By Hook or by Crook chronicles the tale of two unlikely friends who commit petty crimes as they search for a path to understanding themselves and the outside world. Silas Howard plays Shy (...
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By Hook or by Crook chronicles the tale of two unlikely friends who commit petty crimes as they search for a path to understanding themselves and the outside world. Silas Howard plays Shy (a transgender man), who leaves his small town after the death of his father, and heads to the big city to live a life of crime. Along the way, he encounters Valentine, a quirky adoptee, in search of his birth mother. An immediate kinship is sparked between these men and they become partners in crime. Suffering money troubles, emotional problems, and physical confrontations, the duo face their issues head on and learn to trust each other and support each other in pursuit of their goals. Written by
Did you ever hear about those monks, who just walk around real slow and careful, and they're careful about everything, and they don't step on any bugs, and the main thing is that they don't hurt or kill anything their whole lives?
What's your point?
Well... we're just hitting lots of bugs all the way along here.
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The film is "dedicated to Kovic." (Kris), who also plays the part of the "old man in park." See more »
A good and trusted friend asked me to watch this with her, and I am very glad she asked me and that I did. Now that's going to sound funny when I go on to say that I don't think this movie really works, but stay with me. And keep in mind I'm an essentially straight male watching a film geared almost exclusively to butch lesbians, so my opinion may seem worthless anyway.
I'll start with the faults. It's crudely cut, paced too leisurely, and it's basically insular and a little too in love with itself; it's coasting on the charisma of it's lead characters to make up for the fact that there is little real meat to this movie. The story lines involving lost fathers and petty crime seem underdeveloped and tacked-on for the sake of having something, anything to drive what little plot there is.
But, the strengths begin front and center with Harry Dodge. You can't take your eyes off when Dodge is on screen, the presence is that magnetic. And the dialogue that's been created in tandem with partner Silas gets you interested in them. And yes, while I criticized the lack of solid ground for a story, the characters kept my interest throughout.
What I am saying here is that I felt a sizzle in the same manner that I felt when I saw the first works of Alison Maclean or Katja von Garnier, or what critics in the '50's felt watching the first Cassavettes or Godard. Like those early debuts, this film by itself is not accessible to a 'regular' audience, but the talent and potential is obvious and exciting, and as a viewer I become quite interested in seeing their next film. In fact, I think if I were a producer watching this, I would want to bankroll their next film the same way Mel Brooks took a gamble on David Lynch.
So yes, by my friend corralling me into watching this, I got to walk in on the ground floor of what should be an exciting film-making team. With the right balance of impulse and discipline, I think Silas Howard and Harry Dodge are going to create something big in the future.
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