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the road less traveled - review by Ruby, 27 November 2011

"Mother's House" is a moody, mysterious journey brought to life by Davis Hall (director, writer, and producer) and Ingrid Price (writer and producer). This short film stars Kathryn Erbe and Tim Guinee. They are perfectly cast, as is the true star, the house in upstate New York belonging to the late mother of Guinee's character, Thomas.

If you have ever cleaned out the home of a relative who has died, then you know the emotional roller coaster ride that will give you. Discovering things about your loved ones, discovering things about yourself, remembering things about your past long forgotten…all these things flooding your mind and soul are part of the grieving process. But for Thomas and his wife Catherine, this is a trek that will change their lives forever.

The film is barely 30 minutes long, yet it will likely blur your perspective of many basic things—love, relationships, death, perception, and loss. But be forewarned, as is true with all really good films, you will want to view this one more than once. It will make you think, and it may make you long for the carefree days of childhood…and wonder if they were truly as carefree as we remember them.

This artful short is brilliantly filmed and edited, and the acting is perfect for its shrouded mood. "Mother's House" is a marvelous little film, and I highly recommend it for anyone who likes their film choices to challenge as well as entertain.

35 out of 40 people found the following review useful:
An exciting ride!!, 8 May 2011

Review by Ruby: If you are reading this, you have probably read the background info about The Irishman Danny Greene and his Italian buddy John Nardi who worked and broke the law many times over in the streets of Cleveland throughout the 1970s. In addition to Greene and Nardi, many of the cast members were familiar "mob types," and testosterone was practically flying off the screen in the midst of bravado, fistfights, gunfire, and countless explosions. But there was an actual story to follow also, so it offered more substance than much of the drivel that manages to run in the theatres today.

Even though they were gangsters, Greene and Nardi were surprisingly likable characters—for killers, that is—mostly because of the charismatic acting of the two leads, Ray Stevenson and Vincent D'Onofrio. The supporting characters were interesting also, including the talents of Christopher Walken, Val Kilmer, Steve Schirripa, Paul Sorvino, Tony Lo Bianco, and Mike Starr.

Interspersed with the actors' scenes were actual clips of film footage from local newscasts of the day, which added authenticity and a touchstone to the amazing story that unfolded in Cleveland some 30-40 years ago.

I highly recommend "Kill the Irishman" as an action-packed, escapist, period piece, featuring superior acting and excellent film editing. It was a thoroughly enjoyable 100+ minutes!

18 out of 42 people found the following review useful:
It's all about the art..., 3 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Review by Ruby: A young man takes his indie band deep into the woods for a weekend of complete solitude to find song-writing inspiration. But soon, they find they are not alone at all.

Vincent D'Onofrio, in his feature-length directorial debut, has taken a group of non-actors and 12 days of filming in the woods, expertly mixed them, and turned it all into a little gem of a scary movie. It has all the elements of a good slasher flick: film editing that creates a mysterious aura, creepy musical sound effects, foreshadowing, and screams and blood enough to satisfy any slasher-phile but not so much as to disconcert those of us who prefer psychological thrillers over gratuitous sadistic violence. Call it Grand Guignol for the thinking audience.

But do not underestimate the musical part of this slasher musical. Sam Bisbee has written a killer (pun intended) soundtrack of indie rock songs that engage as well as entertain. I'm nowhere near being a young person any more, and I was afraid the music might not be to my liking, but Bisbee writes such interesting, intelligent music with truly poetic lyrics, and the kids' voices mastered the nuances so well, I found this becoming my new favorite soundtrack. The music integrated with the images wonderfully, making a perfect blend of sight and sound.

D'Onofrio, with his vast and versatile acting experience, did a brilliant job of casting these musicians and an even more brilliant job showing them the art of appearing totally natural on camera.

The script was conceived and written by D'Onofrio, Bisbee, and Joe Vinciguerra. Please do not let this be their last film collaboration! Their fresh ideas and sly sense of humor melded into a thoroughly enjoyable, if violent, evening of entertainment. Tell your friends. Pass it on. Just…don't go in the woods alone.