I know that with people in the cast like Ed Asner, Kevin Hart, Dov Davidoff, Garrett Morris, Jack Carter, Rance Howard you'd expect a laugh a minute but instead you end up watching a sweet moving movie about people in situations that you have to laugh to keep from crying. This was a tragic comedy doing a high wire act between tragedy and comedy. Brian Jett did a great job with 4 strong characters, each with their own character arc, their own issues and their own way to resolving them. This is a comedy but not for the MTV crowd.
This gem is a real heartfelt Indie crime thriller that did not let the modest budget get in the way of a great story. You can tell this movie was well planned and perfectly executed.
Michael Madison flawless direction takes you from one scene of the tightly written screenplay by Brandon Manbeck seamlessly to the next scene pulling crisp and dead on performances by an amazing cast. There were some scenes that made you think twice but they were well planted for a purpose to be revealed later.
I found this movie to be as enjoyable as many of my favorite films growing up and I have no problem recommending it to anyone.
Shane (Michael Madison) is a wounded veteran comes home to find his parent's home has been foreclosed and his widowed mother (Alana Stewart) close to being evicted.
Modest and unassuming with the endearing charm of a lost puppy Shane learns and grows quickly. Starts off wearing his father's hand me downs for job interviews and you can see and feel this character growing and gaining confidence as the story progresses. Promising to get his mother's home back he reluctantly takes a job as an armed courier for a shady private delivery service. Everything is going great until one delivery does not go as planned and there are some dire consequences.
We understand Shane's coolness as he does not go to pieces when thing go awry but one can't help feeling that under that calm exterior is a Jack Nicholson or Joe Pesci ready to explode any minute.
Shane's mother portrayed by Alana Stewart was reminiscent of Melissa Leo's Oscar winning role in THE FIGHTER. This tough, determined, and proud widow will not let the misfortunes life threw at her keep her down. She did her best to keep her son from knowing what she was going through. She went to work as a janitor keeping her head high by wearing her uniform with dignity and her make-up impeccable.
Jeanette Steiner is charming and surprisingly multi-dimensional as Cindy the woman in peril.
Toshi Toda's deliciously over the top performance as the gangster Katsuro was phenomenal as well as Tadamori Yagi as his coke head son.
Chic Daniels, Kenny Lombino, Brian McGuire, Yoshi Ando, Jesse Weinberg, Koji Wada round out the first-rate supporting cast.
Cinematographer Ricky Fosheim did a terrific capturing the spirit through excellent images, Production Designer Jennifer Nelson along with Wardrobe and Make-up by Tiffany Anguiano and Nancy Fregoso kept it real. I generally find movies where the leading actor is also the director as sappy, egotistical, and self-indulgent with the "Look at me, I am a big star now" kind of thing. Michael Madison would have none of that here. His laser like focus on the characters and story was clear from the beginning.
So many elements of DELIVERED reminded me of the fun drive-in movies of American International Pictures and Hammer Films with a little Robert Mitchum in YAKUZA (sans giri), Peter Falk in the 1962 THE PRICE OF THE TOMATOES, and Jim Brown in the SPLIT thrown in for good measure. While it would be easy to reference DRIVE, VANISHING POINT, or TRUE ROMANCE, even TO LIVE ND DIE IN LA, I think that the feel is closer to the 1955 THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS with John Ireland.
Here you have a well-crafted true to the bone Indie with an excellent story.
Linda Nelson and Michael Madison team made a small budget independent film with a heart of a lion.
Might be hard to find but it is well worth the search.