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|Index||13 reviews in total|
This is a thoughtful, simmering drama about a man struggling to start
over and do the right thing, with a strong yet nicely understated
performance by Kenneth Johnson. Rainn Wilson has a small but solid role
as the cousin who reluctantly lets Frank live in his garage, so long as
nobody can see him. If you're tired of crime films with lots of action
and little else, here's a grownup character-driven film with an
When we screened this film at The Valley Film Festival, it was sold out and got an enthusiastic response. A terrific film from up-and-coming filmmaker George Pappy.
"Few Options," a film by emerging writer/director George Pappy, is one of those movie gems that can pop up unexpectedly from time to time - all the more affecting because audiences get to discover it for themselves without being force-fed by the Big Time film distribution system. This passion project from a movie artist currently outside the mainstream was made with no budget but lots of guts and touching human insight. Clearly, Pappy just said "Damn the torpedoes!" and shot his honest, fulfilling movie on credit cards. But cheap here does NOT mean unsophisticated. This is smart Film-Noir going back to its roots to tell an intense story from the point of view of an ex-con who lives in a murky world of moral ambiguity, no easy answers, and no way out. Pretty much the human condition as we find it today. Bravo, Mr. Pappy. We eagerly await your next.
I was drawn up in to the story from the beginning, talk about a character driven plot which took an almost eastern perspective in learning to deal with a constant torrent of life's vicissitudes focused on one outcome - being free of it all. Kenny Johnson gives a solid performance as an ex con trying to escape a sociopath gang boss played very effectively by Brad Dourif. Rainn Wilson demonstrates a range of talent that was unexpected as a spineless cousin making me wish he would show up in more straight dramatic roles diverging from his usual comic characters. The end was completely unexpected yet believable. Impressive well written and directed script with a great cast, good music and compelling performances made me glad I saw this one at the Valley Film Festival.
Few Options is a drama of moody temperament with solid acting,
particularly from the star, Kenny Johnson. It is a fish-out-of-water
redemption story set in present-day Los Angeles.
After serving a 22-year sentence, Frank Connor, played by Kenny Johnson, exits the gates of Terminal Island and steps out to navigate a new world of uncertainty exhibiting a strong case of culture shock. Having no exit plan upon his release and less than two-hundred dollars, no car, phone, or comforts characteristic of the modern day, Frank asks his cousin (Rainn Wilson) for a place to stay until he gets back on his feet. Cousin Don agrees to let Frank stay in his garage for a short time, despite his wife's thinly-veiled disapproval. Having spent half his life in prison, Frank confronts immediate challenges that make finding honest work difficult.
Aptly titled Few Options, this story culminates into an unpredictable twist after Frank gets reacquainted with his once friend/partner in crime, Russ (David Marciano), who offers him a doorman job at the seedy strip club he manages, which leads to distraction from the alluring (and somewhat strung out) exotic dancer Helen, played by Erin Daniels. Chris Pendler, the owner of the "gentleman's club," is a ruthless criminal, but one who never seems to get his hands dirty. Pendler's role is played by veteran actor Brad Dourif, a true standout in the movie.
Few Options gets a four-star rating from its well-written script and photography. The movie is George Pappy's debut as both writer and director, and the acting throughout the majority of the story is top notch.
"Few Options" offers a surprising story of a man getting out prison in early middle age. Kenny Johnson gives a moving performance as a man who must remake his life for the very first time. George Pappy delivers a deft script and direction in a first commercial effort, an impressive achievement. Original music and sound are amazing. Also look for some surprises by several famous character actors performing to great effect in some key small roles. "Few Options" compares very favorably with "Drive" as a thriller with some surprises in performances and plot. And like "Drive" a relatively simple premise is brought to a powerful conclusion that stays with the viewer after the movie ends.
Loved the script and the directing. Strong cast, strong story. The story deals with confronting issues of character that many wish to sweep under the rug or are unwilling to toil with. One is forced to look within and question what their own choices might be given the rescue of a family member betrayed. Where does the fault lie? Cornered and out or resources, you would often not reconcile such a choice unless confronting with making one as is the case here. The acting is very believable and the cast is well chosen. I never left the story, felt fully entrenched within it. Definitely a ride worth taking and worth recommending. A testament of the talent of an ensemble cast and crew.
I attended the screening of this movie last year and very much enjoyed it. It follows the experiences of an ex-con just released from prison as he attempts to reintegrate with society. The cast features such notables as Kenny Johnson, Rainn Wilson and Brad Dourif. Excellent acting, directing and screen writing! It's amazing what the cast and crew has done with a limited budget - the film has some really exceptional storytelling and you become fully invested in the success of the main character despite the feeling that all the odds are stacked against him. If only more movies made this kind of effort to develop the psyches of their main characters!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
At 21, driving a car with drugs and going over inter-state lines cost
the young man a 22 year prison sentence.
Leaving prison, he meets up with the group that got him involved to begin with. Now, the leader of the groups wants him to kill someone. Our guy is rather simple in nature, but one thing is for sure- he wants to go straight.
It is as if his world has totally come apart. Granted refuge by a cousin in a garage of the latter's home, he obtains a menial job from the guy who wants him to shoot someone.
It's really a sad piece dealing with how just one mistake ruined someone's life.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Quite cliché essentially, but gets away with it, mostly due to the
sympathetic atmosphere of the whole. The protagonist is a helpless
ex-con who is confronted with a new (and old, in another way) world,
after about 25 years of incarceration. The plot has a slow pacing and
takes careful steps towards a few inevitable confrontations... it
pretty much worked for me.
The acting of Kenny Johnson is decent, although he isn't the most charismatic actor. There are quite a few other (bigger or smaller) roles played by some familiar names, of which Erin Daniels was my favorite. Brad Dourif, Rainn Wilson, Laura San Giacomo (tiny role) and Michael Sheen (tiny role) are worth mentioning also.
Nice twist at the end, but I'm not sure how much I liked him 'just' walking away (from his mother and Helen)... but I'll take it. P.s. June 25th, 2014: terrible new title.
Loved George's "adjusting to life on the streets after long term incarceration with extraordinary complications" movie. It took me in against my will through timing, plotting, and subtle like a velvet covered sledge hammer intrigue, and there I was, involved. Not necessarily pretty, but very satisfying to me. I will watch it again. Novice nonreviewer cooookie summation. Low key shake hands while tickling the palm beginning; Eerily seductive; And strangely believable middle; bang up, bang down, bang inbetween ending. Bang, Bang, Bang - You got me!!! I will watch this movie again, and maybe twice more. Then it will be like The Green Girl, watched three times, and the enjoyment and satisfaction will grow each time as I wonder and marvel about how it was made so well.
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