New Video for Homepage

Posted: January 31, 2009 in Videos
I am previewing a small segment from the movie "Felon" on the homepage of this site for the next week. The following is an excellent review I’m borrowing from another website.
 
 
Most prison movies are essentially the same story told with different characters. Usually the protagonist is convicted of a crime (which he did or did not do), is sent to prison and finds that they have to either adapt to their brutal new surroundings or die. Allies are won, enemies are made, death lurks around the corner. "Felon" is no different but three things raise it above most others.
 
First is the setting. Filmed at the New Mexico State Penitentiary, the movie carries an air of authenticity and gritty realism that movie sets simply can’t provide.
 
Next is the casting. Stephen Dorff has always been a very underrated actor and here he provides a wonderful portrayal of a man let down by the legal system and cast adrift in a living nightmare. His descent from upstanding family man to an enraged prison inmate with fire in his eyes and blood on his knuckles is perhaps predictable but Dorff sells the portrayal to the audience completely. However, Harold Perrineau and Val Kilmer are the real stars here. The first (whom avid fans of the television shows "Lost" and "Oz" will already be familiar with) offers a great performance as Lieutenant Jackson, a happy family orientated man outside of prison but a monster within its walls. Kilmer, meanwhile, is John Smith, the philosophical but potentially dangerous convict who comes to befriend Dorff’s Wade during their time together.
The third and final ingredient that ensures "Felon" impresses, is the passionate directing by Ric Roman Waugh who also wrote the screenplay (based, apparently, on events at the notorious Corcoran State Prison-Frank was at Calipatria for the most part of his first ten years down). With the help of some incredible editing, the movie powers along at a frantic rate and rarely gives the audience time to breathe. If the ending is somewhat contrived, you can forgive it because the journey to reach the conclusion was so intense.
This production was funded in conjunction with New Mexico’s Film Investment Program.
Val Kilmer, who lives on a nearby New Mexico ranch, agreed to participate in this film secondary to his work with New Mexico’s Film Investment Program.
Val Kilmer spent several hours a day in the makeup chair for placement of numerous fake tattoos on his chest, arms and back.
The fights filmed during production were frenetic and were not choreographed. Many of the actors in these scenes were ex-convicts, thus the fights were an accurate representation of the mixed martial arts and street fighting common in this subpopulation.
Val Kilmer, a method actor who heavily researched the role, elected not to portray his character in a Utopian or chiseled capacity. Instead, Kilmer wanted to convey a nihilistic approach in which the years of confinement visibly take a toll physically and emotionally on the character.
The tattoos applied to Val Kilmer were purposefully realistic and based upon research by the director and Kilmer. The designs were done primarily in monochrome with fine-line secondary to the predominant influences on skin art in maximum security prisons evidenced at the time of the production.
 
Quote by John Smith from the movie: What a piece of work is man. And there is no good or bad, but thinking makes it so. Human beings are perhaps never more dangerous than when they are convinced beyond a doubt that they are right. Patience. Penance.
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