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In the independent drama "Lightning Bug", Bret Harrison stars as Green
Graves, a tormented dreamer whose only aspiration is to become a horror
film makeup artist. Graves struggle to reach his goal is plagued by his
unlucky mother, Jenny (Ashley Laurence) and his new highly abusive
stepfather, Earl (Kevin Gage). But Graves does everything in his power
to keep dreaming and to help that dream stay alive is his girlfriend
and amateur actor, Angevin Duvet (Laura Prepon).
"Lighting Bug" is a relentless drama about one boy's struggle to overcome his abusive surroundings. Everything from his alcoholic stepfather, hopeless mother and white trash surroundings are all key plot points to keep this boy in check. What is strange about this film is that it is being marketed as a horror film when really it's an unforgiving drama.
The best part of this film is the stalwart performance by Bret Harrison, who is a relative newcomer to film. He has so much emotion and personal depth in a lot of scenes. He is a great find. I will look forward to seeing more from this kid.
I have always liked Ashley Laurence and her portrayal of a lost white-trash single mother is captivating and so unforgiving that I often forgot it was her.
Another thing I really liked was the film's original music from singer-songwriter Kevn Kinney. It brought so much extra flavor to the film.
The biggest problem with the film is that it never lets up. It is just so depressing and relentless the audience is never allowed to breathe or laugh. I also really got annoyed with the sub-plot involving Laura Prepon's character's mother. This is such a tedious subplot to create even more conflict for the boy. He gets enough at home.
If you happen to see this film, enjoy the performance of Bret Harrison but prepare for a very bumpy and dark ride. (3 out of 5) So Says the Soothsayer (firstname.lastname@example.org) DVD Details: "Lightning Bug" will be released from Anchor Bay Home Entertainment on August 9. The DVD features 2 audio commentaries with director Robert Hall and one featuring Ashley Laurence and Laura Prepon. The DVD also includes a music video from Kevn Kinney and some deleted scenes. The DVD itself is smartly packaged and it is amazing how much extra stuff there is here for such an independent film.
Lightning Bug is an amazingly honest movie that touched me in more ways than one and I hope everyone gets a chance to see it. The cast is phenomenal and includes talents such as Bret Harrison, Laura Prepon, Kevin Gage, Ashley Laurence, and Hal Sparks just to name a few. Robert Hall brings to life the very real issues of domestic violence and chasing your dreams no matter what people say. It immediately captures the audience's attention and holds it until the end. The music fits in perfectly with each scene and actually adds an extra element. The film allows you to laugh, cry, and cheer throughout pulling from the audience a whole spectrum of emotions. I definitely recommend this movie.
I picked this one up at the video store because Prepon is on the cover, and being a huge That '70's Show fan I like to see other stuff that the cast is in. I was glad I did get it as it was very well acted by everyone in the film. The characters were very believable whether it was a psycho religious mom or a redneck teenager. The story was pretty simple and in this case that's not a bad thing. I also found it interesting that Prepon was exec. producer. I think anybody that has or has had aspirations of getting out of their hometown to make it the entertainment industry will relate to this movie on some level. It also goes to show that you shouldn't overlook a DVD on the shelf of the movie store just because it hasn't had a big theatrical release.
I had the honor of seeing Lightning Bug a couple of months ago. It is a
movie that has it all. It is beautifully written and directed by the very
talented, Mr. Robert Hall. It is wonderfully acted by such stars as Bret
Harrison, Laura Prepon and Hal Sparks, to just name a few.
A must see for any person who has ever had a dream and strived to achieve that dream. Green (Bret Harrison) has a dream. To leave this small rural town and make it big in Hollywood. Designing and building monsters for television/movies. This story is about his hard work, dedication and loyalty to his dream, regardless of the "monsters" in that small town trying to stop him. Will he make it? Will he and his newfound love, Angevin, leave the town and all the monsters behind?
I bought this imported DVD misguided in its genre. I was expecting a
horror movie, based on the cover of the DVD, and the sentence: "The
Most Frightening Monsters Are All Around Us" highlighted in the back.
However, "Lightning Bug" is a powerful coming-to-age suspenseful drama,
with an excellent direction and acting. It is difficult to highlight
individual performances, since I would be unfair with this stunning
cast. However, the sick and disgusting devoted character of Ms. Duvet,
magnificently played by Shannon Eubanks, irritated me with her
hypocrite life and behavior. The Region 1 DVD has a beautiful package
and many features, but unfortunately it does not have English subtitles
or closed caption. The accent of some characters of this small Alabama
town where the story takes place is quite difficult to be understood by
a foreigner, and I lost some words along the story. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Not Released"
the movie starts off with Jenny Graves driving to a new small town with her 2 kids. she talks like a normal smart person but the very next scene she looks and acts like a dumb backwoods hick. i feel the movie moved along to quickly for the first quarter , all the actors except for Green Graves and his brother acted WAY over the top as dumb as a post hicks. i was almost going to turn it off.... but it improved greatly once Angevin duvet (Laura Prepon)character appeared. the story being told is OK but nothing special and in no way shape or form is this a horror movie. why is IMDb listing so many movies as horror lately? it is a drama with a small bit of thriller. 7 out of 10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So much of this one brought back memories- most of them BAD. When I migrated further South (I grew up in "the capitol of the Confederacy"), I was appalled to find myself in what I call "the Soft South" (as in "soft in the head"), where I was referred to as "a damn Yankee" and told that the capitol of the Confederacy was Atlanta, Georgia... "Green" is the kind of friend I would've given anything to have had (especially when I sat through J.R. Bookwalter's THE DEAD NEXT DOOR or perused my own FANGORIA collection). As for the Holier-Than-Thou crowd, be advised that they ARE here (there's literally one church every two blocks here in Crack Town) and they ARE Fanatical (two of my nieces, who were into Goth and Punk, were harassed to the point of having to leave school). The Fanatics have never been able to distinguish between Reality and Religion. (Have the anti-abortionists ever considered having their children spayed and neutered?) It's when LIGHTNING BUG devolves into clumsy clichés that it loses its way (and its Power). (Are we supposed to believe that a self-professed "gore fan" would faint at the sight of his own blood...?) Until that happens, it's a grim but Honest look at Fatherless Southern Kids (the kind I've known my entire life) who have no recourse but Fantasy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I can't believe that all the reviewers thought this was a fine film, or even an average one. There were so many problems with this, I don't know where to begin. But here goes: The acting was mostly awful, as was the script. Only the two brothers, the girl friend, and the drunken abusive stepfather were credible. The rest were total caricatures, so dumb for the most part that I couldn't imagine the sensitive lead boy would want anything to do with the two dumb friends, or any of the other adults in the story. Like one reviewer stated, the mother started out seeming reasonably intelligent, and then picks out the biggest jerk in history to fall for and marry. I know this can happen, but it seemed so phony the way it was presented. The religious fanatic mother of his love interest was so over the top that it made "Carrie's" mother look normal. Since it was apparently based loosely on a true story, more liberties taken might have helped, as there was the basics for a good story here. But there was almost nothing good happening through the whole film, and except for a clever twist just before the end, even the ending was barely upbeat. There were many lapses in continuity too, with characters in fights looking like nothing happened to them in the next scene. Sloppy direction. Had the ending been that the two brothers and the girl go off to Los Angeles together, at least I would have felt more optimistic. Where was the little bro going to live in Detroit? With who? Everyone he was close to was dead or staying behind. I don't need a Hollywood ending if the film had some point to make other than follow your dream. I really wanted to like this film, and the elements were there for a great story, but for me, this film failed miserably. I gave it 2 stars rather than 1, because of the two brothers and the girlfriend, and a potentially good story.
A woman (Ashley Laurence) and her 2 kids leave Detroit to go live in a trailer in a small town. One of her sons, Green (Bret Harrison), aspires to become a special FX artist for horror films as well as the boyfriend of local video rental goth girl (Laura Prepon.) Mom has a bit of a drinking problem and a new boyfriend who likes to beat up on everyone, but the local religious zealots may prove to be an even bigger obstacle standing in the way of Green's dreams. "Lightning Bug" is an intense coming-of-age drama that will stay with you long after you eject it from your player. Ashley Laurence is terrific and almost unrecognizable here, channeling Mary Louise Parker southern gal from "Fried Green Tomatoes." Look for a "wink-wink" to horror fans where Laurence's character is grocery shopping and picks up a Fango with Pinhead on the cover for her kid.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was seeing "Lightning Bug" at the suggestion of Ashely Laurence, whom
I met at a horror convention. I had a hard time finding this movie for
rent in my small town until recently. I guess since it wasn't a big
film they didn't order 100 copies of it since it wasn't spider man 8.
I absolutely loved this film. Seeing Ashley do a Drama was amazing! Known for being Kirsty Cotton in Hellraiser, Ashley has deeper talent than just this role of the scream queen of the Hellraiser series. They pay Homage to Hellraiser II in the film. She plays a southern Mom who has a bad habit of drinking a bit much and getting involved with the wrong men. Ashley was so convincing I was heart broken by her characters attempts to better her life. Her southern accent was very convincing. Bret Harrison plays Green Graves, a boy who's talent just doesn't fit his small town. Beyond those monsters he's battling with those at home too. Everything seems stacked against him but, his family loves him even though he is a bit different than they are. Laura Prepon, famous for the TV series that 70's show, plays Angevin Duvet. Her home is no different than her love interests and she needs to deal with her personal demons as well.
The acting was wonderful. It was great to see Laura Prepon outside her TV acing and doing it so well. She looked beautiful as the small outcast/Goth looking chick..grrrrr. Her character reminded me of those times when someone said, do you really think their life is so good you'd like to be them? Angevin and Green were complete opposites but were meant to be.
I tried not to include a spoiler but... The film had me in tears at the end. I want to know what happens to Green and his brother, if he ever found out about Angevin's secret she seemed to hold from him. If she continued on with her life or waited for him. Did Green make it? The film seems a bit incomplete just for this reason. It kills me to not know the exact reason she makes the choice she does. I took this film very personal. I love horror movies and I'm a horror movie lover like Green. I also love real down to earth dramas such as this film. I never imagined a drama with someone so similar. Greens life is a lot harder and he's a fighter. I can identify with his desire. Although I'm quite different. It really crept into my emotions like this.
The filming also seemed a bit strange. There were a few parts in the movie they show flashbacks to give you a perspective they decided not to give away. They start with this theme in the beginning and continue throughout the film. I didn't take it the way they meant. It seemed as if the movie stopped and I thought something broke on my set up at home. I really wish this was done differently.
"Lightning Bug" is a film that will be highly underrated and should be on you to do list to go and see right away. I've not seen a better down to earth drama like this in a long time. It also combats the stereotype that all horror film obsessed boys are satanists. Very personal and direct, "Lighting Bug" is about personal demons and the boy who has to defeat them to continue his talent to create them. I'd give it an 8 out of 10. This move is a grade A+ quality film.
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