As the first film distributed digitally to select cities through a partnership between digital content provider Cinedigm and production company Olympus Pictures, it's another sign of an impending tech revolution in the nation's theaters, as well as a testament to how much easier and cheaper it may be for indie films to reach a wider audience.

French filmmaker Francois Velle's independent drama simultaneously represents the future of moviegoing and its past.

As the first film distributed digitally to select cities through a partnership between digital content provider Cinedigm and production company Olympus Pictures, it's another sign of an impending tech revolution in the nation's theaters, as well as a testament to how much easier and cheaper it may be for indie films to reach a wider audience.

If only the innovative spirit of this collaboration extended to its debut feature.

The story of Mike (Kevin Zegers), an aspiring photographer who takes a job picking up packages for the mob boss in his Brooklyn neighborhood to pay for college, heavily apes Martin Scorsese's 1973 Mean Streets with its pure-hearted but wayward protagonist, his forbidden affair with a WASP-ish co-ed (One Tree Hill's Sophia Bush) and his volatile, mentally imbalanced friend Nicky (Eddie Cahill).

Smartly, Velle uses the gritty sounds of The Black Keys to help evoke this earlier era of American filmmaking, but ultimately he's no Scorsese and Zegers and Cahill are anything but Keitel and De Niro.

There's a lot of posturing but a visceral connection to the material is missing. The exception is Vincent D'Onofrio as Mike's father, particularly in one memorable scene, but even he seems to be phoning it in on occasion.