion unfolds.

Q & A with Josh and Liv Roush, moderated by Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman (56:02 in HD) – This freewheeling discussion is funnier and more memorable than the movie itself. I’d almost skip the movie and watch this session from the film’s 2022 premiere.

Wrong Reasons Trailer (02:03 in HD)

Wrong Reasons Trailer With Kevin Smith Introduction (02:42 in HD)

Max Reload Trailer (01:56 in HD)

Clerk Trailer (02:33 in HD)

Film Hawk Trailer (02:53 in HD)

Idiot Cops Short Film By Josh Rouse (02:16 in SD)

Original Wrong Reasons Opening (04:27 in HD)

Peanut Butter and Pickle Deleted Scene (02:48 in HD)

Hopscotch Deleted Scene (00:51 in HD)

Outtakes (14:55 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s about us page.

Wrong Reasons
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
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Movie

An associate of Kevin Smith, documentary filmmaker Josh Rouse directs the oddball punk rock-driven thriller satire Wrong Reasons.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 32 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots ripped directly from the Blu-ray:


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