Money, Power, Respect

Money, Power, Respect

Money, Power, Respect

Sometimes the ingenuity of the filmmaker can over come any obstacles caused by low budget. This alas is not one of them. It was shot on DV and looks it. Which wouldn’t matter if the script was excellent, original, diverting and entertaining.

Hmm.

The script is incredibly derivative, mostly of mafia movies and other mob flicks, the dialogue equally stilted and unbelievable, apparently randomly thrown together out of a collection of lines scattered around the writer’s room.

It is redolent of the Mob B movie from the 70s, but without anything like the tightness of storytelling that characterised a lot of that genre, nor the performances.

Speaking of which…oh let’s not speak of them. The only actor with any real ability in this movie is also the director, Jamal Hill who manages to make Drew just about believable despite some out of character dialogue from time to time but everybody else fails hugely to give even remotely acceptable performances. With the script and the acting both managing to suck, there was always the hope that the production values would shine through as something worthwhile.

Unfortunately, once again, this department is severely lacking. Considering there was a $10000 budget, it would have been nice if the filmmakers had invested in a few lights, as many of the night scenes are visually incomprehensible and covered in video noise. Even a strong torch might have helped! The direction is thoroughly undynamic, often static with shots held for far longer than they need to be, indicating a lack of thought in the planning process leaving not enough editable material. Either that or there is a point to be made which has sailed over my head. The sound is equally difficult to make out in places, making the already dire dialogue incomprehensible.

Money, Power, Respect

Money, Power, Respect

There’s not really much that could be done to save this film, barring a complete re write, recast and reshoot, all of which is a shame as Hill was clearly passionate about the project and put in a lot of work,. However his presence as star does indicate that it was something of a vanity film and if he had spent more time crafting the script, maybe with the guidance of someone with more writing experience, the film would have benefited immeasurably. It’s worth a look for a laugh if nothing else and is an object lesson in how not to do it for any aspiring filmmaker.

Director: Jamal Hill
Cast: Lionel Dalton, Ronnie Graham, Sergio Gay
Language: English
Country: USA
Release Date: 2007