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Urban Scarecrow (2006)
A well made and engrossing little indie
Upon seeing Andrew McAllister's "Urban Scarecrow" you are struck by two main thoughts: the sense of trying to determine who we are as we pass through our teenage years, and the sense of wanting to have self worth and a feeling that you matter to someone. Set in and around the infamous Highway 99 in Seattle, "Scarecrow" tells the story of Wesley, a 16 year old teenager who, following his mother's death, is residing in a motel with his father (Charles Leggett), a temp who idealizes himself as a successful stand-up comedian. McAllister, who also wrote the film, wisely centers the film on Wesley, played very effectively by local actor Peter Richards. Richards strikes a strong balance of emotion and unease as he tries to find something to keep his interest while enduring his daily life. At its core, "Scarecrow" is a film you've seen before and it suffers slightly from having moments that are common with the typical "coming-of-age" story. Yet, with subtle nuances to character eccentricities and a sharp and unique view on the characters lives, "Scarecrow" takes you on a journey up and down the dilapidated Highway 99 and ultimately, to a nice and hopeful conclusion.
The Village (2004)
Plot point question (***SPOILERS***)
I have a quick question regarding something that occurred in the film and it seems to be the only point I haven't come up with a clear explanation on (my wife thinks I'm crazy for thinking it) . . .
At the beginning of the film, we are witness to the burying of August's 7-year old son in an emotional opening sequence. Later, in the ranger station as Kevin speaks to his boss (M Night) and the final elements of the wildlife preserve story play out, M Night continually opens and closes a newspaper. In the right-hand corner of the newspaper, we keep seeing this article stating that a 7-year old boy has been kidnapped and has been missing for X amount of days. So, simply stated, are these related? If so, doesn't that add a very sinister element to the story and perhaps, that is why MNS is smirking ever so slightly as he reads the newspaper. I wouldn't think of it at all, except that he opens the damn paper 4 or 5 times and that article is also in the foreground of the shot as Kevin sneaks Ivy's medicine. Any food for thought would settle the last of many discussions we have had in the last couple of days.
Thanks . . . Fascinating discussions about this film from all of you by the way.