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The Independent Critic

Time Winters, Justin Avila
Nathaniel Upshaw
Seth Wimmer
12 Mins.

 "Dead Ringer" Short Available on Amazon Prime 
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Recently released through Amazon Prime by FilmHub LLC, Nathaniel Upshaw's 12-minute dark comedy Dead Ringer centers around a high-strung mobster (Time Winters) tasked with pulling off a hit who assigns the task to an enthusiastic newbie (Justin Avila) who returns from the job with one very big problem. 

Simultaneously humorous and constructed with an escalating tension between the two mobsters, one who seems to fully understand the ramifications of what's unfolded and the other rather oblivious to it, Dead Ringer benefits from a spontaneous chemistry between Winters and Avila and the snappy dialogue of screenwriter Seth Wimmer. 

Available for free viewing on Amazon Prime, Dead Ringer is also available to rent on UK Film Channel for £3 - either one's an absolute bargain and a terrific way to support an up-and-coming filmmaker. 

Dead Ringer is an actor's short, devoid of the usual visual effects and usual distractions in favor of more straightforward storytelling that trusts the two co-leads, both of whom are on-screen the entire time, to tell the story and tell it well.

Mission accomplished. 

Production credits are simple yet effective including Upshaw's own lensing and editing for the film. While one could argue for a certain lack of logic in the film, for example a certain prop essential to the film's storyline could be easily traced, this is a minor quibble for a film that promises 12-minutes of dark laughs and entertainment and delivers on the promise. 

If you've never realized it, Amazon Prime offers up a welcome spotlight for short films and with most of us socially distancing and keeping our butts in home it's the perfect time to check out a few short films and offer this support to indie filmmakers. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic  

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    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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