A deadly game of Russian Roulette, one last session of group therapy.
Written By: Erik Krystopher Myers
Directed By: Erik Krystopher Myers
Genre: Drama / Thriller
As I popped Roulette into my DVD player a lot of things were going on in my mind. A great name full of promise, with a nice package to boot. Let me be clear here. A nice package and description doesn't always equal a good film. As we all know, time spend on marketing 'Could' and sometimes does spell disaster for an independent film. Picking up an Indie flick that looks awesome and doesn't deliver can be much, much more harmful than expecting an OK indie flick, knowing it's an Indie flick. That way, if it's really good you're not expecting it and... Well... You get the point. It's a catch 22 really. You need the package to look good to sell it. But if it looks and sounds 'to' good it becomes over-hyped, and that my friends can be bad. Very bad. But as you no doubt know from my rating, Roulette does deliver. And I got to say "Damn ladies and gents." You guys put together a really good flick with a great twist ending! And from me to you, thanks for the entertainment!
Roulette starts off as you may expect. Three people. Lots of booze. Some bullets and a gun. Pretty straight forward. Then the viewers are treated to a series of flashbacks, that show how each respective person ended up playing the deadly game. This classic format of past tenses works perfectly here, leading up to the very... very cool climax. And I gotta say this to the director/writer Erik Kristopher Myers. Awesome ending. Those last few minutes completely changed the dynamic of the film. And not in a bad way, or a cheesy way. The ending added to the story and gave Roulette some of the cool factor lacking in a lot of Indies. Loved the twist!
Roulette also happens to be one of the few Indie flicks I've recently watched, that really has some good characters. And by good characters I mean good actors, doing good jobs with good material. It didn't seem like anyone in the film was sidelined. Even the supporting and extra actors kept the bar high. There may have been a line or two here and there that just didn't seem right, but 99% of the film has everyone bang on in their roles. The casting for this production was top notch! If you want to see a list of actors in this film I would gladly shake hands with, and ask for an autograph... Just look up the credits. That's really the easiest way to say it. The actors can make or break a film. A bad film can become good with the right people. And the total opposite. In Roulette, the cast were lucky. The source material was great and together, they played a big part in pushing the film well past average. As I'm sure you can tell, this all worked completely for our benefit. Good show!
Finally I'd like to write a little on the production itself. Overall everything seemed done well, by a group of people who know what they're doing. Crisp audio. Nice camera work and some slick editing. My only complaint is with what I would think to be the most important element of the film. The entire Roulette sequence. The springboard for the film itself! I understand it was dark and stylized on purpose. But for me, three quarters of it was so dark I couldn't really make out anything. It was especially annoying when you knew the acting was spot on, but couldn't see the actors faces. I even altered the settings on my TV (very neutral setting normally) so I could see what was happening. The result was a mess and I had to reset the picture again. Really a minor thing in the grand scheme of things. And although dark, very few spots were so dark I couldn't tell what was happening. I just felt that a little more light there may have pushed Roulette into a perfect score. Ya. I'm pretty much only talking about one long scene in the film, broken up in pieces. But when the one scene is so important... Well, you get the idea.
Roulette is a great movie and a hell of a pleasure to watch easily earning it's solid 4.5 / 5.0.
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