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How to Beat a Bully

USA 2015
produced by
Paul Rocha, Sofia Monroe, Robert Franklin Dudelson (executive), Stephen Langford (executive), Marilyn Anderson (executive), Jackeline Olivier (executive), Wes Anderson (executive) for Dream Factory Entertainment
directed by Doug Bilitch
starring Grant McLellan, Eric Lauritzen, Elise Angell, Ian Tucker, Bryan Yoshi Brown, Kade Pait, Vince Donvito, Micah Lyons, Griffen Beebe, Robert E. Weiner, Kenn Schmidt, Ed Dyer, Pamela Munro, Amy Lyndon, Pearce Joza, Kim Hamilton, Stanley Brown, Dan Glenn, John Combs, Matt Masella, Marilyn Anderson, Richard Rossner, Jackeline Olivier
written by Marilyn Anderson, Richard Rossner, music by Misha Segal, songs by Reverse Order, Rudiger

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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12 year old Cory's (Grant McLellan) family has just moved from New Jersey to California, and he couldn't be less happy about it, being pushed into a whole new enviroment, just because his father Joe (Eric Lauritzen) has lost his job back East and now puts his modest professional aspirations over his son's well-being. But things get a lot worse on the first day of school, when Cory becomes the target of a group of bullies led by yound Darryl (Ian Tucker). Being all on his own and not especially threatening in built, Cory hasn't got much to fall on to defend himself, and whenever he tries to bring this topic up with dad and mum (Elise Angell), they are unable to see the problem and just suggest he ought to respond with kindness and stuff like that. He tries, but soon has to realize it gets him nowhere. But he does realize that he can't beat the bullies with actions, so he has to beat them with words - and after seeing a mafia flick, he finds the right language for his foes in school: Mob talk. And since Cory's good at making up stories, and he has his father backing them up rather accidently and without knowing what his son's going for, Cory's the mightiest man in school in no time. But even if he tries to use his powers for good (like to prevent bullying others too), soon the story spreads, and soon everybody in town believes he's a mafia hitman. Of course, he really is a insurance salesman, but where's the difference, both offer protection. However, things really get out of control when Joe is hired by two mobsters (Vince Donvito, Micah Lyons) to take out an associate of theirs (Ed Dyer) who might be a risk to the family, believing Joe to be an actual hitman ... and of course, the situation soon gets out of hand, and Joe's real (harmless) identity is found out - and it's up to Cory to save him, a 12 year old who pretended to be a Mafia don ...


How to Beat a Bully proves to be a very entertaining movie for the whole family - because it doesn't try to hard. Oh, don't get me wrong there, it does most certainly go for quality, but it doesn't give its last shirt just to be squeaky clean family entertainment, instead it tells a fun story that borrows from many genres (first and foremost the gangster flick of course), does feature some off-beat situations and colourful characters, and tries way harder to just be good entertainment than deliver a wholesome message (though that's there somewhere as well). And thanks to a direction that's subtle enough and a solid ensemble cast featuring many a great character actor, this one's really loads of fun!!!


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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