Duke (2019) Poster

(II) (2019)

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7/10
I AM, I CAN
nogodnomasters30 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Following a childhood incident, whose influence isn't fully explained, Dare (Carmine Giovinazzo) pretends to be a detective. He cares for his younger brother Roost (Hank Harris) who lives in a dream world immersed in John Wayne films.

Dare patrols the neighborhood as a detective and attempts to keep out various criminal elements. When a cop killer named "Winkie" arrives in the neighborhood, Dare become obsessed with finding a man who appears to be a ghost.

The film was engaging up the end which caused he to scratch my head. Seriously? That is how they wanted to end this film? Can I get an alternative ending?

The film is a crime drama with some violence. The acting was decent as was the tale up until the end.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, stripper nudity.
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7/10
I AM, I CAN
nogodnomasters2 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Following a childhood incident, whose influence isn't fully explained, Dare (Carmine Giovinazzo) pretends to be a detective. He cares for his younger brother Roost (Hank Harris) who lives in a dream world immersed in John Wayne films.

Dare patrols the neighborhood as a detective and attempts to keep out various criminal elements. When a cop killer named "Winkie" arrives in the neighborhood, Dare become obsessed with finding a man who appears to be a ghost.

The film was engaging up to the end which caused me to scratch my head. Seriously? That is how they wanted to end this film? Can I get an alternative ending?

The film is a crime drama with some violence. The acting was decent as was the tale up until the end.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, stripper nudity.
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2/10
Awful
fmwongmd5 July 2020
Quite awful film with weak story line, desultory acting and lack of direction.
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7/10
Like the Romeo + Juliet retelling in '96 : Is this how a western would look today?
face-819-93372625 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Rock solid performances, and a lot of great effort on the part of the production staff, it shows that this was a labour of Love. The story is really very good, but always just feels like a whimsy. You always feel like none of this is happening, mostly because it couldn't, and also the ethereal way in which the music, and lighting are used. I wanted to like this movie from the start a lot more than I did. I did really Enjoy this movie enough though because, they took a great cast of not unknown people, and like I said the background production work is all very good, it just doesn't feel real. I would recommend this to a film buff, but not to the average person, it just bounces around too much, and there are far too many plot holes. Came up a bit short, and I wish them better luck on the next outing.
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6/10
"Strip Club" Reviewer??
jakebrann1 July 2020
Are you serious? How is a TOPLESS woman on stage for 30 seconds... "a 5 minute scene of a strip club fully naked women" ?? Do you know what NAKED means? Good God...

Was that supposed to be a deterrent not to watch it? Its rated R! If you're afraid to see a topless woman, don't watch rated R movies! Same goes for anyone else who decides to watch a rated R movie but I think most of us know that!

I was ok with this movie till the end. The acting all of a sudden got $hitty and his brother Roost was just annoying... The ending was kind of stupid as others have mentioned.

Anyway, thanks for the tip! It pushed me toward watching it...
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7/10
Enthralling Indie
TRussellMorris6 April 2021
Aside from my one gripe, that being the extreme vagueness of the suggested abuse suffered by these brothers as Tweens that resulted in such extreme emotional damage to both of them, in different ways, that leads to the state of beings they ended up in to "be" this movie's plot and environment. (How they lived and what they did and the story itself). This was a highly enthralling movie.

It really holds ones attention (Provided you are intelligent enough, or a movie buff enough, to actually enjoy movies where thinking and pondering are) required. The acting was good, the cast didn't have any bad participants, the story, though taking the first act to really settle in, (Considering you are baffled at the beginning as to who, what and how these guys are living and why) continues on to really engage your senses and keeps you wondering how this is all gonna end, especially since you know it's not going to be a happy ending by any means. The end did bring me to unexpected tears (I didn't realize I was as engaged as I turned out to be until the tears came at the end...or shall I say both endings).

I'll restate my first thought, I think a LOT more emotional engagement would have been accomplished had their been more backstory about how these two brothers became such damaged individuals, even a SMALL amount of further revelations regarding their tween years in "the home", which seemed to be some sort of ?orphanage? Type place, but even still, I found the movie very thought provoking, sad, and heartbreaking on several fronts. Both these brothers were terribly damaged and lost in this world, almost seemingly without any real ability to live in it, I'd really like to know how they became to such a state of damaged and doomed yet still innocent and good guys...I am very glad I bought it and can say I've experienced this film.
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9/10
Wow. This was much better than I expected
taraholman-7071111 November 2020
I have to say; I am impressed. If you're looking for a hollywood smash, this isn't for you. But if you love a complicated slow burn, with some unexpected twists. This movie is definitely for you.
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5/10
Strip Club
chaslee12 June 2020
There's about a 5 minute scene of a strip club fully naked women.
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8/10
When Good is Taken From This World
isabelmonca-462-60379217 April 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The film starts in a gritty, almost thriller-like way, with two brothers being chased by violent bullies, and then talked to by a cop who seems to enjoy meaningless violence and intimidation. Then, as the film transitions to present day, we see these two brothers, Dare and Roost, all grown up. Right away, you see the dynamic between the two of them. Dare is the protector, the one who keeps everything under his control, adamant on carrying out justice and rooting out the evil in the city. Roost, on the other hand, is sheltered, comforted by the fantasy of being the "Duke," right out of old western movies. While Roost stays at home carrying out this fantasy and listening to a radio talk show about self-confidence and self-empowerment, Dare is on a mission to find the infamous Winky, a man who has consumed his thoughts and has terrorized the city he is sworn to protect. We soon come to find that Dare is not a member of law enforcement, but is acting on his own. Meanwhile, actual law enforcement detectives are also trying to find Winky and one of them, Morrison, has his own problems with obsessing over this man, preventing him to think clearly (evident when he decides to go under cover, is made, and gets beaten up).

