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The Independent Critic

Ross McCall, Paul J. Alessi, Amie Barsky, Justin Baldoni, Danielle Nicolet
Alex Ranarivelo
Rated R
88 Mins.
Naedomi Media/First Look Pictures/Millennium Entertainment

 "Alpha Males Experiment" Hitting Home Video 
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Originally released under the name Knuckle Draggers, Alpha Males Experiment has finally arrived on home video following a successful festival run that saw the film pick up several fest prizes including two awards at the Delray Beach Film Festival and a Best Actor prize for Paul J. Alessi at the ReelHeART International Film Festival.

Alpha Males Experiment tells the story of Ethan (Ross McCall), a stereotypical "nice guy" who gets dumped by his fiancee' (Jennifer Alden) because the just starting out filmmaker is unable to provide her with the lifestyle she desires. Determined to win her back, Ethan enlists the help of his brother Kyle (Paul J. Alessi), who isn't quite as hindered by the whole nice guy thing. In fact, his approach just might make a caveman look like a renaissance man. Fortunately, Ethan has a couple of female friends, Patricia (Amie Barsky) and Renee (Danielle Nicolet) to help balance things out.

While Ethan tries to ignore his brother's seemingly sexist point of view, his foray out into the world of dating doesn't go quite as smoothly as planned and soon he begins to realize that everything Kyle says seems to be true.

While there's quite a bit that Alpha Males Experiment has going for it, perhaps one of its biggest advantages is the overall chemistry of the cast along with the top notch work of writer/director Alex Ranarivelo. While the film isn't particularly original in its theme or ideas, Alpha Males Experiment more than compensates with a consistently heartfelt and winning script brought to life by its comfortable and natural cast and crew.

As the good guy, Ross McCall could easily get outshined by the louder and more extroverted performance of Paul J. Alessi as the far more alpha male brother. Both actors moderate their performances quite nicely, however, and neither actor gets outshined with McCall's performance warm and winning and funny while Alessi's is more gregarious, smarmy and just plain a blast. Amie Barsky remains one of the indie world's best kept secrets as well, with a performance here that adds layers to what could have easily been a one-note performance. Among the supporting players, there's really not a weak link but Danielle Nicolet, Omar Gooding and Justin Baldoni particularly shine.

Gooding also has a couple of songs on the soundtrack, "My Shine and Ghetto Star", two gems amongst a truly standout soundtrack featuring original music from Austin Wintory that is stellar. You'll be humming as the film ends and likely checking out the web to pick up the soundtrack for yourself.

It's difficult to make a really good comedy for adults that will appeal to both men and women, but Alpha Males Experiment definitely fits the bill with a little naughty, a little nice, a little horndog and a little heart.

You can pick up the film for yourself by clicking on The Independent Critic's Amazon banner or checking the film out through ITunes or other VOD outlets.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic