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The Last Stand, a drama that chronicles the life of four very different people attempting success as performers in Los Angeles until life becomes too much to handle. They meet at a notable Hollywood comedy club, The Last Stand. While waiting for their sets their regular hangout spot is on the roof adjacent to the comedy club. There they form a bond and become fast friends. In dealing with the pressures of life and the industry they become a support unit for each other. Living life in the fast lane their lives start to crumble. As they get closer and closer to the edge, one tragic step ends the pain. Through the lives of Reggie, TD, Bo and Dede we see the drama of comedy. Written by
I was at the Roxbury Film Festival where they featured the film The Last Stand starring Guy Torry, Anthony Anderson and Darrin Dewitt Henson, and is Russ Parr's directorial debut. For those of you who have been under a rock for the past 10 years or so, Russ Parr hosts The Russ Parr Morning Show through a syndication deal with Radio One, and can be heard every morning to about 3.5 million listeners daily. Now what is Russ Parr's film about? Is it another "get rich quick" scheme? What do we mean by that? We mean that in the way that the major Hollywood Studios way, as they try to do with most black films. That's where they put the same actors together and drop about 5 million into the budget and story, and where the films portray the actors looking dim-witted, and where the women are always being degraded? As Whitney would say, a hell-to the-no! But I digress First, let's take a look at the film. The Last Stand is a drama (with comedy sprinkled in and at right times, we must say) and is about four young people from all completely different backgrounds who try to make it in Hollywood via comedy. Some try to make it as actors and some try to make it as comedian-actors, but they all have one common dream; and that's to be successful in Hollywood. How many times have we heard about the lure of Hollywood and how it captures people, all of whom are desperate, and searching for that star they see with their names in the spotlight? Well, this film follows those lives of those four as they try to follow their star. The four comedians are Reggie Sinclair (Guy Torry), TD "Tru Dogg" Kincaid (Darrin Dewitt Henson), Dede Calvin (Tami Roman) and Bo Clark (Todd Williams). We get an inside look at their lives as their lives interact with one another at night as comics and we see them create a bond, a friendship as they work on their routines. A quick side note here for us; as many comedians as we know, we really enjoyed this part because that is what truly stood out. Most comedians we know (and the stories we have heard over the years) are about joke stealing, drugs, alcohol, lack of money and most importantly the back stabbing all of which goes on amongst comedians in reality. This film has all that, except it has camaraderie amongst the four comics. Four is rare. Anyway, we liked the angle in the film that they decided they are going to look out for each other in their careers. We don't want to give too much away about the story, but we will wrap this up and say the film's characters interact well. Russ Parr in his directorial debut needs to get some real kudos here. First of all he was able to cast some actors the unconventional way, and that's by NOT casting the Morris Chesnut's or Gabriel Union's here. His Morris is Guy Torry and his Gabriel is Tami Roman. But we don't want to belittle the other performances either as Kevin Hart was extremely funny in his role as a stand up comic and ventriloquist. Plus Darrin Dewitt Henson (Of Soul Food the TV series fame) really puts it down in his performance as TD. But most importantly, Guy Torry in the lead role is excellent, playing an alcoholic comedian on a downward spiral quickly going out of control. How he lost the Award for the Best Actor in a Lead Role in the American Black Film Festival is a mystery to us. Finally, we will close this by saying not since The Best Man have we seen an excellent Black film - and without the same story lines of drugs and crime, degrading women, or the Cheeks and Chong type comedy-that could have featured any people of color. It was excellently written and directed and the performances were equally matched.
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