Throughout the film, Dare also battles with his own demons, keeping hold of the past, which prevents him from looking to the future and letting go of his drive for justice. He can rarely see the good because of the evil that has consumed his life. That changes when Cookie, a local prostitute he was using to get information, gets killed, and Duke finds out from her friend Joan. She then gives an impassioned speech and reveals a letter Cookie had written to Dare. It is after that he realizes that if you're always hanging on to the evil in your life, you will overlook the good, and miss it before it's too late. He then takes his brother Roost, dressed in police uniform and fulfilling his fantasy as "Duke," to his local diner. There, as he is ready to move forward at last, he finds himself face to face with Winky. Chaos ensues, and in that chaos, Roost unknowingly shoots Dare's friend, believing he had his brothers back like his brother always had his. This sadly causes him to go home and kill himself, believing he had failed Dare and failed himself. Dare then decides to go to a police precinct dressed as a cop and has one more duel with a mirage of recently passed Roost, not before become aware that the Lieutenant is the same cop who has antagonized his dreams and his childhood. He goes out in a blaze of glory, most likely, but we don't see that, as the screen cuts to black and only a single gun shot rings out. But the last thing we see on his face is a smile. Something that hadn't been seen the entire film.

Duke is a film about when good is taken from this world, leaving only evil to consume you, and the journey to finding that good again. Through all of life's trials and tribulations, finding the goodness within yourself and within others can make you feel at peace. Dare certainly felt at peace in that final shot.

A well-shot labor of love, The Gaudioso Twins did a great job with a story that, although jumped around a bit and wasn't the most fluid, showed the viewer the underbelly of life. You'll come out of watching this reflecting on your own life and the hope that we are all able to find some good in this world before we leave it.
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10/10
Builds to a Riveting Climax, Worth the Wait
gomezmartin18 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This film came as a pleasant surprise, with powerful performances, vivid cinematography, and a highly entertaining and fitting ending.

DUKE follows Dare and Roost, brothers who grew up in a reformatory, fighting not only bullies but also the very people assigned to keep them safe. Now as adults, the brothers move to Los Angeles, where Dare moonlights as a police detective, while Roost lives in isolation, watching old John Wayne films, training to be a lawman, and dreaming of the day that he may join Dare out on the streets. The plot kicks into full gear when Dare discovers that an elusive local criminal, Winky, is back out on the streets and wreaking havoc on the community. Dare hits the streets to investigate, and we quickly discover that this will be the biggest case of his life. I won't spoil it too much.

With indie films, you never really know what you're going to get. Within a few minutes of watching the film, I felt at ease with the filmmakers, the Gaudioso Twins, behind the wheel. The production value, editing, performances, sound and music, are all well-executed, and the film uses its resources very wisely. If you get a chance to screen this film, I suggest doing so.
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10/10
Talk about striking oil!
alexsb81217 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This film jumped out among a sea of titles I've seen and reviewed over the last several years. The directors, The Gaudioso Twins, have created a tragically beautiful story. The structure is sound, following two clearly delayed and broken men through their equally treacherous fantasy/real life. The film felt strange to me, but good strange, like a dream within a dream tethered to hope and love. "I love you Dare"... "I Love you too Roost" - great lines and delivery. A must see, if you care to experience a precious and novel approach to the indie-noir-crime-drama!

Notable mention to the stylized directing, quick editing and powerful acting by Michael Bowen, James Gaudioso and Richard Roundtree.
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8/10
Indie Gold!
jpkimbler18 January 2017
I have never been one for indie films due to grit and low budget feeling acting and camera work. The Gaudioso Twins are very very good at telling stories and doing so in an attractive package. This film is highly gritty but not in a way that turns the average movie goer off. There are many many moments where characters really perform well. The camera angles are nice. The story is very bitter sweet. For me most films/stories can be boiled down to one moment, the climax. This story unfolds and by the end, emotions will run very high. The first there quarters of the film are very fun and entertaining, like sin city. The final quarter the film takes a turn from action to drama and narrows focus on the heart of the main characters. Like any good flick we see snippets of characters background to shine light on the "why" of certain moments and certain expressions of the characters. I have watched this film just in the last week or so about 25 times simply because by the end the emotions are very bitter sweet and deep. Beneath the grit lies a beautiful and sad story that is sure to stroke those emotions. As a composer my self I would like to commend the music for doing its job, it played a very big role in ushering in the emotions of the sequences. I would say indie fan or not this is a great story!
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