RACHEL AND THE
Blog Article on DIVINE MANIPULATION OF THE THREADS premiere
THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL
EXCERPT FROM JOHN BEIFUSS' REVIEW
Just two weeks after "Act One" played for two weeks at Studio on the Square, Malco gives another run to a local production. Produced by Rusted Sun Films, the new made-in-Memphis feature "Divine Manipulation of the Threads" gets a four-day booking Monday through Thursday at the Studio on the Square (filling the no-budget indie void left by the International Film Festival, which ends Sunday).
A sort of combination of "Oceans Eleven" and "Reservoir Dogs," "Divine Manipulation" --named for a phrase in Sun-Tzu's "The Art of War" -- represents a Hulk-length leap in quality over Rusted Sun's previous films "The Visitor" and "A Cowboy's Silver Lining," both of which achieved some success on the local festival circuit. The photography is crisp and colorful, the Memphis locations are well-utilized and the script contains some genuine surprises, even if it veers perhaps too cavalierly between gruesome violence (a finger severing) and broad comedy (robbers stake out a bank wearing Groucho noses, a Mexican poncho and a Hunter S. Thompson disguise).
Populated by underworld characters with names like "Stone Free Joey" and "Ian the Fist" and with many faces that will be familiar to viewers of local movies, the film was directed by Anthony Howald and written and edited by Bevan B. Bell who also stars as Ash, a Brad Pitt-style smart-mouthed crook whose confederates include "Pooch" (Joseph B. Smith), Mrs. Mifune (Anita Howald) and "The Guitar Man" (the excellent Ralph Hatley, who should play J. Johnah Jameson if J.K. Simmons ever leaves the "Spider-Man" series). As the films' end credits state: "Once again this film was made with NO BUDGET and free time. Yes it can be done. Just not easily. Or Quickly."
(3 out of 4 Stars -- thanks John!)
Copyright Rusted Sun Films 2003-2006