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Film Review: Pieces of Talent (2014)

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SYNOPSIS:

A struggling young actress meets a guy who claims to be a filmmaker who wants to work on a project with her. Unfortunately he’s actually a deranged killer who enjoys filming people as he murders them. Will she figure it out before it’s too late or is she destined to be the star of his next snuff film?

REVIEW:

I knew very little about Pieces of Talent going into it so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I did a quick search for it online to get an idea of what it was going to be about and thought that it sounded pretty damn promising. I popped it in my DVD player with pretty high hopes and while it may not have met all of my expectations I thought that it was still pretty good. It had an interesting premise, some great acting, and some fun death scenes. Still, after all was said and done I felt like it was just missing something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it and all, but I just think that it could have been a little better.

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One of the biggest strengths of the film is that the premise is pretty awesome. It’s simple and may have been done before but it works. I liked the idea of a guy running around pretending to be a filmmaker in order to find his victims and I had a blast watching him take them out in a number of different ways. The script-which was co-written by David Long (who plays the killer)-was well-written for the most part and the film itself held my attention for the entire time, something that isn’t always easy to do. There isn’t a ton of action to be found here but that’s okay; what is going on-even in the slower scenes-was still pretty interesting and kept me engaged. Without a doubt the people behind it succeeded in making an intelligent horror film that is also interesting and exciting at times and they should be proud of that accomplishment.

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I also loved the overall tone of the movie. It is dark and depressing (like the characters, especially Charlotte) and I actually couldn’t help but feel a little down after watching it. It certainly isn’t a cheery movie so if you are depressed or just feeling sad in general you may want to wait and watch it some other day. I thought that the tone of the movie was perfect and helped show how some people have no choice but to lead sad and lonely lives while they wish for something better to come along like the main character here does. Hell, to be honest I even thought that the killer was a little depressing at times (especially toward the end) and despite the fact that he was a bat shit crazy person who liked murdering people I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for him. If you’re expecting a happy little film that makes you feel good inside you may want to look elsewhere, otherwise be thoroughly prepared to feel at least a little sad by the time you finish watching this one.

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I dug the characters and thought that the acting was top-notch as well. Kristi Ray really shines in the role of Charlotte. As I said earlier the character is sad and pitiful and I couldn’t help but feel for her. Ray does an excellent job of bringing her to life and making her such a likeable (although very depressing) character (plus she’s way easy on the eyes to boot). Barbara Weetman does an equally impressive job as Charlotte’s mom and even though there are times I just wanted to slap her I still couldn’t help but feel for her as well as she is in a pretty shitty situation with no way out. The star of the film though in my opinion was David Long who played the oddball killer. This dude is way weird and you could tell that Long had a blast playing him. He owns most scenes that he is in (especially the one where he breaks into an actor’s swimming pool which is probably the best part of the movie) and he plays off of Ray very well. I would love to see the two of them work together on something again very soon.

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On the other hand Pieces of Talent isn’t without its flaws. There isn’t a whole lot of build up to Charlotte finding out that David is really off his nut and the scene where she finds out felt really, really rushed. I think that the film could have benefitted with a couple of more scenes between the two before she found out the truth about him just to make the big revelation more powerful. Speaking of rushed, I thought that the ending was entirely too rushed and I just didn’t care for it at all. We don’t really get a huge confrontation between Charlotte and David like I was hoping for and it ends more on a whimper than a bang (actually we get a “To Be Continued” graphic at the end; something I thought was pretty lame). I also thought that it just felt like there was something missing overall and definitely think that there should have been more characters (perhaps a friend or two for Charlotte) as there are very little as it is.

I enjoyed Pieces of Talent but have to admit that it had a couple of issues that kept me from loving it as much as I should. Apparently there is going to be a sequel to it so hopefully the people behind it will fix some of these mistakes the second time around. Check it out if you get the chance, I think you will like it as much as I did.

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