Just like every other independent film from the 1990s felt like a half-assed clone of Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets, Justin Chon’s Gook, a black-and-white day-in-the-life set in 1992 Los Angeles, feels like a half-assed attempt to recapture the raw intimacy of the independent films from that era. Gook does capture some of the visceral qualities of those early 1990s crime films, but a lot more gets caught in the net—the shoddy narratives, the inconsistent pacing, the amateur-hour dream sequences, the woefully unrestrained actors, the over-reliance on out-of-control melodrama, the tendency to allow every emotional scene to devolve into a chaotic screaming contest. Chon also stars as Eli, a Korean shoe-store owner dealing with racism, cultural alienation, financial instability and a host of contrived, interlacing, ticking-clock story threads. The cacophonous result comes a lot closer to recapturing the spirit of Crash than to recapturing the spirit of 1990s independent cinema. D.B.