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The Independent Critic

Fiore Leo, Geno Mirabella, Keith Bennett, John Martellucci, Michael Capozzi, David Graziano, Molly Kay, William Bloomfield
Christopher Di Nunzio
Christopher Di Nunzio, Pedro Alvarado
105 Mins.
Random Media

 "A Life Not to Follow" Picked Up by Random Media 
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After a successful festival run, during which this slacker of a film critic watched the film but completely spaced reviewing it, A Life Not to Follow has been picked up by indie distributor Random Media and is available via iTunes as of this Fourth of July weekend. A three-part noirish crime thriller, A Life Not to Follow kicks off with the story of Eric (Fiore Leo) at the front-and-center. Imprisoned at 16-years-old as he took the fall for a mob family member, Eric is out now and despite the attempted nurturing presence of his girlfriend (Erica Derrickson) seems to know that his time his limited and his thirst for revenge against those who wronged him, including mob boss Roger Santorini (Geno Mirabella) is insatiable. 

We get the feeling that Eric's events are somehow tied into those in the film's second chapter involving Luca Trapani (Michael Capozzi), whose best friend, Angelo (John Martellucci), has been ordered to eliminate him, a pending demise complicated by the lingering presence of Luca's girlfriend (Jaimie Tucker) and Eliza (Molly Kay), who has inside knowledge in a world where inside knowledge isn't really a good thing. Tobias Kane, a former FBI agent played to perfection by David Graziano, is mixed up in everything after he exposed Derby (William Bloomfield) as a corrupt cop. 

While the film's first two chapters are seemingly a bit disjointed, rest assured that everything makes sense by film's end as co-writer Christopher Di Nunzio, who also directs, and Pedro Alvarado have created a sizzling, involving noir thriller where the realism is taut and gritty and the seemingly inevitable actually is inevitable. The film's key players include Graziano, Leo, Capozzi and Bloomfield and they are all on the top of their game despite the inherent challenges of working on a low-budget indie. While there's a bit of stilted dialogue along the way, it's minimal and non-distracting and it's no wonder that A Life Not to Follow has proven to be quite the success on the festival circuit including prizes at Action on Film (Alan J. Bailey Award, 2nd Place in Best Editing - Feature, and was nominated for Best Guerilla Film - Feature) and the Shawna Shea Film Festival (Best Regional Feature, Best Director for Di Nunzio, and Best Cinematography for Nolan Yee). Eros Cartechini's original score complements the action in quieter yet meaningful ways, while Di Nunzio continues to prove himself quite the impressive filmmaker. 

A Life Not to Follow is the kind of film that lingers in the psyche and that you remember after the closing credits have rolled. Available this weekend on iTunes, be sure to check it out for yourself. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic