Friday, February 4, 2011

Random Movie: Half Moon (2011)

Written by: PBF

***THIS REVIEW PROBABLY CONTAINS A SPOILER***

Half Moon will arrive on DVD on March 1st via Breaking Glass Pictures. It is writer/director Jason Toler’s take on the werewolf story. There are quite a bit of issues with the film, but it is impressive nonetheless.

Rose (award winning adult star Tori Black) is a hooker who like most hookers, is under strict and violent management by a pimp, and needs to make some cash. While working the streets, Rose and her fellow hooker friend Tammi are talking. Tammi tells Rose that tonight is “payday” as one of regulars will call her and he usually pays quite well and normally does not even want to have sex. Tammi asks Rose to hold her purse while she takes a piss, and ends up getting arrested. This happens to occur at the exact time that her regular, Jacob (Marek Matousek) calls her. Rose answers and needing money and knowing Tammi will be unable to make it, pretends that she is Tammi and meets Jacob at his hotel. What starts off as an awkward dinner between hooker and John, moves to quite bizarre and deadly before night’s end.

Honestly, this movie shoots itself in the foot. It has pretty terrible ensemble acting, a lot of nudity and it reeks of low budget ($100,000) all right away. An impatient viewer will become irritated and turn the film off. However, as the movie goes on, and specifically while contained in the hotel room, the film becomes very interesting and pulls you in. Tori Black in her first “legitimate” role struggles early on, as if it is more difficult for her to deliver lines instead of sex sounds, but slowly gets tolerable. Marek Matousek is actually quite good for the entire film.

The concept of the film is intriguing. Not by any means your normal werewolf story. However, the execution sort of fails. There is a large chunk of film (and ironically where some of the best acting occurs) where it is nothing more than Jacob explaining his “condition,” Rose hurling possible plot holes that the viewer may come up with and then Jacob defending them. However, this scene is largely dominated by Jacob, and thus it is not only tolerable, but quite interesting. The best way to describe this film is, “What if David Mamet wrote a werewolf picture, but with not as clever dialogue?” It relies almost entirely on (pretty much half crap/half decent) dialogue, but it has a fairly short runtime, and as mentioned before progresses from bad to good, so while uneven, it does redeem itself a bit.

It does sort of disappoint in the special effects department at the end, but, up to that point, there was nothing spectacular going on, so while it is laugh inducing, it is not insulting to the rest of the film.

Definitely interesting story and fairly decent performances. Perhaps a bit of a darker tone (in both lighting and mood) would have given it a bit more “ooh What is going to happen?” instead of the, “When is something going to happen?” feel to it, but it is not a bad start for a filmmaker by any means.

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