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This is a tiny little shoestring ensemble slice of life cross section, of eccentricly struggling to just-plain-not-quite-making-it humanity, produced in part by John Malkovich. Joe Peltz ( David Krumholtz ) buys a landlord abandoned squatter tenament in his grandma's old neighborhood now reduced to desecated abandonment to an overrunning desperate junkie population. He then moves in to become president of the tenant corporation and have his life swallowed whole by endless tenant meetings,one tenant with a mean anti-junkie baseball bat who refuses to pay rent whose son, Segundo(John Budinoff) vandalizes the place and threatens the other tenants, pulling guard duty against pipe stealing junkies, ripping off the hospital a few blocks away for their pipes to replace those enivitably missing every time he falls asleep and on and on et al. There's a typical Agatha Christi like sub-text plotline about who finally burned the bully Carlos (Paul Calderon) out and who's gonna pay for it. And a final denouement is where the one tragic death, in this whole messy hash of angst that is the whole life of run down squatter tennancy beyound the pale of reasonably affordable society, occurs. (Click the title and read that more comprehensive synopsis if your still interested.) The writing and the modest storyline and most of the dialog seemed natural and spontaneous most of the time. The very mild plot did seem to hold everything together neatly enough. It was enough to hold my attention & too short(1&1/4hr.) to let me get antsy or sleepy. One of those movies that leaves you contempletive more than agitated or comically releaved as its title implies.(seen on IFC commercial free while finishing up dinner)
Forget the drama, forget the action (there is little). What this movie offers is a different way to think about money and poverty, and we think about and treat both. While it was mildly unpredictable, the ending left me with more to think about, and examine, than almost any other movie I've seen.
For entertainment or enjoyment, Ic an't recommend; but for thought proviking discussion or sel-examination of your own prejudices, I can't recommend it highly enough.
I am a fan of David Krumholtz which is why I even watched this movie in the first place, but I just felt that nothing really happened and it all seemed rather pointless. Did absolutely nothing for me..
I was a little dissapointed by this film. I thought it looked great and was very good in sections, but overall I thought it was lacking. Maybe the book would be good. You don't learn very much about the characters and therefore you don't really gain much from viewing this film. I guess it ends up being a story about gentrification on the Lower East Side. Maybe I missed the point...I don't know.