2023, 87 mins.
Live free or die
Set in a gay-friendly, clothing-optional resort, just before the season-ending Labour Day, solo traveller newcomer Kristian Brooks (Michael Emery equally alluring naked or semi-dressed) arrives unannounced among the many regulars. With his svelte physique, abundant and tasteful tattoos, and vigorous appendage, he is soon in demand with the “Well, why not just one night?” co-partners in the laissez-faire fellow hedonists.
But then, the partygoers' population begins to shrink. Was it a voracious bear, ravenous chipmunks, or…?
The glue to it all is the cries of the loons, which, apparently, has brought “Birder” Kristian to the neighbourhood.
But like the protagonist, even their calls can be deceptive.
Not a film for the faint of heart (yet Cullet Johnson’s score helps soothe the moments of pain), the final comeuppance is worth the price of admission alone, if for nothing else but to understand there is still a modicum of justice in the world.
Good Guy with a Gun
2023, 114 mins.
The world is not going to get any better
In the continuing pandemic of gun violence in the U.S., this cautionary tale of bullets, wrecking, forever changing and cementing lives is timely, if too true to be believed. The only major fault in the narrative is that almost everyone gets away with it.
The writing (also Mossman) is a bit too convenient (newly widowed Mom—Tiffany Bedwell—appropriately gritty or caring as required playing Tessa Greenwood) is also a Grade-A sports car mechanic, formerly a “repo” thief; son Will (camera-friendly Beck Nolan, a nerdy chemist who almost instantly becomes a crack shot “on the range”); sudden friend Jonah (Jack Cain, a tad more puzzled about situations than passes the litmus test, but does manage the plot-important brief kiss with Will...) rounds out the principals.
No matter, while cleaning up Grandpa’s house, enough weapons are discovered to send Will over to the dark side, yet it’s his smitten buddy who, eventually pulls the trigger, resulting in three lives forever changed.
Story quibbles aside, the film succeeds as a cautionary tale depicting the deadly danger of having too many guns available to too many people in the home of the free and the brave. Sadly, the “sequels” move from fictional silver screen depictions to actual carnage daily.
The irony of the title will not be lost on anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one, in the battleground of America, whether innocent or not.
2023, 95 mins.
Best to skip
Watching this production, the sage words of my mother came back to me: “If you’ve nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.”
No convincing plot;
Scenes that reinforce that and lack continuity;
Only snippets from Bach, Kreutzer and Mozart offer any relief. JWR