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|Index||75 reviews in total|
All I can say is ... Faith Granger has created a timeless masterpiece.
The hot rod culture, the meticulous attention to period detail, the characters, the story, the beautiful cinematography, the music, the whole package: I don't think I'm going over the edge when I say I had flashes of Bergman and Welles watching DEUCE OF SPADES - her editing is Oscar-worthy and there are scenes where Ms. Granger's camera work literally takes your breath away. The film is an emotional roller coaster unsurpassed by anything from Hollywood. DEUCE OF SPADES gets better with each viewing and its artistry is a pleasure to experience.
Most of today's $100 million+ releases are mindless eye candy, completely forgotten when you leave the theater. DEUCE OF SPADES, made with a total budget of $100,000+, stays with you long after the film has ended. I think it's destined to be a rarity in movies: a personal, independently-made film that becomes an American cult classic with broad appeal.
Granger put studio Hollywood to shame. If there is any justice, she will have a great future in film.
- Kevin Bishop - CANADA
Deuce of Spades is a move that begins telling the story of a 1932 Ford
Highboy Roadster but ends up with the discovery of a love story between
the builder of the roadster and his girl.
This exquisitely photographed film filled with so many fantastic hot rods, jumps back in time to the mid 1950's; the age of innocence, when fast cars, rock and roll, drag racing, and good times were all that mattered to young people.
Author/Director/Producer/Editor Faith Granger, has captured the look and feel of Southern California back in the days when orange groves dotted the landscape and swing dances were all the rage. Period correct in every detail Granger manages to bring back the simple life style of that era with confidence and grace. But it is her keen story telling of the lost love between Johnny Calloway and Betty Thompson that captivates the main thread of the story
The most incredible aspect of this film is that film maker Granger, never went to film school, never made a film before, had never written a script, never edited a movie or scored a film before Deuce of Spades. Faith Granger is an undiscovered talent whose keen eye for detail and smart approach to film making should be making movies for a major studio. I for one look forward to more outstanding work from this most talented film maker.
Lynn B. Tivens Meister Communications
Deuce of Spades is a hand crafted piece of art. This is a car movie,
but it actually has character development, a plot, high craftsmanship,
and a meaningful message which will extend its appeal far beyond the
typical car movie crowd.
All the characters in this movie are fully three dimensional characters that evolve and change before the audience's eyes. They do not fall into the stereotypical categories associated with many movie characters, and show true real-life emotion, strength, and weakness. The well thought out plot keeps the audience emotionally involved with all of the characters, while giving both the character and audience room to grow. All while the plot twists create a true need to understand the characters and know the truth about the Deuce.
The quality of Deuce of Spades is also fantastic. The cinematography is very nicely done; using lots of natural light that helps showcase all of the stars of this film, including the cars. The scenery and locations are also well chosen, and add a realistic back drop for story development. All the vehicles were period correct and added realism to the story. I personally like the use of the TRI fives, 1955, 1956, 1957 Chevrolets, as a way to mark the passage of time.
This movie will naturally mean something different to each and every person who sees it, but it does get many messages across relating to the essence and feelings of love, rebellion, pride, passion, fear, and destiny. It is these messages along with the powerful emotions of the characters and decent acting that sets this film apart.
Deuce of Spades is much better than most of the movies put out by Hollywood, and stays with you long after the credits have finished. The meaningful feelings that this movie impresses upon an individual should be done by all Hollywood movies. Simply put; most other movies get their doors blown off by the Deuce of Spades.
For an "Home made" low-budget film, Faith has nothing to be ashamed
face other film sizes similar. Good all age story, good construction
for the scenario, good choice of cars for the flashbacks, although
unknown actors (except some celebrities out of the movie world that you
will recognize if you are passionate ) but doing very well (we had much
worse in big budget movies ),...
Frankly, if there is one lesson of this movie is when we want something, you can get, Faith is the proof, just watch the end credits and listen to the first minutes of making off, she almost did everything alone, production, screenplay, directing actors, ... she even participate in the film as actress, production of the soundtrack,... Faith, you're a Lady. I don't think passionate fifties and / or cars, you can be disappointed by this small unpretentious film, or you're very critical.
That was my personal opinion.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Retrospective film accounts of times past involving innocent youth and
classic automobiles are inevitably compared to American Graffiti.
Granger's Deuce Of Spades relies on none of the elements of that film
and moves into uncharted territory.
