Blu-ray Review “Rites of Passage”

Actors: Christian Slater, Stephen Dorff, Wes Bentley, Ryan Donowho
Directors: W. Peter Iliff
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Run Time: 102 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

“Rites of Passage” packs a decent cast including Christian Slater, Stephen Dorff and Wes Bentley. Not A-list but definitely notable stars. The story itself takes too long to get started and ends up not delivers much before its close. There is some decent laughs, even though they are not really warranted. It ends me being a bit too formulaic for me, personally. I would say if you have nothing better to do on a rainy day, this might be worth a rent but its not special.

Premise: An anthropology student, invites a few of his classmates, and their professor to his family’s abandoned ranch – once a sacred Chumash burial ground – to recreate an ancient ceremony. There they meet Nathan’s psychotic older brother and his drug fueled friend. The students then embark on a rite of passage that no one will ever forget.

The Blu-ray presentation is good enough and holds up for the format. The 1080p video works well for the film. The audio included is a sharp DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. The special features are lacking quite a bit. There is only a short “The Making Of” featurette and a trailer included. So if you are looking for commentary or anything decent to companion the film, you will be disappointed.

Film Review “The Last Rites of Joe May”

Directed By: Joe Maggio
Starring: Dennis Farina
Distributed by: Tribeca Film
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 103 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I was originally asked to review this film to prepare for a review with star Dennis Farina. So I had no idea what it was or what to expect and I was real happy I watched this film. It is quite the gem and Farina is a one man show that plays one of his best character roles to date. The film is yet another recent gem from Tribeca Film following recent films I’ve seen “The High Cost of Living” and “Janie Jones”.

Joe May (Dennis Farina) is a guy who gets out of the hospital finding that his life is turned upside down. His apartment is re-rented, his belongings are gone, his friends have forgotten him. Joe is an aging short money hustler, who has been looking for his big break around every corner. With his health fading and options running out it is Joe has one last chance to achieve greatness.

Dennis Farina is known for playing the tough guy…someone you don’t want to mess with but this role was made for Dennis Farina. Dennis is vulnerable but still tough and he still kick an ass. The roles I can recall for Dennis Farina have him in a supporting role and this one really gives him a chance to shine. The role was pretty physical as well and I give him a lot of credit in fact. Overall it is a very tight drama with a great story and notable performances.