David Ackert

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Maryam Review


OK
Suburban prejudice surrounding real life circumstance is the basis of this fairly impressive debut by writer/director Ramin Serry. While it may play like an after-school special you might have seen during the 1980s on PBS, the emotional struggles portrayed remain digestible, and often thought-provoking.

Maryam (aka Mary, Mariam Parris) is a bright, high-schooler, living in an Iranian household that's substantial enough monetarily (her father, played by Shaun Toub, is a doctor) that her mother (Shohreh Aghdashloo) doesn't have to work. She goes to school, finally gets to drive the family car, and participates in activities such as the school news club. The flipside of this charmed life is that she is the first generation to grow up in America, and her family still abides by some traditional Iranian rules. She isn't allowed out at night, and her father refuses her phone calls after dark as well, especially from boys.

Continue reading: Maryam Review

Cool Crime Review


OK
Would that simple words could describe the goings-on of Cool Crime, an indie black comedy reminiscent of Blue Velvet.

In base terms, the story follows an Italian immigrant named Nino (Ackert), who comes to America to live in L.A. with his uncle. Sadly, upon arrival, uncle (who turns out to be a drug dealer) is dead. But things get really strange when the spirit of the dead uncle comes to visit Nino, pleading for revenge.

Continue reading: Cool Crime Review

Suckers Review


OK
How can you help but love a movie that starts with a title card reading, "This shit's true..."

Detailing the wacky misadventures over a month on the job at an auto dealership, apparently car sales is a far nuttier career choice than anyone had imagined. In fact, it's downright vicious, especially the way it's done at South Side, where bossman Daniel Benzali (channeling Alec Baldwin's Glengarry Glen Ross character) is the kind of megalomaniacal nightmare you run into only in politics and Hollywood.

Continue reading: Suckers Review

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