ON MAY 29 | IN MOVIE REVIEWS | BY MICHAEL PARSONS | WITH NO COMMENTS
3 ½ out of 5 stars
“The only thing that ever got in crime’s way were the criminals”.
Stone-faced crime boss Theresa James (R & B artist/actress Tia Dae) delivers a lengthy allocution on criminal behavior to Marcell (Dominique Spencer), an underling who has unknowingly been caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar. Her words are wise, even poetic, though it seems like an awful lot of wisdom (and creativity) to waste on someone who’s about to get waxed. “Welcome to your future,” she says as he meets his demise.
thickIt’s to be expected, I suppose. These guys never seem to pick up on insinuation, even when they know they’ve messed up (an exception would be the guy from “Lethal Weapon 2” who wanted to make sure he wasn’t standing on plastic when summoned into the boss’s office). And almost invariably, the turgid speech that precedes their punishment serves only to emphasize the unhealthy ego of the speaker – often an overblown or cartoonish villain with little substance to their words.
If “Thick” starts off looking a touch self-important, it quickly finds its equilibrium within the stage-worthy performances and a script that has something to say. Dae’s monotone Theresa is less sinister than pragmatic, possibly a metaphor for the country’s pre-occupation with work and financial stress, among other things. She fits the bill as the steely-eyed crime boss, virtually disconnected from anything that might distract her or expose a weakness. Her position, as we see, is a precarious one, and somewhere beneath the virtually expressionless demeanor lies a deep-seated paranoia, which bubbles over when her wife Roni (Pascale Piquion) shows even the slightest hint of independence.
The film is part “The L Word”, part “King of New York”, and Dae’s character, who is both protagonist and antagonist, owes a little something to Christopher Walken’s Frank White, who occasionally liked to unload his intellectual side on a disloyal employee or two before burying them with their betrayal money. But this ain’t the ’80s, and a relatively meager $500,000 in “get out” money stashed in Theresa’s house suggests that times are tough, even for less legitimate business enterprises.
Scheming employees, dirty cops, and a deteriorating personal life are part of this nasty equation. Trusted advisor “Lefty” Eggleston (Ronald Benson-El) plots to take over the empire while assassin Nina (Chaseedaw Giles) plans to run off with Roni , with whom she’s been having an affair. And the crooked detectives in Theresa’s pocket (Caleb Jackson and Mick McGuire) are looking for an early out, and a hefty retirement package to boot.
It might sound like it’s gearing up for a finale like “True Romance”, but “Thick” is definitely more chess match than bloodbath. The characters, though, are no less cut-throat than in more violent contemporary urban crime dramas. Save a few requisite executions, which are carried out in shadowy Washington, DC area settings like a sewer tunnel or in the back seat of a car, we mostly watch our characters manipulating their way to what they want. Local writer/directors Cheryl Brown and Anthony M. Greene (“The Henchman’s War”) have crafted something that looks like a CliffsNotes for an HBO drama series, tightly cinched in a 70-minute package. The micro-budgeted “Thick” covers a lot of ground while never appearing overly ambitious, with fine editing by Omar Juarez (who is also the cinematographer) and Manuel Santos. There are many earmarks of a great crime saga here, and it will be interesting to see if Brown and Greene revisit the material.
about the author: michael parsons
Husband. Father. Ex-salesperson. Movie nut. After pestering my parents for their commentary on “Star Wars” when I was four years old, my mind went into a creative frenzy. I’d imagined something entirely different than the actual film, which I didn’t end up seeing until its 1979 re-release at the Uptown Theater in Washington, DC. This was my formal introduction to the cinema. During that long wait, which felt like an eternity to a child, my mind was being molded by more corrosive stuff like “Trilogy of Terror” and “Rosemary’s Baby”, most of which I’d conned various babysitters into letting me watch on television ( I convinced one poor lady that “Jaws” was actually “Moby Dick”). The folks were pretty strict in that regard, so the less appropriate it was for a kid to watch, the more I was fascinated by it. Horror staples like “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th”, as well as lesser-known low-budget fare like “Madman”, “Sleepaway Camp” and “Pieces” all ended up sneaking their way into the VHS on a regular basis. Since then, I’ve developed an obsession with the entire film industry. Even though I watch and review a wide breadth of films these days, my appreciation for the campy, poorly lit micro-budgeters still lends itself to my evolving perspective on movies just as much as the summer blockbusters and Oscar contenders. As I recall my trips to the movie theater, I realize that this stuff is about much more than just a fleeting piece of entertainment. A couple years ago, I was finally given the opportunity to lend my opinion on films to a publication, The Rogers Revue, with a subsequent run at Reel Film News. It’s been both a privilege and a gateway to what we’re doing now. Most of my experience has come from interviewing independent filmmakers, who consistently promote innovation. The filmmaking process is grueling and relatively unforgiving. Fellow film enthusiast Eddie Pasa and I have created DC Filmdom as a medium for film reviews, discussion, and (inevitably) some debate. And so, the creative frenzy continues. (Michael is a member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association).
I really gotta make updating this a priority BUT I am here to play catchup. Now the last time we spoke, Anthony Greene’s “THICK” had already screened I believe twice … BUT here is some news for you … THICK since then has screened 2 more times! Again in Washington, D.C at Busboys and Poets (dope ass spot) and we brought it to screen in my hometown, Baltimore, M.D at the Landmark Theater, downtown HarborEast! It was a sold-out crowd in DC & and a sizable one at the Baltimore screening!
“Busboys and Poets
As far as whats next for “THICK” … you’ll just have to stay tuned ! But as always thank you everyone for your time and support on this fantastic production. I have attended every screening for the film and the response has been phenomenal! We cannot thank you enough!
And if you haven’t seen the trailer you can check it out below. In the film I play the role of “Marcel”. Also check out the “Skyrocket Productions” film page for updates pertaining to “THICK” and other productions out of their camp https://www.facebook.com/SkyrocketProductions .
THICK Trailer 2014
Above is the alternative Theatrical Poster for Anthony Greene’s Feature length Crime-Thriller “Thick“. In the film I play the role of “Marcell”. As always #Staytuned for updates regarding this production. Also, if you havent already like the production company’s Official Facebook page at:https://www.facebook.com/SkyrocketProductions. Not to mention if you havent already “Like” my Facebook page as well at:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Actor-Dominique-Antonio-Spencer/104852579588294 . Thank you everyone for your time and support!
Trailer & Premiere Photos from the Red Carpet Premiere of Altorro Black’s Comedy/Drama feature film “Bachelorette’s Degree”
Here is the trailer/Theatrical poster for the film (as seen above) for my latest production, Actor/Director Altorro Black’s feature length Comedy/Drama film “Bachelorette’s Degree” Which had its Red-Carpet Premiere at the Angelika Film Center & Cafe in Fairfax,Virginia! The trailer can be seen below. You can see me in the film in principal in the role of “Robbie Lewis”. The film had two showings and packed the house for the first showing ! Great performances all around ! The film is now being prepped for its festival run, and to be shopped to distributors ! Below the trailer you can catch a few photos of myself with some really talented actors as well as good friends of mine. As always #Staytuned here for production updates regarding this film ALSO if you want to see more Red Carpet photos from the film’s premiere (cast/crew) also check out the films Official Fan Page at:https://www.facebook.com/one30media
-Dominique Antonio Spencer
The first official trailer for Anthony Greene’s Thriller “THICK”/ Cast & Crew Photos at the 2013 R.I.F.E film Festival !
Official Trailer 2014
Be sure to visit my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Actor-Dominique-Spencer/104852579588294 to see the first official trailer for Anthony Greene’s Thriller “THICK” You can also see the trailer above as well ! You can check out the current theatrical poster “as seen above” for the film as well =) As always you can check back here for updates on the films production OR you can check in at the film’s Official Facebook Fan Page at: Please watch it, enjoy it, love it ! #THICK In the film you can see me in the role of “Marcel”
Im just playing catchup here and filling you guys in on what happened late last year! Well you all remember me blogging about AGreene’s Thriller “THICK”! Well it had its first screening at last years #RIFE film festival. For those who may not know what RIFE stands for, its short for “Reel Independent Film Extravaganza” ! Here numerous films are screened from all over the world, awards are given to films, and actors alike ! It is just a wonderful event that has been taken place for a number of years and is spearheaded by AGreenes production company “SkyRocket productions“! BUT theres more! The first screening of “THICK” was SOLDOUT as well as the Second Screening !! Frickin AWESOME !!I also have some pics of the cast/crew as well at the event(RIFE) for the films first screening ! Twas an awesome night and Im just thankful to have had the opportunity to be present !
Again #StayTuned for production updates regarding this film and check out some photos below of the cast and crew below !!
Dominique Antonio Spencer
Its been awhile since I have had time to update my blog due to the amount of detail I like to input within each post. So with that said if you would like to receive updates more frequently regarding my acting career please like my Facebook FanPage @: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Actor-Dominique-Spencer/104852579588294 . But without further ado lets rollout these updates regarding [Reminisce]!
