Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Denton Blane Everett, Jason Riley Hoss
Director: Phillip Guzman
Genres: Action & Adventure, Documentary
Z. Humphreys | 12/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A true indie-gem in one film makers opinion. I feel THE LAWLESS has surpassed many big budget films in its' efforts to tell a good story and show visually what a crew of 5 can do when they put their minds to it. By far one of the better "low budget" films I've seen in a while.
I'm not quit sure what film the other reviewer saw and then criticized, but I in no way feel THE LAWLESS deserved a no star rating. Obviously the reviewer did not watch the documentary on the making of THE LAWLESS or I think their opinion of the film would look quite different. Yes, I will agree with some of what other reviews said concerning the film, but for only having a crew of around 5 to shoot the project, and a budget of, I believe the film makers said, $7,500 then frankly, I'm a little impressed. The fact that a distribution company picked it, means to me, that there is some potentional for the film. I'd like to see Aaron Von Raschke (reviewer before me) or any other one person, make a better movie with all the means and resources THE LAWLESS had and still have a distribution company pick it up.....
Critics can think so highly of them selves, but with no experience in what it takes to actually make a film, I think that limits ones ability to judge them. Regardless, if we stop comparing the film to Hollywood blockbusters with budgets overflowing in the millions, huge name stars, etc....I feel the film accomplished it's goal in telling a simple story of 2 undercover cops who had their hands forced and now must become lawless themselves to save the ones closest to them. I will admit the dialogue was a bit lacking in some areas, but I thought at times the talent shined through and had moments through out the film that I believed. I got that all the B/W scenes where flash backs and think the director was trying to set up more of a back story in the characters lives than just the stereotypical run and gun film. As for them being cry babies, maybe a little, but that may have been the character route the actors chose. I have no idea how I would react being in a situation like the 2 cops.
As for the cinematography, yes it was lacking in some respects, but for just shooting with a prosumer camera and no lenses, the film had a "look" of it that was all its' own. Grungy, yes, but I think for their first feature film it was decent. The green overtone and destaurated colors played towards the characters and foreshadowed what was to come. If one watched the making of documentary, one might understand the stylistic choices the DP took.
The music worked for the film, was it Howard Shore, by all means no, but did the composer have all the means of a million dollar feature, no. Yes it was hard to hear and muggy in some parts, but I have no idea what difficulty they had filming or in post. You do the best you can with what you have and strive to make that better than what it is.
As for the cover art, yes, it is truly miss leading and does not accurately display what the film is about. I did a Google search for THE LALWESS DVD and was surprised to find this:
This cover art actually matches what the story tells. Why could I not by this DVD cover art with the film? Not sure, but it looks better than what was released.
Overall, I gave the movie the rating I did because I have seen and made films that are worse than the LAWLESS in all regards. I do feel that the film is an indie gem and think any one would not have wasted their time in viewing it. I look forward to what these young filmmakers are going to do and wish filmmakers I knew had the same drive as these guys displayed in their documentary. Good luck and your movies only get better after your first one....at least that's what I hope.
Watch it, then judge for your self.