Monday, August 4, 2014

Pieter Gasperz & Sabrina Gennarino's AFTER tracks the trying turmoil of a fractured family

After what, you might wonder? I did, and finally determined that this movie's title had to do with "after" the diagnosis of Alzheimer's or some other sort of dementia was laid upon one of the movie's characters. But after watching the entire film, and seeing the dedication at its end -- For those who have fallen. To those who remain. -- and then taking into consideration the movie's time frame (it's set back a decade or more), I suspect it has more to do with the aftermath of the 9/11 attack. In any case, AFTER, a thoroughly tiresome and woefully conceived and executed little movie written by Sabrina Gennarino (who also plays one of the ensemble roles) and directed by Pieter Gaspersz (shown below), is such a plodding affair about a family of such clueless assholes, starting with mom and dad on down, that I really don't know why the film is being given a theatrical release.

There are some very good actors in the cast -- John Doman, Kathleen Quinlan, Pablo Schreiber, among others (Ms Gennarino is pretty good, herself) -- and god knows, they give it their best shot. But the screenplay manages to be both repetitive and ridiculous. Spoilers ahead: After treating us to his impossible prejudices, Dad has such a sudden change of heart and mind and probably liver and kidney, too, that you can only wonder what miracle has happened. Further, when his business is utterly trashed so that the big job that needs to be done can't be, he saves the day by calling in every able bodied man in town -- all of whom seem to be available and versed in stone work! If you buy this kind of nonsense, by all means, line up now for tickets. After spending the first two-thirds of the film showing us what nitwits most of her characters (shown at bottom) really are, Ms Gennarino, shown below, does one of those "happy ending" rush jobs that defy explanation, gravity and every other rule of science and art.

Full disclosure: the press screening link I watched via Vimeo worked so poorly that it stopped, started and skipped every couple of minutes. I've only has this bad an experience with one other film --  the Easy Money sequel -- yet that one I enjoyed immensely and gave it a good review. After I did not enjoy, and I cannot in good conscience recommend it to anyone except maybe those of you so new to film viewing that you're still able to bask in just about anything and everything tossed your way.

The movie -- from Paladin, in partnership with Accretion Films -- opens this Friday, August 8, in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and New York City, and next Friday, August 15, in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Tampa. You can see all currently scheduled playdates, with cities and theaters listed, by clicking here. The movie will be released simultaneously to VOD platforms nationwide through Virgil Films.

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