Friday 18 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Drama · Hat trick

Hat trick

‘Punch Cowboy’ has a winning recipe: equal parts comedy, drama and action, with loads of local talent added to the mix.

Rod Lott July 6th, 2011

8 p.m. Saturday
City Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing, 951-0000

After delivering a one-two punch with “The Seducers Club” and “Stay Low” in the spring with City Arts Center, local filmmaker Mickey Reece returns with a third: “Punch Cowboy.”

The feature debuts Saturday night, with The Workweek’s Carly Gwin performing beforehand as a musical guest.

While Reece’s movies jump from genre to genre — sometimes within the same film, as is the case here — one string is a constant: unpredictability. You never can quite peg where they’re headed with pinpoint accuracy, and the ride down the roads of the unfamiliar is part of what makes his work so fresh and alive.

“Punch Cowboy” begins as a family drama, with hard right turns into the mob comedy and kung fu. (You read correctly.) Its protagonist is Billy “Blue Eyes” Hatch (James Paulgrove), a country ballad come to life, seeing as how he has no wife (she died) or reliable transportation (it broke). He does have a young son, Henry (Logan Staggs), who’s a voracious reader and mature beyond his years. Sadly, Billy takes his grief out on the boy, dishing out corporal punishment for the kid’s crime of looking at a photo of his mother.

Seeing to remedy his miserable world, Billy fixes to fix his truck, so he can venture into the city and find “a new mama for muh boy.” Since Henry’s too young to leave home alone, Billy reaches out to his decadeestranged brother, Dean (Kameron Primm), a washed-up hair-metal guitarist who attempts to bond with his “little dude” nephew by asking, “You ever heard of GWAR? Dying Fetus?” The “crazy uncle” situation has the makings of your basic oil-andwater comedy, but Reece is more interested in following Billy, who runs afoul of cartoony crime boss Willie Martinez (Sean Thomasson) and his goons by aiding damsel Belle (Rebecca Cox) in her time of distress. That also leads to a showdown with Martinez’ on-call I Scream Brothers and a battle of no-wits with Belle’s wannabe rapper brother, Philly D (Dallos Paz).

That last character provides a surprising amount of humor, but other elements pop up in unexpected places, such as a scene that calls for Billy to become an action hero, giving the film’s title a dual meaning. And oddly, all are in service to the story; Reece even uses the montage to the narrative’s advantage, rather than as a mid-movie music video. Speaking of music, Starlight Mints’ Allan Vest and Student Film’s Justin Rice contribute a score that’s as sparse as the Hatches’ rural home, helping weave a fable vibe into the work.

If it’s a little too much to swallow that Billy wouldn’t know what rap was, or that Dean’s wig is too over-the-top, it’s understandable ... and forgivable, because just like Reece’s recent output, “Punch Cowboy” is neither amateur nor cookie-cutter.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5