DVD Review: ALMOST KINGS

DVD REVIEW:  Almost Kings 

REVIEWED BY: CINEMA LATTE

GRADE: 4 OUT OF 5 REELS

RELEASE DATE: June 26, 2012

DISC INFORMATION: 1 disc, color, Widescreen 

RUNNING TIME:  93 minutes

SPECIAL FEATURES:  Audio Commentary with Haley Ramm, Lorenzo James Henrie, Alex Russell and director/writer Philip G Flores.  Cast and Director interviews about Story & Character, Casting & Working with the actors, Origins of “Almost Kings”, Assembling the Crew, and Winning the Netflix “Find Your Voice” Competition. Production Stills.  Original movie trailer.  Other Breaking Glass movie trailers.

RATED: Not Rated (Probably would be R for violence, drug and alcohol use, brief nudity)

GENRE:  Drama

STARRING:  Alex Frost,  Lorenzo James Henrie, Haley Ramm, Alex Russell, Billy Campbell, and Olivia Crocicchia

 Two teens living with their wheelchair bound father (Campbell), struggle to find their place in life.  Truck (Frost) is a Senior in High School and trying to enjoy his last “free Summer” before he marries his pregnant girlfriend.  Ted “Bug” (Henrie) is a Freshman and longs for fatherly guidance.  Their father is very angry and hard on the boys with his situation and forces the boys to grow up before their time.  Truck is the man of the house; taking care of his Dad and his brother, working to bring money into the household, taking care of his pregnant girlfriend, and planning on sacrificing his own future to ensure that his brother, father and child are always taken care of.  Ted tries to get approval from his brother by trying to become one of “The Kings”, a fraternity group made up of Truck and his friends.  Truck resents Bug tagging along because he wants something to himself, but to his dismay, Bug accomplishes every task put to him to join.  When the tasks become more morally questionable, Truck becomes more angry that Bug is willing to continue on.  Will Bug see that the path he is trying to follow isn’t the correct path to find what he seeks?  

I was not sure that I would like this movie at all.  I expected to hate it, to be honest.  It’s about gangs, it’s about teen sex, it’s about peer pressure.  The fact that it had won all kinds of film festival awards across the Nation, didn’t help.  Those are usually 50/50 on whether they are enjoyable or not.  But I put this movie into the DVD player and instantly became impressed.  Well…after the disappointment in the Disc layout.  You can’t just push PLAY, it takes you automatically into scene selection and from there you can choose PLAY. 

This movie has a great story about peer pressure and the not so Disney world of today’s teens in High School.  The cast is wonderful and well matched to pull the viewer into the story and keep them there.  From the commentary we learn that this began with a short story by Max Doty and soon became a full length film winning the Netflix competition for full funding to become this wonderful collaboration in the end.

 Although the actors are young and in some cases inexperienced, this movie is very well done.  The acting by these “kids” is very impressive, except for when they are portraying an inebriated teen.  That is kind of laughable .

 The music is enjoyable, the writing is fresh, the characters are charming, and the story is poignant in its message about peer pressure and today’s youth.  This film is compelling and interesting all the way through.  The only thing I can really say negatively about this film is the disc layout with not being able to play with a push of the PLAY button and the extremely small font used on the end credits which scroll by in some crazy TNT speed and the teen inebriation acting.  The rest of the movie is just simply impressive.

 So, in conclusion, this film is better than I expected.  It’s creative, fresh, intriguing and well done.  It’s a coming of age movie about teen peer pressure and brotherly bounds.  Very enjoyable story.

 This one is worth buying, renting, borrowing, or catching on cable.  Great job!

 That’s my review and I’m sticking to it!

 

 

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