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The Jonestown Defense (2011)

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April Barton
Mary Bronstein
Mark Konrad ...
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Michael Michaelessi
Robert Stevens ...
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Matt Timms
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Really good mix of place, story, and characterizations
27 April 2011 | by See all my reviews

As a filmmaker, novelist and Sarasota resident I found the Jonestown Defense appealing on many levels. It had a European feel, almost like a French film shot on an America Riviera. Florida, lush and tempting, some great nature shots, cold business, and three men in crisis. The Bromance in Jonestown is first class. The desperation of two businessmen melting down over a deal going south was as palpable as the torrential rains of summer. And the emotional bottom felt authentic. With the hand-held camera and interesting cuts, it took some risks especially at the beginning. European films pull off those close in scenes with the hand held camera; American viewers don't always have the patience let the scenes open out. But some quirky cutting in the beginning does pay off here and adds some mystery as the story takes a few turns before digging deeper into the hearts of three men at a critical time of their lives. Florida as a character is as beautiful on the outside, heartless on the inside, as a classic Russian whore. And there's no telegraphing where it's going to end. Liked that.


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