I watched a couple of interesting, low budget movies this week. Both having a well-known actor in them.
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Kevin McHale, Josh Lucas
Stet, a troubled and angry 11-year-old orphan from a small Texas town, ends up at a Boy Choir school back East after the death of his single mom. Completely out of his element, he finds himself in a battle of wills with a demanding Choir Master who recognizes a unique talent in this young boy as he pushes him to discover his creative heart and soul in music.
It was an endearing story. I liked listening to the choir singing. There were a lot of nice pieces that they sang. I didn't care for Dustin Hoffan's acting. He came off as an egotistical asshole. It was overacting. I also took issue with the writing from the start of Stet's stay at the boy choir school. His mother had just died, and everyone was treating him like dirt, kicking him while he was down. I can understand if the students wouldn't have known, but surely the school administration and teachers would have been informed of that ahead of time.
Stars: Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford
A pair of ten-year-olds find an abandoned cop car in a field. When they take it for a joyride, it seems like they could kill themselves at any moment. But things only get worse when the small town sheriff goes looking for his missing car. The kids find themselves in the center of a deadly game of cat and mouse they don't understand and the only way out is to go as fast as their cop car can take them.
The premise was odd, and the beginning of the movie was so lacking in story, that I wondered where they were going with it, but it reached a point where you understood why the police squad car was seemingly abandoned in the middle of the forest. Even though I liked Kevin Bacon's role, he couldn't have played more of a stereotypical police officer than he did. Large sunglasses, thick handlebar mustache, and a southern accent. He had it all. The end of the movie took a dark turn, and they left you with a rather large cliffhanger. It's left to the interpretation of the viewer on what happened next. Despite the somber mood at the end, it was an enjoyable movie.