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(aka "The Projectionist" )

 

directed by Ryan M. Kennedy
USA 2015

 

Jacob Nicks (Russ Russo, DONNER PASS) is a war veteran suffering from undiagnosed PTSD and insomnia who works as a projectionist at an all-night movie theater by night while his daytime activities are more questionable. The only regular people in his life are his boss Frank (Joseph R. Gannascoli, THE SOPRANOS) who only tolerates Nicks because he has no other preoccupations to distract him from the job, Sully (Robert Miano, DONNIE BRASCO) who develops the film that Nicks shoots with discretion and does not press him for details on his life, homeless Marlon (Doug E. Doug, COOL RUNNINGS) who only gets service at the local diner when he shares a table with Nicks, his police detective brother Tom (Dominik Tiefenthaler, BLOOD TIES) who puts up with his brother's odd behavior because of his own guilt for not serving with him, and hooker Ivana (Natasha Alam, SHADOW PUPPETS) who is reluctant about giving him the closeness he wants even though she pities him.

Nicks idolizes his father who was also in the military and was killed when he was a child, but he feels that he has failed him even though he did not break under an interrogation while another soldier was tortured to death (the images of which torment him whenever he manages to close his eyes). A strange man in a trenchcoat has been following Nicks back and forth to work, and he knows he is not imagining it because Marlon can see the guy too (if he's not just humoring him); however, it is not this strange persecution but a series of mounting personal betrayals (including one perpetrated by Nicks himself) that further isolates Nicks and has him seeking escape from his inner torments in drugs. When even the drugs can no longer help him, Nicks decides to take himself out of the picture, but not before he cleans up some of city's scum (into which he lumps those who have betrayed him).

The title AN ACT OF WAR - a film that used its KickStarter funds not for production but for the costs of self-distribution (including copies to contributors before the film was picked up by Revolver) - is rather misleading for a character drama. While there is some vigilantism, the film - original title: THE PROJECTIONIST - focuses on the deadened world of its protagonist (rendered with pretentious-yet-exquisitely-beautiful monochrome photography) and the inner workings of the quiet, unassuming type and what may have caused them to one day snap. Since the film so identifies with the character - and Russo's extremely studied performance - it seems at first to endorse the views of his pre-climax monologue, which are really no more different than you hear in some manifestos. Some might find the ending a cheat or a cop-out, but it remains tragic and moving in this assured directorial debut.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 31 March 2015 (USA)

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DVD Review: Revolver Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Revolver Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:39:00
Video

1.81:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.72 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Revolver Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.81:1

Edition Details:
� none

DVD Release Date: March 31st, 2015
Amaray

Chapters 8

 

 

 

Comments

Revolver Entertainment's single-layer, progressive, widescreen DVD is a respectable presentation of this Arri Alexa-lensed flick with its low-key, diffused, noir-ish monochrome photography. The only audio option is a Dolby Digital stereo track that suits the restrained mix of this dialogue-heavy film. Sadly, there are no extras (even a trailer or start-up trailers), which is unfortunate since this is the director's first film and only the self-distribution costs were funded by KickStarter. Some information about the project's development would have been nice.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Revolver Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

 



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