The Indiegogo Page for Robbie Soto’s feature length drama film [Reminisce] is now up and running! You can check out the page at –> http://www.indiegogo.com/REMINISCE-The-Film <– . Here you can donate to the film’s production and receive some cool perks by doing so!! Also in the gallery section is a clip from the film –> CHECK IT OUT <–
Movie “Reminisce” filmed in Greencastle, Hagerstown
Shannon Lanier of Dark Ronin Productions (third from left) talks to actors Derek Hays and Dominique Spencer during a break from shooting. John Stansfield, who plays the main character in the film, sits in the foreground.
Oct. 27, 2012 11 a.m.Sunnyway Diner in Greencastle was the scene of a defiant breakup on a recent Sunday afternoon.
Beth stormed in on her boyfriend Jake and his buddy harassing some guys in a diner booth. Apparently, she had had enough of his bullying, told him it was over and stormed out.
Then the director yelled “Cut! Let’s do it again!” The actors repositioned themselves and Beth, played by Alexis Barone of Hagerstown, broke up with Jake, played by Brad Masters of Fairfax County, Va., roughly a dozen more times. The scene was part of a full day of filming at the local eatery for “Reminisce,” a play written and directed by Robbie Soto, a North Hagerstown High School graduate, which is now being turned into a full-length feature film.Scenes were shot for five weeks around Greencastle and Hagerstown.
Dark Ronin Films, a production company based in Hanover, has picked up the project and is working with Soto on producing the film, to be premiered at the Maryland Theatre next spring.
Birth of a film
Soto, 22, wrote the play during a difficult time while his mother was fighting lung cancer. When he finished the play, he showed it to his mom — five days before she passed away.
The story of “Reminisce” is the story of “a courtship of the popular girl by the school nerd,” Soto said. It’s told via a grandfather telling his granddaughters a bedtime story of how he met their grandmother. The underlying message is not to take life and loved ones for granted.
“Reminisce” was performed in January 2010 at the Maryland Theatre by Soto’s theater group, Performers of H.O.P.E. Following the performance, Soto said, “Everyone kept asking ‘Where else can this go?'” Soto connected with Shannon Lanier of Dark Ronin Films over Facebook one day, and the film version of “Reminisce” was born. “I was actually asking for advice,” Soto said. “I never thought (Lanier) would have the time to do this.”Lanier, who has worked on six other films as owner of Dark Ronin Films, brought everything Soto — whose directing background rests in theater — lacked when it came to filmmaking: Experience, knowledge and equipment. “He has been the backbone of this,” Soto said.
“Reminisce” features mostly local actors, with a few from as far as New York City and Baltimore, who are giving their time to the project for no paycheck. Soto credits his actors for their commitment to the project — “Gas is not cheap,” he said. Even those who have little or no acting experience have been an asset on set, according to Soto. “There is no weak link,” Soto said. “We have a lot of talent, a lot of passion. That’s how this is gonna get done.” Soto received more than 600 submissions to audition for the film, which was “a good problem to have” but also “a nightmare. “Filtering through the submissions, he said that he was pleased to be able to give new actors, like Greencastle native Derek Hays, a chance to work on a film.
“Everyone needs a shot,” he said. “I needed a chance; Shannon gave me that chance. To be able to give that chance to others is thrilling.”
On the Net
And now the film [Reminisce] has wrapped on principal phtography! Looking forward to what’s to come!
So to recap the updates: check out the films’ Indiegogo Page at: http://www.indiegogo.com/REMINISCE-The-Film, Write up on the film via the Herald, and the film is officially wrapped on principal photography! And if you havent already be sure to check out the film’s Facebook page at:http://www.facebook.com/ReminisceTheFilm?fref=ts while your there be sure to like it and share the page! Help spread the word!!
Thank you everyone for all your time and support and please #StayTuned for updates on this production and more!
*IMDB ALERT: Wade Brown/Scott Kelly’s Independent Feature length Horror film [Ghoul Society] is now on IMDB
Wade Brown’s feature length Horror film [Ghoul Society] is now on IMDb! You can check out the cast, crew, storyline, and more here at the films page at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2379730/
Youll also come to find out that alot of the actors cast in [Ghoul Society] have also been cast in Wade Brown’s next feature length Horror film [Girl Trouble] which has now entered principal photography! In the film I will be playing one of the lead roles “Ray McCoy”/And man I am ecstatic to be working with such a talented cast/crew which also stars: Charlie Dreizen, Scott Yokum, Sarah Snyder, Kelvin Page and many more!
As always thank you everyone for your continued support and #StayTuned!