|Index||2 reviews in total|
This could have been a good film. The script was decent enough for most
parts, except it was a 100 years out of time (gunslinging wild west set
in the 50's or so?). The acting was desperately bad with even worse
"over acting" at points. The camera work was just bad for most of the
film. I've seen student films with better camera work! Too many cheesy
lines thrown in with bad acted delivery. I'm a fan of low budget films
and the wild west, but this was just painful to sit through. i did turn
it off, but later finished it.
who ever wrote the great review that made me say yes to watching this movie, is either a friend of the film makers or watched a different film to the one in question.
awful, but a really nice try at this genre.
2 1/2 purely for the attempt.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Opening with a cryptic scene of frantic desperation then segueing into
a relaxed, almost storybook flashback sequence, Green River Road
asserts from the outset that your expectations will be upended and the
characters and story are more than meets the eye. Set in River City,
Indiana during an unspecified past epoch, the movie revolves around
brothers Cashius and Winston Hurley (played by writer/director Louie
Iaccarino and Gregory P. Loomis, respectively). Bound by blood and a
tenuous trust in each other, yet still scarred from the murder of their
father years earlier, Winston aims to forget and move on from the
trauma, while Cashius is hopelessly mired in the events of that fateful
night. Together with their cousin "Bugsy" Lee (John Druska), they exist
day to day on the outskirts of society until the truth of that murder
comes forth; Cashius is consumed with conflicting ideals of revenge and
redemption, and he drags his kin with him on an ill-advised,
blood-stained assault against the people and city that has forsaken
them, personified by the imposing Mayor Quintin McCall (Mark Clem). By
the end, in the wake of bodies, good intentions gone awry and the same
questions left unanswered, the only thing the characters and audience
don't get is closure.
There is a pervasive sense of loneliness throughout the film which affects the viewer as well; one quickly falls prey to the disjointed, non-linear narrative and is often left playing catch up as the characters move on to the next scene, mirroring the Hurley brothers' predicament. The bleak realities of the inconsequential small town become apparent as we see Cashius and Winston's distance, Bugsy's familial breakdown and even McCall - the only character who truly evolves and advances socially throughout the film - burdened by his less than stellar Sheriff Deputy son Jimmy (Joshua Buente). The result is an unnerving and uncomfortable look into the concrete and intangible emptiness of the American Midwest, punctuated only with bad news and bloody exit wounds.
Yet the story, once the pieces fall together, is enrapturing. A male-centric cast punches and curses their way through the first act to reveal the corruption within the town, the pall of death hovering over it and the constant threat of swift retribution not too far off. We see the Hurley boys' idyllic upbringing, the moment that changed it all and the forces working in present day to bring old adversaries back into each others' cross hairs. When it's all finally said and done, few are left standing to witness the aftermath, leaving those survivors and the audience wondering if it wouldn't have been better to leave well enough alone. This realization hits the viewer just as the scattered storyline falls into place as well, resulting in an almost unsatisfying confusion. You're left asking not why these things happened, but how?
The script and art direction intentionally contain inaccuracies and anachronisms, loaning more confusion to when exactly this takes place. The resulting uncertainty mirrors the characters' mindsets as well as serves the intentional misdirection for the audience, teasing them to play catch up with the details that really matter. Cinematically, motion is employed within most scenes, even those in tight spaces, further accentuating the boiling blood and fevered desperation permeating every interaction, as well-laid plans unfurl more and more out of control. A viewer never feels safe watching Green River Road; the jarring plot jumps unpredictably and the kinetic cinematography makes sure any audience complacency is swiftly erased.
By far the stand out performance is that of Mark Clem, playing the brutal Idi Amin of Indiana, Quintin McCall. Cold hearted brutality mixed with devilish charm combine to present a realistic villain: not hell bent on world domination or absolute power, he simply wants his own little homestead and piece of the pie - at any cost. Cameo standouts are Eric Page as Deputy Levi White - an unfortunate recipient of the Hurleys' version of justice - and Jim Redwine playing Frank Bishop: a McCall associate who meets a gutwrenching demise. Iaccarino, Loomis and Druska succeed as the high-energy foci of the story, and we are exposed to Winston and Bugsy's inner struggles intermittently, as Cashius wears his on his sleeve. Truly a pleasant standout is Buente as Deputy Jimmy McCall, arguably the only truly "good guy" of the film.
Overall, the script could be tightened a tad and some minor acting could have been recast, but Green River Road is truly a triumph for aspiring indie filmmakers: on a shoe-string budget, the film proves and provides all of the necessary intangibles: a compelling story, conflicted, imperfect characters, and an overwhelming tone that cannot be shaken easily post-viewing. The most intangible thing of all of course is what all the characters in Green River Road wish they could attain: peace of mind.
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