October 26, 2008, - 1:08 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
On weekends when there aren’t a lot of new movies to review, I post reviews of releases you can rent and see in the comfort of your own home. Again, because of lots of stuff to do before the Jewish Sabbath on Friday, I didn’t get to a lot of things. And this review is one of them.
“The Final Patient” is a great thriller by the independent Mainardi producing team, Angelo Films. Jerry Mainardi directed this cool, different movie and co-wrote it with brother Michael Mainardi. I’ve been meaning to review it for a while, but time got the best of me.
A lot of independent producing teams send me their low-budget movies to review, and usually, I don’t post reviews because they’re not good movies. This, on the contrary, was a completely refreshing different take on small town, middle America life, and the eccentricities of a retired local doctor, who develops legendary superhuman strength. Has he discovered the “fountain of youth”? And what’s up with his elusive wife?
Other than the largely no-name cast, it’s hard to tell this well-done production is low budget, even though the Mainardis (incidentally political conservatives) tell me the budget was literally a shoestring one. The only name in this movie is that of star Bill Cobbs, whose name you might not recognize, but whose face and great acting skills have been in countless major films you’ve seen. This talented Black character actor was a great choice to play the country doctor who is the subject of a curious former patient and his med school colleague.
The story of this movie is different and new. And, while it’s a little slow, it is a relaxing and, at the same time, exciting thriller, whose direction will keep you guessing and whose ending is not predictable and nicely ambiguous. Also, a lot of great lines and quotables from the movie, like in this scene:
But, say the producers:
We’ve had some difficulties getting traction, probably because we left out the nudity, graphic violence and foul language.
Yes, the movie thankfully and refreshingly leaves these things out, but I didn’t even notice because I was engrossed in the story–only the case in a good movie with a strong script and plot.
The movie was shot entirely on location in rural Pennsylvania–you know the area that Congressman John Murtha is now saying is racist. But in this movie, even though the main character is Black as is his wife, race does not enter the equation. It’s just a matter of fact that doesn’t play a part in the movie. And that’s the way things should be.
I enjoyed watching this movie, and it’s a great escape for anyone looking to rent something different and unhyped. Although this movie hasn’t gotten a lot of exposure, the 2005 flick is available at most movie rental retailers, Walmart, and online. And it was a selection at a prominent movie festival.
Watch the trailer:
I can’t wait for more movies from these guys. They do the work that some Americans–ie., Hollywood–won’t do: make good movies.