User Reviews (6)

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  • I came to this film knowing only that it was written by the excellent Nicholas Kazan (At Close Range, Reversal of Fortune, Fallen) and was adapted from his own play. It is an interesting enough premise - a young woman, her much older uncle, and his disreputable friend, meet at the woman's invitation, one year after a previous meeting resulted in an assault. Unfortunately I have to report it is a film seriously flawed by a lead performance that vacillates between excessively theatrical and numbingly amateurish, and a dark little script that is poorly served by its adaptation. There are numerous exchanges that might have been acceptable on stage, given the inherent artifice of the theatrical experience, but within the realist boundaries of a film seem stilted (at best) and awkward, unbelievable filler in an overtly theatrical speechifying that rings false, otherwise (and we're not just talking about the heightened language of a Chayefsky or Sorkin). Characters make observational leaps that are not so much earned by their insight but because it links one speech to the next. Sadly, multiple opportunities are missed to show us character's interactions (like the young lady and her uncle), and instead we are given individuals telling us about those interactions. And although the structure attempts to be filmic (intercutting between the two meetings as opposed to letting them play out chronologically) the piece is laboriously stage-bound and, at a brief 73 minutes, still feels like a much shorter one-act play padded painfully to reach even that time limit. With only three characters the story seemed primed for perhaps a Rashomon-like examination of circumstances, or how individuals prejudiciously view their own behavior and culpability, but instead we get an older man lecturing a young woman on how everybody should be cynical, and it all feels like points being made by an author instead of lives being examined. The inevitable revenge, although darkly original in a classical Greek tragedy sort of way, does not involve us because none of the characters feel real.

    The pivotal role is played by Maya Kazan (the writer's daughter), who is not up to the task (outside of community theater standards); she proudly exhibits her memorization of lines but shows no indication of having lived through any of what she describes. There seems intelligence in her performance, in a clever acting student sort of fashion, but she plays the role as if trying to communicate to the back rows of a large auditorium, not as a human being conversing with only two other people in the room. She could probably do much better work with a director watching out for her, but the film is not well served by the neophyte at its helm: it's competently, if unimaginatively, shot and I'm sure there were constraints on time and set-ups, but there is no excuse for not reigning in the theatrical performances, the uninteresting staging, and the obvious lack of understanding believable human interactions. It's as if the director was functioning solely as a traffic cop instead of laboring to find and expand the potential within a problematic script, and refine and elevate the well-intentioned performances of it's trio of actors. The writer, the performers, and the audience, all deserve more.
  • I very much enjoyed this small, character driven movie.

    The story unfolds bit by bit by means of exposition and some flashbacks, culminating in a stomach twisting conclusion.

    Only three characters make up the cast, but that's really all that is needed to bring this little gem to life. The performances are great; especially Maya Kazan's. She is doing most of the talking, so maybe that's what makes her stand out. James Callis was great as well, and same goes for Frank Medrano. Medrano's character could have been fleshed out maybe a little more?

    Recommended if you like movies like Death and the Maiden, (almost entirely) taking place in one single room, focusing on character interaction to draw you in.
  • ...There are still unexpected turns a story can take. This movie is very much one of those films that feels like something written for live theater transcribed to film- it could be seen live, and it would have (possibly even more) impact. Some of the story is inevitable, and easily guessed. But SO MUCH of it isn't. I've never watched or read something that handled these topics so well, and so viscerally expressed the extreme feelings. The dialogue is a little (necessarily) heavy, and as far as characters go, the level of confidence (even boozed up) the main character has at 19, and her conversational style are definitely out of place. But that is a minor thing to get passed- the rest of it has you leaning in to make sure you catch the dialogue, and searching each face for clues. Honestly, this felt like a novel more than a movie- in the best possible way. It's surprising, it goes places you don't anticipate (even after watching the movie trailer), and it is INCREDIBLY refreshing to see the more complex nuances of personalities and world views play out. This is really a unique film, and I cannot believe it's not talked about more. One of what I feel the greatest qualities of this is the "choose-your-own-adventure" quality to the plot- there is a constant question mark over anything either person says, because both world views would make lying justified. But regardless, the details (much like one of the characters observes early on) feel too true: Someone experienced this agony at some point. Maybe just through second-or-third-hand information. But it feels very real. The only reason it's 9 and not 10 is due to the dialogue being more nuanced and mature than I would expect of a 19-year-old, as well as some frustration with the ending- hoping for a little more than what happened. (Obviously, as I've stated before, my rating system is totally idiosyncratic and meant only for myself; I hold "plot" based material to a far higher standard than horror, and so horror will always appear over-represented- however, this is far better than the vast majority of the 8-10 movies I've rated). But I felt like writing this review because this movie made me feel things, and I was mesmerized by it within twenty minutes.
  • The characters are solid, and the plot unfolds at an intriguing pace.

    This film is simply a slow burn drama.
  • This film, Blood Moon, written by Nicholas Kazan is a masterpiece. It reminds me of the intense films like 12 Angry Men and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. It a powerful drama with very smart writing and solid directing. The actor James Callis from the Bridget Jones movies is at his best and very different from Tom. The film is obviously shot on a budget but you wouldn't want this story to be exhibited in a movie costing millions.

    It's definitely worth watching if you like great acting, and something unlike anything you have seen recently.
  • This was an insanely idiotic movie. Nothing in this movie could or would happen. The Main Character is shown as Highly Intelligent, yet makes mistakes no one with just a High School Education would make.

    And then, We're supposed to feel bad for what happened to this Woman, but she's clearly crazy. And her friends help her, meaning they too are crazy.

    A complete waste of time.