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||IMDB Rating: 6.9/10 from NOT RATED votes
||Release: 28 Jul 2007 /
||Director: Kely McClung,
||Synopsis: Ex Governmental Operative Jack Davis is being manipulated in a life and death struggle by warring factions within the covert arms of the Homeland Security Agency in a fight for ...
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Independent films, being already at the disadvantage of lacking a
studio subsidized budget and pool of resources, are dealt a harsher
blow by the criticism given by an audience when the finished piece is
compared against the slick, polished Hollywood product. But why do we
want it slick and polished? Do we really want the story all
neat-n-tidy, pre-digested for us? Don't we prefer those creative and
visually stunning pieces that engage us in a new paradigm?
Enter: Blood Ties by William Kely McClung, an independent feature film
that requires the viewer's attention and imaginative involvement but
pays it back many times over with depth of character, unanticipated FX,
and bone-jarring action.
While rattling the audience along at desperate, heart-punishing pace,
Blood Ties requires the audience to think, without making them hate
doing it. This isn't tweed-and-pipe professor analytical thinking, but
the looking over your shoulder for the hidden guns in the shadows, the
click on your phone line really being the snapping of pieces fitting
together kind of thinking. It is an international chess match with
tragic human casualties and spectacular martial arts action sequences.
An action film at heart, Blood Ties delivers fight scenes laden with an
astonishing mixture of martial art, wrestling, and street fighting
styles. But the real genius of the film is the director's balance of
truly exquisite filming in the Virginia mountains, National Mall in
D.C., and the jungles of Cambodia and Thailand with these explosions of
brutality. The nuances and innuendos in the story carry enough to fill
a trilogy, but never come across as overwhelming, thanks to the truly
top-notch editing and brilliance of visual storytelling.
With a tag line: "Fight for your country. Fight for your family. Fight
for your life.", one could expect the film to be lacking of
sensitivities and character development. A word of advice: Don't. Blood
Ties brings it. Jim's defiance and indomitable spirit while getting the
crap beat out of him speak to a strength far deeper than that of any
other character. He is no one's victim. Jack's intensity and resolve
are given penetration and weight when cut against his humor and
softness while discussing disturbing culinary choices with Sarin. A
warrior with a human side; who knew? And the sadistic and awkwardly
comical Markus/Erik combination is both frightening and leveling,
showing the animal in the man.
While the film does have some slight sound issues, the strength of the
acting (even in the nonverbal) and the eclectic, evocative score give
the film a quiet artistry and subtle power. The desperation and
palpable urgency of the film are played out across 90+ minutes of
conspiracy, hidden strands of interconnectedness, and heavy
consequences. Watching it once is not enough.
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