18 January 2018

KALEIDOSCOPE ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS: SWEET VIRGINIA. (2017)




SWEET VIRGINIA. (2017) DIRECTED BY JAMIE M. DAGG. PRODUCED BY BENJAMIN AND PAUL CHINA. MUSIC BY BROOKE BLAIR AND WILL BLAIR. STARRING JOHN BERNTHAL, CHRISTOPHER ABBOTT, IMOGEN POOTS, ROSEMARIE DEWITT AND ODESSA YOUNG.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Sweet Virginia 
Out on DVD on 15th January 2018
KALEIDOSCOPE HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Stop me, please stop me, stop me if you think you've heard this one before. Guy walks into a diner in smalltown 'Murica late at night. Stays a few minutes. Guy leaves the diner, but not as he found it. Three men are stone-dead on the diner floor, shot by our mysterious guy.

Sound interesting? Sound intriguing? Well, it's the premise on which the movie SWEET VIRGINIA is based, and the rest of the movie hangs snugly on this premise like a frilly blouse on one of Joan Crawford's own cushioned hangers. ('No wire hangers...!')

Sam is a motel owner, but not in a Norman Bates kind of way. He's got the world's worst beard, a beard for which there is literally no excuse. He's still a young man, only in his forties, but the beard is untidy and grey and pointy (pointy!) and puts years on him. He looks like his own Grandad. This beard needs urgent cutting. He's also got a chequered past as a rodeo champ, but some kind of accident put paid to his dreams in that respect.

I never did know much about rodeo, except for the fact that it's a big deal in prison movies and the warden, who's always as crooked as f**k, is prepared to go to any lengths to beat the rival warden's prison rodeo team. So if you think that you can win the tournament for the warden, you're gonna get extra smokes, a TV in your cell and maybe- maybe- even some pussy, that's how big a deal the prison rodeo is to the warden, lol.

Elwood is a darkly good-looking motel customer of Sam's. He has Mommy issues- in that, the Mommy he has doesn't love him- and he doesn't seem to like women very much, either, which is understandable given his, well, Mommy issues.

There's an interesting sex scene between Elwood and a hooker he summons to the motel that tells us a lot about Elwood. He bangs the hooker from behind coldly, efficiently and dispassionately, then gives her her money and tells her to hit the road.

He was merely satisfying a primal urge with her, that's all, no more and no less. A bit like scratching at an itch or doing a Number Two. The woman was nothing to him, just the means by which he was scratching an itch. Tells us a bit about Elwood. He doesn't like ties, or being tied down. Travels light. You know the type.

He develops a bit of a 'bromance' with our Sammy, though, which is sweet and surprising and because it's so unexpected you kind of wonder if there's an ulterior motive. Turns out that Elwood's old man was a fan of Sam in Sam's rodeo days, and Sam is pleased and flattered to be remembered. And sure who wouldn't be? We're all susceptible to a bit of flattery. We're all only human.

He's not much of a man for getting close to people, is Sam, but he accepts Elwood's tentative gestures of friendship. Can two men ever really just be friends? Of course they bloody can. It's men and women that can't ever really just be friends, consarnit...!

Lila and Bernie are two townswomen. Lila, played by the beautiful Imogen Poots, is young, blonde and recently widowed. Bernie's older, also recently widowed and has a thing for Sam. I don't much care for Bernie. Pushy old broad, breaking her marriage vows all over the place and trying to drag Sam down with her. Just 'cause her old man didn't hardly touch her for five years straight...! How, I ask you, is that Sam's or anyone else's problem?

Lila doesn't have a thing for anyone at the moment, what with her being just newly-widowed an' all, but she does have a secret meeting with a man on top of the highest, most stunning-looking bridge you'll ever see and it certainly explains a thing or two to the viewer, who'll scratch his stubbly chin knowingly when he sees this and say 'A-ha! I knew it...!' Why am I assuming that this viewer is male? Oh, the whole male/thriller connection there, I suppose...

There's an excellent movie score here that was done by two folks called Brooke Blair and Will Blair. I don't know if they're husband and wife, brother and sister, or two people each called 'Blair' who are unrelated, by I do know that this is an unusually good musical score for an indie thriller and it really helps to ramp up the suspense. Jolly good show, you two Blairses...!

Anyway, SWEET VIRGINIA is out now on DVD courtesy of KALEIDOSCOPE HOME ENTERTAINMENT and it's well worth a look. Elwood is cute, mysterious and possibly mentally disturbed with a great body- I am so hot for him right now! That's literally the description of my ideal guy right there- and the detective in you will be dying to find out why there are suddenly so many widows in a small town that previously had, well, two fewer widows in it, see? I think the answer may surprise you...

Sweet Virginia 
Out on DVD on 15th January 2018
KALEIDOSCOPE HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Key talent:
Director
Jamie M. Dagg (River)
Cast
John Bernthal (Netflix’s The Punisher and DaredevilBaby DriverSicario, The Walking Dead)

Imogen Poots (
Filth28 Weeks LaterV for Vendetta, the upcoming I Kill Giants)
Rosemary Dewitt (La La Land)
Composers
Brooke and Will Blair (Green Room)
Hot quotes:
Exceptional” - Variety
“Gripping… a visceral delight” **** - 
Seen Some
“Expertly tense and meticulously crafted” **** -
 Culture Fix
“An accomplished thriller… exquisite performances” 
Movie Review World
“Nerve-shredding” **** - 
IndieWire


AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com









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