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Ned Rifle (2014)
Didn't see the original two, but still was able to enjoy "Ned Rifle"...
I ran across "Ned Rifle" because of the good rating that it had on Rotten Tomatoes (Currently, it is at 77%). I also noticed that it had some really good actors in it (Parker Posey, Aubrey Plaza, Martin Donovan, among others), so I decided to take a chance on it. In the opening scene, (for those who didn't see "Henry Fool" or "Fay Grim") it certainly felt like you had to play catch-up. Ned's mother, Fay (Parker Posey) is in prison for being an alleged terrorist, which leads back to what happened in the previous film, "Fay Grim". But, even though I didn't see the previous two films, I was still able to get a good idea of what happened. Director/Writer Hal Hartley does a pretty good job with presenting the information that you need to know, even if you never saw the other films.
The acting is wonderful. Parker Posey does a great job with the little scenes that she has, bringing a lot to such a small role. Liam Aiken is likable as the titular character. He has a way about him, that you want him to succeed in his mission. Aubrey Plaza's signature humor (I won't list the word that is associated with her type of humor, since she revealed that she hates that word), but her line delivery fits perfect with this world that the audience is presented. This brings us to the MVP of the film: Thomas Jay Ryan. Whenever he is on screen as Henry Fool, he knocks it out of the park, bringing a manic energy to the film that helps the second half to propel past the first half. It all culminates in an incredibly tense final 10 minutes. The film is about 81 minutes (including four minutes for opening and closing credits), but it will stick with you long after it is over.
I stumbled across this movie, but I am glad that I took the time to see it. Heck, I might even have to go and seek out the other two movies in this "trilogy". Highly recommended for fans of indie films.