Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The 24th Day|
Actors: James Marsden, Scott Speedman, Sofía Vergara, Barry Papick, Charles J. Corrado Jr.
Director: Tony Piccirillo
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Its been 24 days since tom found out that his life was ruined by a previous encounter with dan. 24 days since he decided dan would have to pay. In this electrifying thriller youll be holding your breath to see who survives... more »
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One of the Best Films of 2004!
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE 24TH DAY is quite simply one of the finest achievements in American film making in the past year. Based on his play of the same name, writer and director Tony Piccirillo establishes his credentials as one of our more potent and important talents with the release of this exceptional 'first feature'. Not only is the script one of the best pieces of writing around, the acting of here-to-for underused pretty boys James Marsden and Scott Speedman is of the quality for which awards were invented.
After opening credits (which only in retrospect tell the entire story in beautifully executed photography), the story begins in a singles bar and moves slowly to the musty, dark, cluttered apartment of Tom (Scott Speedman from 'Underworld', 'Duets', etc) where it becomes clear that his 'guest' Dan (James Marsden of 'The Notebook' and the 'X Men' series - a 31 year old actor who lost out on the lead role in 'Primal Fear' to Edward Norton!) has been cruising Tom with the intention of a sexual tryst for the evening. With graceful, subtle dialogue we are seduced into the verbal foreplay of the apparent tryst until BANG! - Tom informs Dan that they had an evening of sex five years ago (Dan was drunk and doesn't remember) and since that has been Tom's only gay sexual liaison: Tom has been stalking Dan in revenge for his transmitting HIV to Tom, a transmission which has resulted in Tom's wife falling victim to AIDS and dying in a car crash 24 days ago!
Tom therefore becomes the captor and Dan the captive in this two-person drama. Dan is tied and gagged and Tom withdraws a syringe of Dan's blood, which he then takes to have tested for HIV. If Dan is HIV positive, Tom will kill him: if Dan is negative he will be free to go. The entire story takes place in this grungy apartment as a dialogue between Tom the avenger and Dan the victim who declares his seronegativity and opens the multipronged discussion of such topics as truth ('THE truth or YOUR truth" they each spar), AIDS, gay vs. bisexual vs. straight, sex without love or commitment, etc.
The relationship between captor and captive goes through many permutations, each more startling and frightening than the last until the story reaches its almost unbearably surprise climax. In the end the audience is left to resolve the final issues presented - a trait of a truly fine playwright. The messages and the impact of this movie are some of the more powerful on film.
We can only hope to see much more of the gifted Tony Piccirillo's work, both as a brilliant writer and as a tautly sensitive director. The real surprise (in a film full of professional surprises) is the caliber of acting from James Marsden and Scott Speedman. The are both startlingly fine: each actor creates his character so fully that our identification with each man's plight plays like a ping pong game with every soliloquy. There is an underlying animal sexual attraction between the two, even as the initial ploy of an evening of anonymous sex turns bitterly sour, and this interplay makes the story's end all the more poignant. These two fine actors each deliver the quality of performance that deserves Oscar attention.
Without reservation this film is high on the list of the finest 'indie movies' (read very low budget) of the year. Everyone who admires the art of cinema should see, no - buy!, this film. Grady Harp, October 2004"
Effective social commentary for gay/straight community
Get What We Give | Georgia | 01/31/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The 24th day is essentially a play produced for the screen. That, to me, is a good thing. It makes certain that the playwright's dialogue is maintained and that the focus stays on that dialogue. This was used effectively with "The Boys in the Band," "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean," and several others.
As a community, homosexuals have had their fair share of plays and films that have ranted and raved against the government inaction on AIDS (The Normal Heart; And the Band Played On), awareness raising of self-imposed discrimination against those with AIDS (Jeffrey; Longtme Companion) and general "aint we got it bad" plays (Love, Valour, Compassion; Parting Glances). Not all of these have been great, but they have been intriguing and thought provoking - just what was necessary. Unfortunately, as we've grown accustomed to the reality of AIDS in our lives, we've also become desensitized to the reality of it. There is an entire generation out there that has never known a world without AIDS and safe sex as a mantra. There is a contingent present that chooses to ignore the realities of the disease and its indescriminate behavior. They are the men (and women) that The 24th Day addresses. True it only speaks directly about gay men and "straight" men who stray, but it is the first real play/film to take this attitude to task.
