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Keep Your Distance (2005)
A look at the incredible work of an independent filmmaker
Keep Your Distance was an engrossing movie dealing with a multitude of relationships. There is the marriage of two people with very little in common. A serious relationship between two good looking people, who seem to have it all, good looks, a creative engrossing relationship, yet lack the key ingredient: trust. Between these two relationships's come some other minor connection between a notable politician, one of his main supporters, and a fellow employee.
Sound confusing? Well, in the beginning it is just a little, but more so it is incredibly engrossing. Our introduction to the two main characters places them in a situation that portrays them in a less than likable light, but in no time it is revealed who they really are and we can't help but root for them for the remainder of the flick.
Through their endeavors we see David Dailey (Gil Bellows) a notable radio talk show host and Melody (Jennifer Westfeldt) strike up a friendship in which they help each other through difficult times. The attraction they have to each other is evident but is not fully explored because they are each dealing with their own failing relationships to dive into something new.
There are many funny moments to be had in the first two thirds of the film with the last third delving into some more serious situations. Riveting from beginning to end, we see the progression of all of the relationships come full circle and then a little more. While the ending was a bit anti-climatic, this doesn't negate the incredible intertwining stories throughout the majority of the movie and a couple of A+ performances as well.
The main flaw of this film is that there is so much plot that it is impossible to fit it into 90 minutes. Another hour or so may have been sufficient but the general public wouldn't like that (although I certainly would!) Many of the important events in this are left unexplored yet the main focus, on David and Melody, is where the story begins and ends, as it should be.
On Saturday, Oct. 29th, I had the privilege of seeing one of very few select screenings of the movie Keep Your Distance, written and directed by Stu Pollard. Keep Your Distance is Stu's second feature length flick, done completely independently. The budget was between $1-2 million dollars and while this is relatively low by many standards, it doesn't show in the movie at all. Every scene was very well polished and was complimented by a great soundtrack supplied entirely by bands from Louisville, KY (the writer/directors home town and where the entire movie was shot.) While the movie may not have any "A-list" actors, who they got could not have fit more perfectly. Especially Westfeldt whose attitude and unique mannerisms provide one of the most down to earth performances I have seen in a while. Why I have not heard of her until now is beyond me.
I highly suggest giving this film a shot. It's independent status isn't going to get it any reviews from Roger Ebert unless it is picked up by a studio, and it likely won't be coming to a theater near you, so look for it at the video store or just do a blind buy on DVD. The bonus features alone will be worth it to see how this film was shot for such a modest budget. Now that I know who Stu Pollard is and know what he has to offer, I can't wait to see what he cooks up next.
Great film and a horror classic
This film is great in almost every way. The acting was good, the effects were good, the story was great, and the music score sets the mood perfectly! I rate it as a 9 because there are a few things that hold it back from a 10. Like a cheesy effect involving a guys fingers being chopped off, and at times the movie drags a bit, but it doesn't affect it too much. The Puppets really come to life in this movie and I think everyone will be pleasantly surpised. This movie is truly a classic!
The only good part was the cameo by the legendary Alice Cooper. Other than that, it is by far the worst of the series. It was absolutly unbearable to watch. Good thing they got back on track with Wes Craven's New Nightmare. But if your into bad acting and a bad story then I guess you could enjoy this film.