A new week, a new batch of dramas to discuss. First we have The Road Within. The film shines a light on mental health issues. The lead has Tourette’s and is put into a clinic where his roommate has OCD and is a germaphobe. He meets a young woman with an eating disorder. They don’t want to be in the clinic so they steal a car and hit the road. His father (played by Robert Patrick) and their therapist (Kyra Sedgwick) go after them. It’s not quite a coming of age story, but all three characters learn about life and how they can have love and friendship while having these disorders. It’s a nice little movie, but it won’t wow you. It’s well acted and the more I see of Zoe Kravitz and Dev Patel, the more I like.
Next we have Spike Island. The film seems like the British version of Detroit Rock City. My biggest issue with it is that I had no idea what they were saying half the time. I probably should have watched the movie with subtitles because even though I speak English, I’m an American and I didn’t understand the British speak at all. Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke is in it and I barely understood her. The film is about a band trying to see The Stone Roses and get their demo listened to. I know of The Stone Roses, but couldn’t name a song of theirs. The music isn’t bad, but you can see where the film is going. I’ve never quite understood what all the Brit kids were rebelling against during the punk days and later on so I don’t quite get why these kids were so full of angst. It’s not bad, but it’s hard to understand and feels very similar to other films.
Third we have The Encore of Tony Duran. Another by the numbers film about a guy trying to get his life resurrected. Tony Duran was an up and comer who could sing and act, but his life fell apart and he gained weight and became debt riddled. With the help of a friend (Elliot Gould), he gets the motivation to get back into shape and start his career again. The film is ok and you can see where it’s going. It doesn’t really do anything new and if I’m being honest, the character itself kind of bugged me. You want to root for him and I can’t say I always did. He was his own worst enemy and in the beginning made terrible choices so I didn’t find myself wanting him to succeed. But by the end you can see he changed and wanted more from life and to have a good relationship with his son.
Last we have Echoes of War. James Badge Dale stars as a Civil War soldier returning home to his sister, his nephew and brother in law. The farm isn’t going so well and Dale’s character starts to see why. A rival family lead by William Forsythe is taking animals that aren’t theirs. But there’s more to the story and people doing things with others they shouldn’t. Dale and Ethan Embry are both pretty solid in the film, but not much happens till the end. It’s slow at times, but it looks nice and the acting is good. Don’t expect a full blown Western and you might like it.