Anchor Bay Films

Snake and Mongoose (2013, Wayne Holloway)

I’m trying to think of something nice to say about Snake and Mongoose because pretty soon it’s going to seem like I’m picking on it. Fred Dryer. As in “Hunter” Fred Dryer. He’s in it for a bit. He’s having fun and still has some personality.

Sadly, the main actors have none. Richard Blake is a little bit better than Jesse Williams, but Williams is atrocious so it doesn’t make much difference. The rest of the supporting cast is even worse, though a lot of the fault might be the script. Alan Paradise and director Holloway write in one liners. It’s okay, of course, since the actors don’t act so much as wait to recite their crappy lines.

But the film’s incompetent in some ways it shouldn’t be. Holloway has a very limited budget. The way he shoots cars, one has to wonder if he promised the owners of these classic vehicles they’d be presented well. Shame Holloway didn’t put the attention into how he was shooting scenes.

Budget aside, the problem is director Holloway. He has no imagination for his small budget. He just pretends what he’s doing works and it doesn’t. More than half the film is old footage of the actual events, but there’s no attempt to integrate the scenes stylistically. Experienced cinematographer John Bailey doesn’t help. Sure, it’s digital, but Bailey does an awful job.

Snake and Mongoose’s badly made, badly acted. It’d do better as an historical clip reel than as an inept docudrama.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Wayne Holloway; written by Alan Paradise and Holloway; director of photography, John Bailey; edited by Richard Halsey and Nicholas Wayman-Harris; music by Gary Barlough; production designer, John Mott; produced by Robin Broidy and Stephen Nemeth; released by Anchor Bay Films.

Starring Jesse Williams (Don ‘The Snake’ Prudomme), Richard Blake (Tom ‘Mongoose’ McEwen), Ashley Hinshaw (Lynn Prudhomme), Kim Shaw (Judy McEwen), Maxwell Perry Cotton (Jamie), Fred Dryer (Ed Donovan), John Heard (Wally Parks), Julie Mond (Wendy), Leonardo Nam (Roland Leong), Ian Ziering (Keith Black), Tim Blake Nelson (Mike McAllister) and Noah Wyle (Arthur Spear).


Meet Monica Velour (2010, Keith Bearden)

In the listless younger man, experienced older woman genre, Meet Monica Velour is a painfully obvious modernization (the older woman is a former porn star, the younger man is an… avid fan). I use the ellipses because Meet Monica Velour’s protagonist is the finest example of the stalkers of the eighties growing up to be the leading men of today (which There’s Something About Mary proudly started).

The lead of Monica Velour is Dustin Ingram who does not look seventeen, even if he was nineteen shooting the film. He’s also not very good. When the film’s about him being this awkward youth (he lives with grandfather Brian Dennehy), the film’s really weak. Bearden fails to properly establish Dennehy as the grandfather, instead making one wonder why the kid’s calling his dad “Pop Pop.” It’s also unclear the kid’s a kid. The high school graduation scene seems out of place.

But Bearden’s casting of Jee Young Han as the object of Ingram’s affection is interesting, as she’s not a skinny beauty queen.

Velour gets consequential once Kim Cattrall arrives (as the titular character). She gives a stunning performance; I never thought Cattrall had the ability she shows here. Every line delivery is revelatory.

Great supporting (glorified cameo) from Keith David, who should have been in it more. The same goes for Dennehy.

Bearden doesn’t seem to have realized the lead role needed to be someone besides a boring kid (especially one played by Ingram).

But Cattrall’s performance makes Velour significant.

1.5/4★½

CREDITS

Written and directed by Keith Bearden; director of photography, Masanobu Takayanagi; edited by Naomi Geraghty; music by Andrew Hollander; production designer, Lou A. Trabbie III; produced by Gary Gilbert and Jordan Horowitz; released by Anchor Bay Films.

Starring Kim Cattrall (Linda), Dustin Ingram (Tobe), Sam McMurray (Ronnie), Tony Cox (Club Owner), Jee Young Han (Amanda), Daniel Yelsky (Kenny), Keith David (Claude) and Brian Dennehy (Pop Pop).


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