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I am DB Cooper

USA 2022
produced by
Corey Molina, John Miller, Sharmila Sahni, T.J. Regan, Isaiah Thomas (executive), Mike Rocha (executive), Carlos Rocha (executive) for Slow Grind Media
directed by T.J. Regan
starring Ryan Cory, Chris Grounds, Sharmila Sahni, Rainee Blake, T.J. Regan, Chris Bruno, Trevor Butcher, Alexis Toone, Les Feltmate, Tyler Roy Roberts, Kimiko Rutledge, Julie Schaller, Laura Bucko, Greg Eisele, Nico Loera, Diego Loera, Sonny Magana, Hunter Venturo, Chase Walker, Linda Underhill, Brianna Underhill, James Skeeter Terry, Aleisha Lucas, Justin Due, John Miller, Rebecca Ipuni Lee, Colter Thomas, Joshua Chessin-Yudin, Shanel Chantland, Corey Molina, Rodney Bonnifield, Mike Rocha, Carlos Rocha
written by T.J. Regan, Sharmila Sahni, music by Erik Groysman, Rainee Blake

documentary

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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It's one of the biggest mysteries in American aviation history: Back in 1974, a man identified as DB Cooper skyjacked a short route inland flight, demanded and successfully got $200,000 in ransom, took off again with the plane he skyjacked, and then parachuted out over wide terrain, never to be heard of again, let alone found (and actually believed dead) - until now, when a man called Rodney Bonnifield, a small-fry criminal who's out on bail identifies to his bail bondsmen Mike and Carlos Rocha as DB Cooper, and the story he's telling checks with the known facts, so either what's telling is true, or he's a very talented liar. But Rodney has more, he offers his bail bondsmen to lead them to where he has hidden the $200,000. And as this trio prepares for the treasure hunt, Rodney details his story in quite some detail, how he (played in the flashbacks by Ryan Cory) has always lived a life of crime, until he met Ramona (Sharmila Sahni), and for her he wanted to turn his life around. He also impregnated her and they got married, so everything seemed to be on the up. And as work was scarce in their hometown he moved to Los Angeles, where he found a regular job, with the hopes of Ramona following him eventually - but in his absence, she started a relationship with another man (T.J. Regan), whom she has had an affair with while she was still with Rodney, and who might actually have fathered the child. So eventually, she dumps Rodney, which certainly throws him off the rail, eventually inspires him to go through with the skyjacking ... and fresh from the crime he even makes it in time for his family's Thanksgiving dinner. He only ever confesses the deed to his brother (Tyler Roy Roberts), who thinks he's crazy, and to singer Rita Coolidge (Rainee Blake), whom he's had an affair with and whom he inspired to a song. However, the truth of Rodney's statements can never be confirmed until our treasure hunters find the loot - something that might prove more difficult than expected ...

 

An interesting hybrid of documentary and fiction piece that has really put a lot of effort in making the re-enactments feel "real", quite despite the fact that they might just be one big lie. But what director T.J. Regan has achieved with this film is to tell a very tense thriller piece within the confines of a documentary, and one that, true or not, checks out as a well-constructed narrative. And while the film might take more liberties with the "truth" than other documentaries, which includes clearly fake interviews in the re-enactment scenes, the story it's telling is fascinating, and also pretty well-told, actually, making for a pretty good watch.

 

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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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD