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Brandon C. Lee,
Jack D. Stallings
An OK short that really needed better all-round delivery and a much more satisfying ending
Mark Tullis is dying. He has spent years in bed and his skin is pockmarked from the amount of shots he has had over the years. With very little time left to live, he decides that he would rather pick his own time and end it with one last injection. This plan brings his three grown up children back to the home: Mark, who is a level-headed businessman type, Rachel the daughter and Peter, who is a flaky failed musician. The family is together again but it may be for the last time.
For the majority of this short film it all works well and appears to be drawing us into the family and taking us somewhere. The family dynamics are simple, with the histories all easily set up by using obvious characters and such. It builds on this pretty well as we learn the reason they have all come together and again the story drew me in to see where it was going. So far so good but the problem is that the delivery and the eventual conclusion are not that good. The delivery is a strange mix, the score being a problem because it undermines the emotion of the story by being too comic and tinkly. It still does enough to keep moving though and it was a shame that the end was so unsatisfactory not what happens so much as the way it is delivered, it just seems to, well, stop. It has meaning but it wasn't where I wanted the story to end, even a few more minutes would have been good enough.
The cast are basic but do the job well enough. Marshall is a solid father figure; Baldwin is an alright stern figure; Hipp has the easiest role because he is a bit colourful but neither Besch and Lundy have a great deal to work with strange considering the film was written and directed by a female actress. Direction is OK, pretty much par for the course for shorts that came out of the same television project as this one, lacking an unique style but still being serviceable enough to do the job.
Overall this is an OK film but it needed a better consistent delivery and a more satisfying conclusion. The cast do the job without doing anything special while the material is strong enough to develop enough of a story around their basic characters.
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