The Crimson Mask (2009) Poster

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A Post-Modern-Film Noir Flavored Cautionary Tale
KissEnglishPasto2 August 2016
........................................................from Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA., CALI, COLOMBIA and ORLANDO, FL

A Post-Modern-Film Noir flavored cautionary tale with a touch of inspired surreal signature spin from larger-than-life director Elias Plagianos. Take note of that name. You'll be hearing more of it in the future! My wife and I saw CRIMSON MASK at the Orlando Film Festival in November. Mesmerizing film! As luck would have it, we had the opportunity to discuss CRIMSON at length with Mr. Plagianos at an "After" get together for the screening of the production. After viewing his labor of love, our encounter brought to mind a Native American saying from my college linguistics classes: "The man who walks with his feet firmly on the ground and his head in the clouds is truly a giant among men".

Director/Writer Plagianos lures you into his lair. A Mobius-Strip, House- of-Mirrors story line, which tauntingly keeps you focused but clueless, chasing mirages. From a technical standpoint, CRIMSON has been meticulously crafted. Elements such as lighting, cinematography, musical score, editing and sound display an originality and freshness that belie its limited budget.

There is quite a bit going on here, but the Director manages, when CRIMSON is taken as a whole, to deliver a kind of cinematic seamless fusion collage. Even the action segments demonstrated an intriguing mix of bravura, detached fantasy and intense underlying inevitability, that make them quirkily unique, reminiscent of absolutely no others.

If you enjoy independent cinema, CRIMSON offers something for everyone. It is tailor-made for enjoyable multiple viewings; a great addition to any DVD collection.

9.5*......ENJOY/DISFRUTELA! Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!
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Ambitious Debut...
cinemafreek-12 September 2009
Saw this at Indiefest with a couple of other filmmakers from the festival. We walked in a little late, but were drawn in right away.

This is not your typical festival film. It's a cerebral fantasy. It challenges the audience to follow a fractured storyline that gets wrapped up in a great and unexpected way at the end.

As a short filmmaker myself, I'm interested in graduating to features and Crimson Mask is something every short filmmaker should see. These guys were able to make an epic film on a really tight budget using creative lighting, editing, and some really great actors.

This was an ambitious film by a first time filmmaker, and unlike the other reviewer ( who I suspect might have been angry his film did not win any festival awards) , I really enjoyed it on a number of levels.

This film is not for everyone though. It has some strong language and can wander at times. Be prepared for a bathroom break in the middle of the film. Also, the lead up to the confrontation could have been done much better.

If I saw this film on cable I would rate it a 6.5/10 but taking into the consideration the budget, and in comparison the the other festival films I've seen... I'm giving it a 10 .
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Unexpected Social Commentary
banodyne-12 September 2009
The film had an interesting look. Modern noir with moments of pulp cinema to accent key moments. You can definitely see it was done on a budget but they were very clever making it look professional. The movie takes some bizarre turns but nothing is out of place. It takes a while for the viewer to realize this isn't our world, but this Twilight Zone-y world, that's close to reality but strange forces are at work. Note the color red throughout the movie that symbolizes this. My only real problem is the connection of various money men that manipulated Thomas. It came off disjointed. You didn't spend time with any of them long enough to hate the guy and root for Thomas. On the other side, Parker's nemesis Jeffries (played perfectly by Lee Sellers) stole any scene he was in. His charisma is what you want in this Faustian tale. The basic message of the movie really resonates. It was a smart choice to replay the lesson in the end credits for people who didn't pay attention when it was first shown.
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definitely worth seeing
kennizzado2 September 2009
I'm not really sure what movie iacon6 thought he was reviewing, but this was definitely not the disaster he's made it out to be. (I suspect cinemafreek's assessment of why he would write a review not far off the mark) I saw this movie several weeks ago at the film festival in Philadelphia. What I saw was an excellent independent film featuring a plot that managed to be complex without being complicated, excellent performances (especially Clohessy) and a satisfying conclusion that features a great action scene and a relatable moral. For a relatively new filmmaker, I think this was a very ambitious film that succeeded quite well in its mission, and I look forward to seeing what else Elias Plagianos can come up with in the future.
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Well executed film, a joy to watch
kellystacey19807 November 2012
I loved this film. I believe Plagianos's choices are intelligently made - it also doesn't hurt that the two leads, Burrow and the underused journeyman Clohessy, understand their roles and play them with the type of passion deserved. Watching Parker on his last legs of life still able to talk back to his employer—a great no nonsense turn of Brooklyn underbelly from Lee R. Sellars—with humor and wit, as well as have the ability to attempt to retrieve his pride when defeat by sword seems his only option, goes a long way in making the climatic scene resonate. It may be one more convenient connection at the hands of a higher power, using 'The Book' of Chapter Three's title to bond these two men together as slaves unwilling to back down and be pushed around like puppets, but beneath the contrivance is a measure of truth. If anything, the multitude of overlapping plot threads and crisscrossing of paths only adds to the illusory aspect of the film, making The Crimson Mask into the morality tale its creator set out to make. It's inspiring job of professionalism as a first-time feature with little in the way of monetary resource shows the promise this young man's future holds. I look forward to checking out his next projects!
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Crimson Mask.
burgessmichele228 April 2010
I saw Crimson Mask opening night last year in Downtown Disney. All I can say is what a complete boring disaster of an independent film! Watching the carpet was so much more exciting than this film. I would have to agree with iacon6 as I also share in his opinions about this film. A lot of people go to film school for a good reason, and my guess is that the film maker and writer of this film should have stayed in school for at least a few more years. You must learn to have appealing story lines for your audience, and not once was there a fragment of intellectual story telling. As an editor, I found this film offensive to the arts of film making. As it goes to show that I guess if this film can make it on a big screen, anything can make it.
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Was this a movie ???
iacon628 August 2009
I just saw this movie in the IndieFest USA 2009 festival in Anaheim. This review does not include spoilers, only my opinion on this movie.

First of all I want to tell the film maker: Dude, what the hell was that ? You call this a film ? I saw you in indiefest and I didn't want to tell you what I thought of the film in front of all the people. If you ever went to film school, you should go back and re-take all your classes cause your film making skills suck big time. One can't even call this a movie. Just a bunch of unrelated shots and scenes in order to deliver a stupid story.

It was my ever first time in life that I wanted to scream "rape" in a movie theater just to stop the screening and tell everyone that this film is raping my brain cells. It was my first time ever that I wished I had forks so I can shove them into my eyes because this film is HORRIBLE and I don't have enough words to describe how bad it is.

Usually the best part in bad films are the rolling end credits but in this case even the credits were 6 min. long.... C'mon.... The film maker even screwed the end titles by showing a very slow titles that didn't even had the right video field to them and were blurry as hell.

I only wish that IMDb had a 0/10 but it doesn't so I gave this film 1/10.

Story : 2/10 - I see what you were going after but you ruined the entire story.

Acting: 1/10 - Not even going to comment on that.

Cinematography: 0/10 - A blind man with Parkinson could have done a better job.

Directing: 0/10 - don't make me laugh. This un-matched puzzle you call a film is a total FAIL.
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gripping action and Faustian legend
alan_truelove25 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Saw this at Buffalo/Niagara Film Fest 2010, with discussion with auteur etc--it only becomes clear at the end that this is some kind of test for Thomas, to become the head of a Company, but this isn't elaborated-you are left to draw your own conclusions ... It was admitted that two (?) separate films were amalgamated, which was enterprising. Perhaps melding the content of these two films dictated the (brief) Faustian motif. There are some references to Film great moments -- and the early clips from old films need careful attention ... This creative team say they are set to make 2 more movies, and one would have high hopes. After a full week of indies, a well-paced film like this is a relief.
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Interesting presentation. Excellent performances. Fantastic filmmaking
Waffffa10 November 2012
This movie speaks well of greed and provides a very witty image of social differences by showing two separate stories that eventually blend together in an interesting turn of events. An ancient ritual combines the two characters and reveals parts of the truth. The storytelling in this movie is quite appealing, it doesn't get too vague and mysterious but it still holds that exciting vibe to keep you watching until the end. The movie in general is unique and not like anything I've seen before, it is an interesting point of view presented in a smart way, and sadly underrated. The movie was clearly done on a budget yet it didn't look cheap at all. The performances felt awkward at some points but were overall pretty good. This kind of filmmaking and fresh cinematic style promise a very bright future, especially with more attention and a higher budget. I would love to see different points of view from this director, and the movie definitely deserves an 8/10 from me.
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An underrated and unique presentation of an interesting story.
MovieFly23 November 2012
Taking into consideration different aspects, before you trash this film, keep in mind that it was clearly done on a budget! The thing that strikes me most about this film is how fresh it is, the plot is different, the performances are different, the presentation of certain scenes and elements is also different. The two stories get together revealing another amazing aspect in the movie, through combining the two stories and knitting it all together. The fantasy factor is handled very carefully in this film, added to strengthen the scenes without taking from the reality of the stories. For creativity this movie definitely stands out for me. The acting was kind of tricky because as a character you'd have to maintain your personality and balance between your realistic and imaginative features. Excellent.
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