Rise by Sin Review
By Eric Meyerson
In this raw yet lively debut feature from two young filmmakers, teenagers battle for street cred on the rough streets of Philly.
Jimmy is a charismatic teenager who slings nickel bags to help support his overworked mom and cerebral younger brother Charlie. Jimmy's partner in crime, his best buddy Trevor, helps him manage their intermediate supplier, the cowardly snake Ray. When one member of the crew murders another, a police detective gets on the case, which stirs the boiling stewpot of tension among the boys.
The story itself contains just enough twists to remain engaging. The movie loses momentum, however, during its numerous philosophical interludes, including Trevor's slam poetry and Charlie's ponderous journal entries. And an interesting climax is sullied by a disappointing denouement, which consists of two lengthy yet unnecessary monologues followed by an interminable final shot.
As you'd expect from a no-budget film, the performances are uneven. While the younger thespians are spirited and credible, the acting of the adult characters is cringe-worthy. But seriously, the kids are great, especially Billy Harding as the honorable drug pusher Jimmy and Rory Dunwoodie as the slimy Ray.
For an ambitious 97-minute feature created by two guys just days out of college, the production values, camera work, and editing are impressive. Writers/directors Mark Bernardi and Greg Santarsiero definitely have produced a solid showcase for their formidable filmmaking skills.
Facts and Figures
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Cast & Crew