Movie Reviews

Published on August 1st, 2014 | by Neil Jordan


Cheap Thrills and Lucky Bastard Review

Greetings & Salutations Fellow Film Viewers!

Today … We have a bit of a switch. A few thrills …. a bit of action …. a dark
comedy that explores just how far people are willing to go for quick cash no matter how low
or how insane the proposition might be.

‘Cheap Thrills’ premiered at SXSW last year on March 8th and stars Pat Healy, Ethan Embry,
comedian David Koechner, Sara Paxton, Amanda Fuller, Brighton Sharbino, and is the first film
for director by E.L. Katz.

Craig (Healy), is an auto mechanic with a wife and young child who has not only just lost
his job, but is unable to pay his rent and upon returning home finds an eviction notice.
Realing from this downward spiral, he retreats to a local bar where he happens upon an
old high school friend, Vince (Embry). In comes Colin (Koechner) and Violet (Paxton).
A somewhat eccentric and perhaps bored couple who just happen to have a ton of cash. After
sharing drinks, Colin and Violet start to issue a somewhat ridiculous list of dares to carryout
in exchange for money. The random tasks start out harmless enough if not funny, but later become
violent and for lack of a better description, psychotic in this movie viewers ‘professional’ opinion.

This movie starts off with you feeling sorry for Craig and sympathizing with his desperation
but evolves into laughs, and at some points, you find yourself asking ‘Really? ….
They’re actually going to do that?!’ or “Did he just do that?” After a while, the movie
develops into a ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign of sorts and bounces back and fourth between
that and the comical parts within the film.

This movie is most definitely NOT one for the kids. However, it’s great if your 18 and over
and you’re staying in on a Friday or Saturday night or your at a party with your fellows.
I’m going to go ahead and give it 3 out of 5 stars. The movie is worth watching, but all
the while this is all going on in the film you find yoursef thinking ‘How many people
would actually do that for money?’ The thought is almost too disturbing. Get the download,
get some friends together, some snacks + drinks, and build a party around it.
This is your friendly neighborhood freelance photographer ‘The CameraMan’ … and
i’ll catch you at the movies.




Lucky Bastard Review


Greetings & Salutations Folks!

Please excuse my abscence …
Your friendy neighborhood freelance photographer had locked himself away in his studio
for the past several weeks and missed out on the beginning of summer and from what I hear,
some excellent movies as well.

Now, i’m back though and was presented with an unusual selection indeed ….
Today, for your consideration … the latest from the ‘found footage’ genre in the grand
tradition of ‘The Blair Witch Project’ …. ‘Lucky Bastard’.

‘Lucky Bastard’ is a mystery/suspense/film directed by Robert Nathan and co-written by
Nathan and Lukas Kendall.

The film stars Don McManus, Betsey Rue, Jay Paulson, Chris Wyle, Catherine Annette,
Lee Kholafai, Lanny Joon, and Clint Brink.

‘Lucky Bastard’ tells the story of Ashley Saint (Rue) the most popular adult star on
the ‘Lucky Bastard’ website. Mike (McManus) who owns the website and directs all of
it’s content, convinces Ashley to participate in a contest on the website in which
the winner will get a chance to film a porno with Ashley. The contest’s unsuspecting
winner Dave (Paulson), a shy introverted man, is shuttled to L.A. to be introduced to Ashley
and then to the house/set to shoot the porno. Things quickly spiral out of control though
when it becomes clear that the winner of the contest was meant to be humiliated rather
than sleep with Ashley.

The film brings up many interesting points in relation to the porngraphic industry.
Obviosuly, a lot of people watch pornographic films. But very rarely does anyone stop
and think about who those peope in the films really are. Are these actors in the films
there because they WANT to be in that industry? Are they trying to use adult films as
a stepping stone to bigger and better pursuits? Or are they there because of the
quick cash? Do the peope who act in adult films have to worry about obsessed fans or
stalkers like Hollywood actors and actresses?

The film starts off with the adult stars and the folks who work behind the scenes going
about their business like any other day-to-day job and drags on a bit but about halfway
through, everything starts to unravel and THAT is were the drama an suspense kick in.
I’d say the film would be perfect for seeing on a dark Saturday or Friday night with the
lights turned down. Make it part of a marathon of thrillers and or scary movies.
I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. I’ll tll you this much … I would sure as hellfire
watch THIS than that god-aweful excuse for a sequal ‘The Blair Witch 2’.

This is The CameraMan and on behalf of my fellows at Skewed & Reviewed, thanks for reading
and we’ll see you at the movies.

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