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Hard Laughter

USA 2019
produced by
Gerard Garilli, Adrian Toscano (executive) for Garilli Films, Tru Light Films
directed by Adrian Toscano
starring Gerard Garilli, Emily Esposito, Peter Panagos, Danny Lamego, Sal Garilli, Phyllis Socienski, Edward John Socienski, Anthony Leks, Justine Garilli, Steve Mason, Christina Cappelli, J.J. Pyle, Kevin Williamson, Maria Marinaro, Carol Garilli, Debbie Torsiello, Rosemarie Gonick, Sequana Capri, Allison Stefany Rodriguez, Sapphire Correa, Jessica Andrea, Krystal Elizabeth, Zanerya, John Festa, Gene Nagel, Gina Margaret D'Alessio
written by Gerard Garilli, Melissa L. White, music by Stefan Swanson

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Justin (Gerard Garilli) has but one wish in life, to become a successful comedian, successful enough to make it his career. And he knows there's just one way to achieve this, to work hard, so he's playing local comedy clubs any chance he gets, just to not miss out on the big break that mighgt just be around the corner. And he's got his brother (Danny Lamego), his girlfriend Sylvia (Emily Esposito) and his firends (Edward John Socienski, Anthony Leks) to keep him grounded. And then the big break does come, in the form of manager Lars Henry (Peter Panagos), who offers him a one year contract and promises to open doors for him. Justin at first is hesitant even, but Sylvia encourages him any which way she can - even if that means he might be more on the road than at home. At first, things work out fine, and he's soon able to buy a nice home for himself and Sylvia, but his rise to fame before long gets to Justin, as he starts to enjoy the perks that come with it a bit too much, like partying, drugs, meaningless sex with fans and the like. His friends and family try to warn him of the consequences, try to help him, try to ground him again, but he's full enough of himself by now to be beyond help - and this way it's really only a matter of time until disaster strikes ...


A rather compelling movie of the "the rise and fall of ..." category that might not tell a completely original story, but it's the way it's told that makes it work so well: This is a movie that by and large avoids exaggerations and instead brings its narrative across in a slice-of-life manner, with believable and relatable characters, and Justin as the center of attention is given a strong character arc, and one that makes one still root for him when he starts to go terribly wrong - which of course makes his journey all the more tragic. And add to that solid performances by all involved, and you've got yourself a pretty good movie.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD