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Wednesday, July 23, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Manic cinematronic
  director

Jordan Melamed

cast

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Michael Bacall, Cody Lightning, Elden Henson, Sara Rivas, Don Cheadle

year

2001

rating rating cinematronic
  A so-so no-frills drama about a teenager incarcerated in a mental institution, "Manic" invites comparisons to "Girl, Interrupted," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and even the psych-ward romance "David and Lisa." Lyle is a 17-year-old with anger issues. His inability to control his temper has resulted in violent outbursts, the last of which seriously injured another boy. So, Lyle — played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt from the TV sitcom "Third Rock From the Sun" — is placed in a juvenile ward alongside other teens with psychiatric illnesses. Lyle tries to work out his problems with the help of a psychologist/ex-drug addict (Don Cheadle), but the needs and actions of Lyle's fellow patients intrude. Burdened by guilt, rage and despair, Lyle only senses hope when a withdrawn girl named Tracey, delicately enacted by Zooey Deschanel, opens up to him. "Manic" is the first feature from director Jordan Melamed, who shot the film on digital video in a confessional documentary style to imply verity. Although "Manic" isn't as resonant or emotionally staggering as any of its cinematic predecessors, the actors involved, especially Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel, are committed and believable.  
cinematronic
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