The worldwide AIDS crisis is examined through stories of a Chinese village, a porn actor in Canada and a South African community. (These segments are labeled "The Buddhists," "The Christians" and "The Pagans," respectively.) Lucy Liu, Chloe Sevigny, Shawn Ashmore and Sandra Oh star.
Big question: Can something be gained by looking at a global problem in this manner?
Skip it: "3 Needles" clocks in at two long hours and becomes increasingly convoluted and preachy throughout. The film has no reason to be so selective in its subjects when its only point seems to be, "Anyone can get AIDS."
Catch it: If hospitals make you uncomfortable. If Liu's character can deliver her own baby, so can you!
Bottom line: Between the annoying voiceover and the detail-free storylines, "3 Needles" is like a bad filmstrip you stumble onto at the library. There's a bit that reflects the need for education and resources but nothing resembling long-term suffering or the real battle endured by patients.
Bonus: Tired of receiving career advice from your folks? Rest assured that even porn stars (the terribly miscast Ashmore) have to deal with it! You decide if you agree with the character's father that adult films are better with a plot.
Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.
Running time: 2:07. Opens Friday at Loews Pipers Alley 4, 1608 N. Wells St.; 312-642 - 7500.No MPAA rating (parents cautioned for sex, some nudity and violence and thematic elements).Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times