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Message in a Bottle

USA 2017
produced by
Darren Barcomb, Amelia Favata, Terry Kimmel, Yvette L. Leli-Aragon, Keith Lukowski, Mark Parker, Rhonda Parker for Beaver Alley Studios
directed by Rhonda Parker
starring Matthew Owen Kozak, Emma Morrison, Jack Champion, Paul Ryan, Emmy Wolfe, Bob Bozek, Linda Mesi, Nico Clark, Tate Button, Brenda Rickert, Da Shaun Baldwin, Shawn M. Essler, Bria Melrose, Doug Lake, Aryn Fitzgerald, Tyler Aser, James Louth, Brandon Devine, Colton Clause, Alex Schroeck, Timothy Michael, Corina Bliss, Tatiana Lanier, Antoine Lanier jr, Sophia Zambito, Jonathan Roustum, Hanna Roustum, Olivia Roustum, Tracy Bertin, Lily Zambito, Oscar Pleakis, Amelia Favata, Nick Goodwin, Antoine Lanier, Susan Aser, John Kreuzer, Kim Fitzgerald, Shawn Patrick Greene, Gerilyn Marie, Mary K. Pleakis, Leanne Smyers-Downey, Makenzy Glover, William Anthony, Roopa Fenton, Rj Clark, Mandi Johnson-Fisher, Courtney Turner, Jimmy Loucks, Leora Owens, Madeline Elizabeth Berl, Yvette L. Leli-Aragon, Rhonda Parker, Christina Foster, Mark Parker, Michael O'Hear, Michael Hawerbier, Samantha Jindra, Keith Lukowski, Lucian Recoltea, Kenneth Leman, Jay Desiderio, Jordan Rosas, Sheri Fairchild, Frank Nicosia, Matt Lukowski, Dante C. Clark, Capri Clark, McKenna Light
written by Rhonda Parker

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Best friends Johnny (Matthew Owen Kozak), Emily (Emma Morrison) and Timmy (Jack Champion), all thirteen-ish and from different backgrounds, find a couple of bottles floating down the river that suggest they've been thrown in by some child up river who's in some kind of danger. Not trusting the police to do anything in this story, the three decide to hike up river themselves, following a simplified map that one of the bottles was carrying, as some sort of adventure. And on their way, they learn a lot about themselves and about one another, and Johnny and Emily start to notice they have feelings for one another that go beyond mere friendship. However, once they've reached their destination, things don't go as planned, and the whole trip ends in tragedy ...

4 years later, Johnny (now played by Paul Ryan) and Emily (now played by Emmy Wolfe) have become estranged, even if they can't get one another out of their minds. Their lives have also taken different paths, Emily lives in a picture perfect world, even if she can't stand its shallowness, while Johnny had been thrown out of high school and eventually taken to a life of crime, just to support his mother who's presently in hospital on life support. Johnny and Emily's paths will cross again though, even if that might only lead to more drama ...


Sure, the premise of this film might sound quite a bit like Stand by Me and other movies of its ilk, but the movie really transcends the too well-known coming-of-age formula by not making all the events sugar-sweet, by adding real tragedy to the mix and refusing to give the audience feel-good moments and a happy ending, and by following up on how the story continues four years later - and it's not how you'd expect it would. Now add to that a very subtle directorial effort and relatable characters played by a compact ensemble, and you've got yourself a pretty good movie.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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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



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


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