Kevin Hamedani, Ramon Isao, James Hong, Cooper Hopkins
Kevin Hamedani, Ramon Isao
Breaking Glass Pictures
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"Junk" Arrives on Home Video on March 11th
Kaveh (Kevin Hamedani) and Raul (Ramon Isao) are two B-movie co-writers who have suffered a bit of a falling out.
Kaveh has also lost his girlfriend and spends his days getting high in his apartment, while Raul is off studying at Columbia University. When one of their films, Islama-Rama 2, is accepted by a film festival, the two former friends are forced into a tentative reunion in order to pitch their script to mysterious producer Yukio Tai (James Hong). Along the way, the two will deal with brutish bodyguards, cutthroat colleagues, romantic entanglements, prima donna actors and, of course, the trials and tribulations of their own unfriendly friendship.
Nominated for Best Feature Film at the 2012 Austin Film Festival and now picked up by indie distributor Breaking Glass Pictures for a home video release beginning March 11th, Junk is a spirited and entertaining comedy that also features performances by the band Ok Go, an alternative band originally from Chicago now residing in L.A. and putting out some of the best alternative music around.
The film, which has been finely edited from its original 2+ hour running time to a 104-minute running time, comes from the same crew that gave us Zombies of Mass Destruction and they've clearly upped the ante quite a bit including a few delightful casting coups including the always wonderful James Hong, well known as the voice of Mr. Ping in the Kung Fu Panda films, along with Lynn Shelton, Scott Sanders and Marcus Dunstan, the latter two briefly appearing as themselves.
Junk may very well work most of all because Hamedani and Isao, despite playing unfriendly friends, actually exhibit a spot-on chemistry that captures the film's wit and humor to near perfection and they have an energy together that is spontaneous and immensely fun. While it is sometimes inevitable given the challenge of working with a lower budget, it's not exactly uncommon for an indie flick to fall apart when cast and/or crew wear too many hats. With Junk, it actually seems to help the film's continuity of vibe. Both Hamedani and Isao have a strong screen presence, and even when they're not exactly likable you just can't stop watching them.
D.P. Anthony J. Rickert-Epstein feeds into that spontaneous vibe quite nicely with lensing that is intelligent and edgy. Semih Tareen's orchestral score is also top notch throughout.
Junk is also being released with an audio commentary that both gives you a sense that the film's vibe is authentic and makes you realize just how much intentionality went into the film's spontaneity.
For more information on the film or to pre-order it, visit the Breaking Glass Pictures website linked to in the credits on the left.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic