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DVD Review: SON OF MORNING



Studio: E1 Entertainment
Year: 2011
Cast: Joseph Cross, Heather Graham, Edward Herrmann, Stephen Root, Jesse Bradford, Bob Odenkirk, Mary Regency-Boies, PJ Byrne, Peter Jason, Steven Weber, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Danny Glover, Lorraine Bracco
Director: Yaniv Raz
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Rating: R for (language, some sexuality/nudity, brief drug use)
Run Time: 01h:20m:46s
Genre(s): comedy

ďI have a breaking story, Iím going to get an interview, and THIS is going to be big!Ē - Josephine Tuttle (Heather Graham)

SON OF MORNING

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This is an intriguing premise, but I have a bad feeling that overdone attempts at quirkiness might be the film's downfall. However, the casting is intriguing, to say the least.

Movie Grade: F

DVD Grade: C-

Filmmakers walk a fine line when attempting to poke fun at a subject, regardless of its sensitivity. When it comes to religious or messianic figures (see Tim Tebow for a prime example of self-made satire), cinema has had more misfires than successes in sending them up. While Monty Pythonís Life of Brian is an extremely direct attempt at making life of a Christ-like figure, one of the best, indirect films about such a figure is The Truman Show. Director Peter Weir did an incredible job looking at what can happen to someone who unwillingly winds up as a messianic figure, while creating an emotional attachment to the title character that was difficult to shake, even after the film ended. On the opposite of the spectrum is 2011ís Son of Morning, a film that never made it to theaters, and rightfully so, as it would have likely been booed out of them. Entertainment One has allowed all of us to ďexperienceĒ this atrocious film for ourselves, thanks to this otherwise solid DVD release.

Phillip (Joseph Cross) is a twenty something guy whoís hit a rough patch in life. Phillip has just watched his father (Marc Macaulay) hang himself, is fed up with his job, and, to top it all off, has just learned that the sun could cause the destruction of Earth within a weekís time. Looking for a way out of the doldrums, he goes to church, where the congregation witnesses him cry tears of blood. A TV reporter named Josephine Tuttle (Heather Graham) also witnesses Phillipís bloody tears and she turns him into a modern-day savior. It isnít long before this new Messiah is being pulled in all directions, being used by a former girlfriend (Jamie-Lynn Sigler), and given advice by a homeless man (Danny Glover). Still, itís up to Phillip to determine whether to use his new-found fame for good, or if he should call the whole thing off and go back to his ďnormalĒ life.

When a film tries to be edgy, funny, dark, and quirky all at once, it often fails. Thatís definitely the case, with Son of Morning, as it is not only fails to be any of those things, but itís also one of the worst films Iíve ever seen. Absolutely nothing works at any time during the filmís mercifully brief 80 minutes, with the icing on the cake being the over 10 minutes of end credits; over five minutes of which are devoted to listing the filmís extras. Before that ridiculousness, however, we get plenty of horrible acting by the featured performers (Graham and Lorraine Bracco to name a couple), and all-too-brief appearances by good actors (Bob Odenkirk and Stephen Root). Still, the main culprit here is Yaniv Raz, the person responsible for writing and directing this complete mess. Iíve yet to figure out any aspect of what Raz was trying to accomplish here, as thereís no clear vision or engaging story to be told, only a mishmash of over stylized visuals and a horrendously implemented soundtrack.

Itís been quite some time since Iíve heard a filmís soundtrack add, exponentially to its awfulness. In this case, itís not the individual songsí fault, itís the fact each of them appears to have been remixed to create numerous, out-of- place, random musical bastardizations of their original form. Some of these tunes are great songs in their original, studio-recorded form, but here, all of them (namely The Cold War Kidsí ďHospital BedsĒ) sound incredibly bad. One canít help but think that their gross remixing was a pathetic attempt by the filmmaker to further distract the audience from his lifeless, mess of a screenplay. Even stranger, the music actually drowns out the dialogue during many sequences; a strange anomaly that appears to be an issue with the film itself, and not a DVD audio mix problem. The DVD is nothing to write home about, though, as the often grainy, visually drab video presentation does nothing to help the film. The only extras on board are the filmís original trailer and a strange, rather pointless interview with Heather Graham, during which she talks about how she got her gig in Son of Morning.

Posted by: Chuck Aliaga - January 15, 2012, 10:18 am - DVD Review
Keywords: solar catastrophe, messiah, newfound celebrity




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