Saturday, December 3, 2011
RED HOOD BLACK, I'm afraid, does not belong in a theater. It belongs on a shelf in its filmmaker's room, to be shared, if requested, with friends and family. If this film had opened two weeks earlier, around the Thanksgiving holiday, I'd have chosen it for Turkey-of-the-month, if not the entire year. (But, no: That crown is still held by The Abduction of Zack Butterfield, which opened last May, and proved so ridiculous that some of us are still giggling.) Red Hook Black does not come close to the entertaining heights of unintentional "camp" as did the Butterfield business. It's just, sadly, not very good on any level.
Luis Landivar (shown at left) from a play of the same name by José Landivar (a relation, no doubt, but I could not find the actual connection), the movie tells the present-day story of two old friends from the neighborhood, Marco (Kyle Fields, below left) and Damian and their currently difficult times. Why these two would remain friends into adulthood is hard to fathom, as Marco is one singularly annoying, unpleasant clod, married to a sick wife (she's got Multiple Sclerosis) and soon leching after his nubile niece, who is more than happy to oblige. (According to the film's web site, inspiration here came, but did not rub off, partly from Arthur Miller's play A View from the Bridge.)
James Jackson, shown below, left) is saddled with a no-account younger brother who deals drugs and has zero sense of responsibility. Damian is also suffering post-traumatic stress from a fairly recent divorce.
Victoria Negri, while the role of the niece is taken by Danielle Lozeau, below.)
film about Bushwick, Brooklyn, so this one on Red Hook may lead to more films set in the borough's various communities. If so, let's hope that his filmmaking skills improve with each new location. For now, Red Hook Black -- the title of which refers to the days in which oil was found under this particular neighborhood -- will open for a week's run in New York City at the Quad Cinema this coming Friday, December 9.