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Every 21 Seconds (2018)
This film pulls no punches
I'm becoming more and more of an indie film fan because of films like this. Every 21 Seconds is based on the true story of brain injury survivor. No spoilers, but after watching this film, I was shocked at how devastating brain injuries can be for someone as well as their loved ones. No VFX, no CGI, nothing animated, just raw, honest compelling storytelling brought to life by a great cast.
Leading that great cast is Shannon Brown playing the main character, the brain injury survivor. This is one of the most inspiring performances you'll see in cinema period. His ability to draw you in is exceptional especially when you take into account that he's essentially playing two very different characters in one, before and after the brain injury. There were multiple times when you could literally hear the audience gasp. I've seen Brown in a few other films in the past like Halloweed, Finding Hope and some gangster movie that I cant remember the title of, but anyway, this guy is a true artist, I'm a fan for sure. Comedy, drama or whatever, Brown can carry a film at a high level. Also of note, Kelly Thiebaud, who plays the wife of Brown's character, the female lead. You can't help but feel drawn to her and her struggles to take care of the man she loves. You laugh with her, you cry with her and you really just wanna give her a hug. A very powerful performance and her chemistry with Brown is very strong. It's easy to forget that you're actually watching actors when these two are on screen together which is a strong compliment to them both.
The supporting cast keeps you engaged as well. I was particularly impressed with Jimmie Tolliver who plays our hero's best friend. Robyn Coffin has a nice turn as a quirky yet caring therapist. This is an intense ride, not for the faint of heart. It's clear that the filmmakers responsible for this gem was not trying to appeal to the masses, rather they were focused on making a honest, gritty depiction of a real brain injury survivor. I feel for anyone that has a brain injury and their loved ones. Check this film out, you'll be glad you did.
Dope film, literally!
If you are one for a raunchy, goofy comedic adventure then this film will sit with you very well. With that being said, this isn't a movie striving to be nominated for an academy award in any sense of the term and therefore it shouldn't be treated that way, rather it's perfect if you are in the mood for many late night laughs with your buddies, toked up or sober. The blend of the personalities behind Trent and Joey drive the movies comedic value considering the fact that they're polar opposites for the most part, but at times are the same person making the audience love their bond that much more. Both Shannon Brown and Simon Rex do a great job of fulfilling their individual roles. I've seen Brown play some pretty intense roles in the past, this role was quite the departure from those, but he was still great carrying the lead role, Trent. The other lead, Simon Rex, played a character that he's probably used to playing, although probably not a stretch for him, he still absolutely delivered a strong performance. Most of the supporting cast is good, a nice balance of witty and sane characters throughout the plot. Lloyd, played by Robert Craighead, really stood out from all the other supporting players, he was a riot. The plot is kind of hard to follow during the first part of the movie, but as the film nears its ending it gradually clears up more and more which is one of my few and minor complaints about this film as a comedy. Overall, the film does a great job of doing what I believe it aimed to accomplish.