Ciudad de Acero (2007)
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as Carl Lee
as PJ Lee
as Amy Barnes
as Ben Lee
as Randall Karns
as Marianne Karns
as Lucy Jones
as Vic Lee
as Michael Karns
as Maria Lee
as Baby Jenny
Critic Reviews for Ciudad de Acero
Steel City is gritty, blue-collar and surprisingly dry-eyed. If it hadn't been a movie, it could have been a song off Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska album.
Many traps await novice filmmakers, but writer-director Jun has bypassed most in his absorbing debut.
Writer-director Brian Jun makes it clear that Steel City isn't about big events, even crucial inciting ones. It's about day-to-day decisions and how they change and inform relationships.
Steel City is a moving look at fathers and sons. [Director] Jun neither romanticizes nor pathologizes blue-collar family life. In this earnest rust belt indie, doing the right thing means tipping the scale of justice.
The phrase 'small, personal film' can sound like an alibi for a trivial and self-indulgent vanity project, but Brian Jun's well-crafted Steel City embodies the highest promise of the term.
Steel City is one of the most hopeful movies I've seen recently -- not just for its humane, realistic story line (about a small-town family in crisis), but in its very being.
Audience Reviews for Ciudad de Acero
This film has been sitting in my Netflix top 10 suggestions for a very long time until I finally watched it... and holy shit it was awesome! This film was extremely dark and an emotional roller coaster. This indie drama centered around a poverty stricken family and Pennsylvania. "Steel City" is one more spectacularly written and shot indie films I've seen in a very long time. The film was very understated, but so spectacularly written, acted and directed that you always knew what the actors were feeling, what they meant and that there was mutual understanding. And to think, the lead in this film was Tom Guiry. Yes, Smalls from "The Sandlot" and no, he wasn't killing me. It was a truly remarkable piece of cinema and I highly suggest it -- 9/10.
CAST: Tom Guiry, John Heard, Raymond J. Barry, America Ferrera, Kristian Best, Rusty Gray, James R. Hentrich, Heather McComb DIRECTED BY: Brian Jun SUMMARY: When PJ Lee's (Tom Guiry) father is arrested for vehicular manslaughter, it's just the icing on the cake for a teen whose life is already difficult, thanks to a broken home and dysfunctional relationships. In short order, PJ gets fired, has a falling out with his girlfriend and is kicked out of the family home. MY THOUGHTS: "This movie had some good acting in it, but the story was a bit slow. The issues they all are dealing with is sad, and the acting is there, it's just the story takes awhile to get going. When it starts theres cops, ambulances, and a crash scene. But it never gives all the details of what happend. But I guess it may not have needed to. If you just sit back and let the movie be and not think about the story and where its going, its watchable. But in the end the acting is the only thing good that came out of this. But I still liked it. Still worth seeing."
Here's a film that appears to be about nothing, and yet is about everything. Like a good jazz solo, it's not about what you hear(or see), it's what you don't hear. A little slice of midwest life that's far deepeer than it appears on the surface, akin to an indie version of Mystic River as it plays off the relationships between fathers and sons, and brother and brother. The women are almost an afterthought, and yet here again we see that America Ferrera (Real Women Have Curves, Ugly Betty) is indeed a gifted actress and, when not wearing those hideous braces, fake eyebrows and mismatched clothes that are required on TV, quite beautiful. The acting overall is quite good, and yet there are times when it seems that the actors are hemmed in by the dialogue, even though the dialogue is direct and real (especially in the case of Uncle Vic). When the fim comes full circle, and you can see the sins of the father weighing on the sons, and yet the bond between brothers, even though they disagree with one another, it's a powerful statement of humankinds' yearning to belong to something, lest we become leaves in the wind, living without purpose or hope.
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