Slice of life--and a really good one
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 02/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A surprisingly effective movie, Lotto Land works because of the characters. Set in Brooklyn, today, the theme is that of who gets the money--i.e., the money from a winning lottery ticket. The characterizations here are rich, funny, emotional, real, and absolutely involving. The plot is not as important as these characters who grab our attention almost immediately.
Writer-director John Rubino has done a terrific job of drawing the viewer into the film. The Holmes Brothers, a real band (guitar, bass, drums) are a quirky kind of Greek chorus who supply foot-tapping music along the way and whose members (three blacks, one white) are full of humor, desire, regret--just like we all are. Flo, the proprietor of the local liquor store, employs Hank, a young man whose father, Milt, is one of the band members. Hank has dreams of winning the lottery, like everybody else--and so does Joy, Flo's gorgeous niece who is, of course, Hank's age. Romance is in the air.
While the cast is mostly unknowns, they do a great job. On hand here are two seasoned pros, Paul Calderon and Luiz Guzman, undercover cops who work the streets, speak the lingo, know the residents, and bounce off each other like basketballs in the court of life (wow, pithy). One of the more obscure and intriguing cast members in a small role is Paul Lemos. In real life, he's an English school teacher and founder of Controlled Bleeding, one of the original industrial rock groups whose career spanned over 20 years.
This is a film that makes you feel good, showing that indie films when done right have all the punch, flavor, and zing of major productions. I would look forward to seeing more work from Mr. Rubino."
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw the movie and I thought it was great! It was great because I know most of the kids that were on the movie. They were the kids of the neighborhood. Those kids did a great jod! The prom setting was the best. It was real. I did not see the names of the kids or who did their wardrobe,but Mr. Rubino should make more movies using locals."