Where Graffiti took us down a memorable stroll of a mere decade past, Deuce Of Spades covers over a half-century with a story that portrays the periods, lives and times of several multi-dimensional characters. A dramatic story that at first appears strange yet familiar, it encapsulates a tale any baby boomer can relate to and truly appreciate. Sans comedic relief with a true period correct depiction, it takes a hard edge look at the history of hot rodding.
For the main character Johnny Callaway, was he a hood running afoul of the law or just a young man trying to make his mark and chart his future during the post war era. Was Bettie wrong to accept her parent's plans for her, or did she fall prey to the lies of a friend who wanted her out of the way.
The story unfolds with true credibility, using masterful cinematography that totally belies the films low-to-no budget. Standing head and shoulders above other entry-level films in release today, Deuce Of Spades is like a good book you can't put down and one you will return to for a second look. Guaranteed!
The quality of this film can only be described as incredible, when one
considers that Faith Granger is virtually a total amateur in the field
of making movies and all the aspects involved to create this movie.
But her passion for the Hot Rod lifestyle shines through in the attention to create total realism for the era being depicted in this movie.
When you also consider that virtually all the actors were also appearing in a movie for the first time and played their rolls so well, tells me of their commitment and the belief they had in Faith and her production.
The storyline is such that one doesn't have to be into Hot Rod and Custom cars to enjoy this film. Because the storyline isn't totally about the hot rod and custom cars. At the end of the day this is a love story set in an era that Faith obviously loves. But I see that she does not do this in a self indulgent way. She came up with a concept that she believed in and went for it. And as I suggested earlier the end result is stunning.
I would highly recommend this movie to anyone.
Geoff aka whodaky
I waited it seemed like forever to finally see this film. It was worth the wait. My wife and I enjoyed the story line and wonderful videography of the film. I think Faith's choice of sound track was also cool. The scenes, locations and especially the cars were period perfect. If you look at my bio it'll show you my age and the time I grew up around hotrods. Here in the midwest they were few and far between so it was great seeing the early hotrodding years. And I'm sure the younger generation will also enjoy it. I'd love to view the movie on the big screen and I think it would enhance the movie if and when that happens. Faith's determination to shoot a beautiful "hotrod" movie was well done with the Deuce of Spades!
I got the movie to watch it for the 1950's hotrod element but was
pleasantly surprised by a wonderful and touching story that made this
46 year old man get teary eyed 3 times. The nostalgic era of 1950's
hotrodding is captured as if we were watching footage from then, only
on modern video. The cars make you want to be there. Then there is the
story that sucks you in, even if you are not the sentimental type.
Faith Granger unfolds her story so well, and ties in the hotrods so
perfectly, that you don't even realize how much these characters
suddenly mean to you.
The cinematography provides a warm and inviting feel to the movie. Much of the daylight scenes are filmed during "magic hour" when the low sun provides a warm orange glow, or else the genius of Faith Granger just got the lighting perfect that way to provide the look. Get it, watch it, you'll love it too.
If you'll read the other reviews, you'll notice that every single one of them gives the movie the maximum rating, gushes on about how great it is, etc. It is extremely clear that these aren't reviews by random people who "just happened" to rent the movie or see it online or whatever, they are obviously people who somehow know the filmmaker, are members of hotrod groups to whom this film has already been marketed, etc. It's obvious that the film's owner/creator/whatever has solicited these comments and reviews under the mistaken impression that they will somehow influence others, which is a mistake. I just watched it online, it was certainly good for a first effort, but Jackie Grainger still has a ways to go when it comes to perfecting her craft. This is a noble first time effort, but it doesn't, contrary to the "sincere and unsolicited reviews", deserve a spot in the "top films of all time" et al. The acting is, in spots, terrible and at more than two hours, it was about 30 minutes longer than I felt it should have been (a common mistake made by first-timers who cut their own work).
This is a tour-de-force by the incredibly talented Faith Granger, who
almost single handedly willed this into being. Very high production
values for a no-budget films that only suffers from occasionally wooden
dialog and stiff performances, which can easily be ignored. The
centerpiece of this film is the hot-rod cult of the 50's and the men
and women that filled it with drama.
I knocked it off one point as mentioned above for the wooden dialog and stiff performances. I think if Ms Granger could pull in more talent instead of having to do it all herself, she could easily overcome these problems in the future. I knocked it off another point as the plot did get a touch melodramatic at times. I described it to a friend as a mix between American Graffiti and The Notebook (for it's framed story approach). While I love American Graffiti, The Notebook was definitely not in my top ten.
Bottom line: if you love hot-rods, this is a must see. If you love a good story, and don't mind a little melodrama, again, must see. I can't wait to see if Ms Granger can top this.
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