8 March 2006 | GreenGrassOfHome
Maximum Film Needs Well Deserved Credit To Marginal Celebrities.
I was one of the few lucky ones who was able to attend the NYC screening in February 2006. I was first made aware of this film by seeing a "preview" of it that was included in a DVD box set I had purchased. I was immediately intrigued, but very curious if I would ever actually be able to see it. This movie was enjoyable and exciting mostly the whole way through. Well written, and extremely well acted. Some people can recognize 3 of the stars from TV: Gale Harold ("Queer As Folk"), Steve Harris (various appearances, including "The Practice" & "Law & Order"), and Phillip Bloch (who is most recognized for various appearances on the E! Channel). Each character is totally different from each other, and plays just as a dynamic role. Gale Harold's character is totally disturbed and enraged with fear, not anger, as that is what Harold (Yes, that's Gale Harold's character's first name!) wants to believe about himself. He was fantastic in this role. You felt the fear of Harold when he was on screen. You could see the fear of the other characters when Harold was present. Steve Harris' character of Roy also came off with a very strong presence. You felt such sympathy for him, but also a sense of inner strength. Harris' facial expressions coincided perfectly to what the viewer was to understand was going on with him. Much of the film was centered around the life, ideas and management of Phillip Bloch's character Sammy. You wanted to feel sorry for him, and you did even, but at the same time, Sammy was a joyous character and could evoke smiles and chuckles of laugher from the audience from time to time. His childlike wit was appealing, and at the same time, the fact that he had childlike wit was part of why you felt for him. Being Bloch's first full length feature role, he did it exceptionally well. The story of the movie, being based around sadly stereotypical old-fashioned race issues in the South, is something that gets portrayed in films very frequently. However, the catch is to make is come across interesting, gripping, and most importantly-different. This film does achieve that. Does it well, actually. There's a different synopsis than most might expect. This easily keeps the viewer's interest. The reason I voted 8 stars and not 9 or 10 is only based on the one thing that stood out to me in the film as too "over the top", and that was the Southern accents used/attempted by a few of the non-leading characters in the film. We know you're Southern, we know you're "gritty" and slightly dirty. The example that lays most prominent in my mind is Michelle Clunie's portrayal of Kathleen. It was easily viewable that in reality, Clunie has not an ounce of southern accent in her. Her tone, combined with her mannerisms, and even her hair and wardrobe made her character more annoying than she really should have been. All in all though, an excellent film. Definitely glad I was able to see it! I'll keep my fingers crossed for the DVD!