Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Jason Patric, Sam Shepard, Drea De Matteo, KaDee Strickland
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Walker Payne, a divorced ex-con and deadbeat dad, doesn't have much going for him. About all he's got is his loyal best friend, a pit bull named Brute. Out of a job and scraping bottom, Walker is given one shot, a chance t... more »
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Mary Jane T. (MJ) from SPOTSYLVANIA, VA
Reviewed on 8/8/2010...
Warning this movie is not for children and is hard to watch for animal lovers. It is a movie about good ethical questions. The movie is depressing, but the story as a cinematic recreation of 1957 in rural America, full of fine details and boasts a cast of excellent actors. We really enjoyed this movie although it is not for the general public.
Raw Emotions: A Film Without Pity
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"WALKER PAYNE, as written by director Matt Williams and Alex Paraskevas, is a bleak study of life in the late 1950s middle America. It is a story of dreams crushed by the tough realities of bad luck and bad decisions. For some viewers this story may be depressing, but for others the story as a cinematic recreation of a period of time in America is full of fine details and boasts a cast of excellent actors who manage to involve us in the fleeting hopes and the permanent scars that are magnified during difficult times and circumstances.
Walker Payne (Jason Patric), a loveable man with a prison record, works in an Illinois coal mine, spends his free time womanizing, yet is strongly attached to his two young daughters who now live with his estranged wife (Drea de Matteo) - a woman angry with her plight in life, having sacrificed her dreams of being a nurse to move to the little mining town, surviving as a waitress without child support from the financially delinquent Walker. His closest companion is his Pit Bull dog Brute who accompanies him everywhere. Walker longs to have his girls live with him, but the injured wife puts a price on that wish: she will give him possession of the girls for a fee of $5000., a figure she has calculated will pay for her leaving the little town she hates and pay for tuition and boarding in nursing school.
Walker is at a loss for funds, especially when the mine shuts down and he is unemployed. Seeking help from his banker friend does not result in a loan but does acquaint him with a new woman in town - Audrey (KaDee Strickland) - a proper girl with her own reasons for 'escaping' to the solitudes of the little mining town where she has a responsible position in the bank. Walker's close friend (Bruce Dern) collects stray animals and cares for them and is the source of Walker's gaining Brute as a pet, but when the desperate Walker seeks employment there, no funds are available for his help. Walker's roving romantic eye focuses on Audrey who plays hard to get until she sees how desperate Walker is to get the money to gain custody of his daughters, a fact which positively alters her perception of Walker. About this time Walker meets Syrus (Sam Shepard), a man who gambles and makes under cover deals: one of his 'games' is to find dogs who can fight for money and as he gets loser to Walker's desperation, he convinces him to train Brute to 'be the dog he was bred to be - a fighter'. Walker hesitates until he realizes this is his only chance to make the money to gain his little girls. Brute is trained, wins a fight, and Syrus then challenges Walker to enter a championship fight that will provide all the money Walker needs. Very reluctantly Walker steps into what is a scheme that results in tragedies in which he seems to lose it all - his dog, his freedom, his new love, and his girls. The audience is left to wade through the depression of the last portion of the film and create individual versions of how the story could possibly end.
There are some unresolved issues dealing with the motivations of some of the characters, but the film is very strong in allowing the viewer to understand the extremes to which people will go in times of crisis. Many portions of the film are difficult to watch (the dog fights are graphic), but somehow the actors are able to create strong enough impressions that our attention is focused more on the desperate and fragile dreams of each of the characters. The musical score by Mason Daring enhances the visceral cinematography by James L. Carter. This is a dark film with moments of human frailty that provide small beams of hopeful light. Grady Harp, September 08"
Tough love & tough times; painstakingly recreated 1957 middl
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 08/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jason Patric, Sam Shepherd, Bruce Dern, Kadee Strickland and Drea De Matteo make for a solid performance piece about a man's desire to see his daughters and provide for them no matter what the cost. The location filming in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Ohio bolster a period environment recreation that was thoroughly believable regarding the isolation and small down depression. The main character's unquestioning loyalty to his companion dog comes to a test as he is given the chance to end all of his financial woes through dogfighting. Sam Shepherd plays the bad guy that takes our lead into this underworld, and Kadee plays the moral compass love interest.
The course of the film follows the continuous angst, hatred, depression and moral questioning of these people's lives as they try to make a living and maybe find love. In the end, the message becomes about accepting responsibility for one's actions and having a strong, small core of trusting people around you.
1957 middle America never looked so thoroughly recreated (that I have seen in years) as it did here. Authentically, I would give this film the highest rating with the props, cars, interiors and landscapes.
I had to watch this film twice to take in everything shown on screen; and since the only DVD extra is the commentary I wanted to learn how they did the dog scenes and find out where the locations of filming were. I was initially going to rate this lower with how miserable the emotions are throughout the film and how depressed one feels at the end, but then I realized that everyone had done their job to a superb level.
I would highly recommend listening to the commentary for those interested in independent film production and for those that want to learn about the locales shown. The highlight of the film for me has to be Sam Shepherd singing at the top of his lungs in an old baseball park. The man has many talents. Be sure to stay for the credits as he sings again. SPOILERS: The low points would be for those animal lovers as the dog fight scenes are tough and the ending is very sad, for the animals and for the people.
A rated R film for the sex scenes and the language. No other extras to speak of, and the DVD art should have shown Strickland as she has all of the toughest scenes and much more screen time than Drea."
W. Shope | Gastonia, NC | 08/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A few scenes from this movie were filmed at the drive-in theater that close friends of mine own. I work there during the summer so although I didn't get to meet the cast, I found out some interesting information. This movie is based on a true story. It is a wonderful movie and it made me absolutely adore Jason Patrick. It is worth every penny purchasing this movie."