Dan (James Marsden) is a hot film producer out for an evening of fun with his best "girl" friend at (what ostensibly appears to be) a straight bar. However, he manages to get picked up by (or pick up) Tom (Scott Speedman). They retire to Tom's apartment. There Dan discovers that Tom has been stalking him because he believes that Dan gave him AIDS five years previous on his once and only time sleeping with a man.
Since this much is told on the DVD cover, I've not given anything away. In fact, more could be said without giving away the whole plot, simply because this is less a film about action and plot than it is a character study about sexual responsiblity.
The acting is very good and the set is effective (it is basically a single set for the entire film - remember it is a play to film). If I had any gripes it would be that the play and the film tend to get redundant in the dialogue about halfway through. There seems to be more antagonistic behavior and less actual character development (especially of Dan) than I would like to see. That said, it is important to remember that I think the playwrite was intending that this play be about "everyman" and thus didn't want to bog the play down with heavy details about individuals and take the emphasis off the intended audience. I think this is bold, but ultimately speaks a bit down to the audience, assuming that they wouldn't be able to glean the information from the essence of the material - which is strong.
The DVD is very light on extras, but then this isn't a film you watch for the extras.
I think you'll enjoy this film."
Fine acting, very well done
C. B Collins Jr. | Atlanta, GA United States | 09/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Scott Speedman and James Marsden both do exceptional acting in this emotionally intense film. In this review I want to discuss three aspects of the film.
First, the actors and the complicated situation these two men find themselves in carries this film. There are no fireworks special effects. In fact the film feels like a stage play due to the intensity of the dialogue between these two men, one of whom, Tom the chef, has imprisoned the other, Dan the gay successful pretty boy, and will kill him if it appears that he infected Tom during Tom's one and only one-night-stand with another man. Beautiful James Marsden does a terrific job but Scott Speedman needs a nomination for best supporting actor, he is really good. The play between captive and captor is a dangerous game, as these two men discover.
Second, the film did an excellent job of weaving in the intracacies and uncertainties of HIV infection and antibody testing into the plot. Tom thinks Dan infected him 5 years ago during intercourse because a couple of years later, Tom's wife develops AIDS related symptoms, finds she is HIV positive, and then dies by running a red light after finding her HIV status. Tom imprisons Dan, takes a sample of his blood by force, and sends it to a lab with the intention of killing Dan if it comes back positive since Tom interprets this as proof that Dan infected him. Dan, struggling for his life, reasons with Tom that Tom's wife could have been infected before Tom and that since she showed AIDS symptoms so early, she may have been infected for some time. Thus Dan tries to raise doubts in Tom's mind that Tom did not infect his wife, it was the other way around. Anyone familiar with HIV/AIDS knows that this is a valid argument.
Third, the story showed character development and change. Tom is extremely angry at first and seeks careful deadly revenge against Dan. Then Dan rightfully inserts doubt into Tom's mind as to who infected who in the relationship between Tom and his wife. Then the results come back with Dan's HIV status. At this point the film takes some plot twists which I don't think I should reveal, however I will say that at some point Tom moves out of anger and revenge and into compassion. Compassion is an amazing emotion, healing to those who experience it directly or indirectly. This recognition of the role of compassion in our lives is the reason I gave this exceptional film a "5".
Very well done."
Best Gay Film I've Seen in a Long Time
Cray Donnelly | Cincinnati | 11/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As an above average comsumer of gay films I must say that this movie is one of the best that I have seen. Why? Because it doesn't rely on the tired formula of most gay movies. No coming out struggles, no 'people hate me' attitudes--just a strong story about a married man who gave in to his sexual cravings 5 years ago with another man.
The story isn't about HIV or AIDS, its about responsibility and accountability. This is also a movie that has a surprise ending, so I can't relay too much of the story. Did he become infected from a same-sex one-night stand? Did his wife bring the disease home from her own infedelity? Watch and find out."