MASS MOVIE REVIEW
If you’re looking for the feel-good movie of the year, stay FAR AWAY from “Mass.” Not because it’s a bad movie, but because this is a tissue in each hand tearjerker that you need to be prepared to watch. Written and directed by Fran Kranz (who played the stoner in “The Cabin in the Woods“), the story takes place in the meeting room of a small Idaho Episcopalian church. After many years of legal battles and distanced correspondents, four people have agreed to meet here to finally vent out long buried emotions. They have a lot to say, considering that the son of two of the people (Ann Dowd and Reed Birney) was the one who murdered the son of the other folks (Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton) in a high school shooting. What follows is a nearly feature-length conversation scene that covers the gamut of every depth of grief, sorrow, and desperate desire for hope that comes from such a tragedy. Justin, Melina, Bradly, and Frank had a lot to unpack from this film, which is impressive considering this is the director’s debut feature. Did it accomplish what it set out to do tackling such heavy subject matter? Is there anything that can be ‘accomplished?’ Listen to this review to learn why this may be one of the very best ‘made for grown-ups’ movies of the year!
DIRECTED BY: Fran Kranz
STARRING: Jason Isaacs, Martha Plimpton, Ann Dowd, Reed Birney, Breeda Wool, Kagen Albright, Michelle N. Carter, Michael White, Campbell Spoor
Justin Zarian (Screener Squad, Eye on the Prize, Breakfast Pub, Assistant Site Manager)
Justin’s fate as a movie fanatic was written in the stars when his birth forced his parents to cancel their planned Oscar viewing party. While growing up in California, he was often seen in front of the television watching and re-watching Star Wars, Jurassic Park, classic Disney movies and a steady stream of animated shows. This eventually led to a B.A. in Film at Brigham Young University and an Outstanding Student Teacher Award for displaying a level of film knowledge so insane that even his fellow film students couldn’t compete. He received his M.A. from Syracuse University and is currently pursuing a teaching certificate, but still volunteers at One of Us every so often for the fun of it. His hobbies include non-stop film conversations, wondering how Mass Effect 3’s ending went so wrong, espousing the joys of shooting guns (but not hunting, as he’s quick to note), writing the next great American television show in his head, and anything else entertainment related. You can find him on Facebook once in a blue moon.
Melina Eames (Screener Squad)
Melina first discovered that she carried the nerd gene at the tender age of four following her exposure to a little film called A New Hope. In the twenty-some years that followed, Melina continued to grow into her geek identity through the discovery of Batman, Mst3k, Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and The Mandalorian. But perhaps her most significant discovery came at the age of fourteen when a night of YouTube mining led her to the review site of Spill.com. Melina became a devoted follower whose fandom did not end with the site’s demise. By then, it had worked its dark magic and left her with a love and appreciation for film criticism that she has yet to shrug.
Frank Calvillo (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)
Born and raised in South Texas, Frank currently lives in Austin and has been in love with movies ever since his father showed him some Three Stooges shorts when he was five years old. Today he loves all kinds of film, regardless of era, country, budget or genre. He believes every film has an audience and is at least one person’s favorite movie. After writing for Sight & Sound and Slackerwood, he now writes for Cinapse where his increasingly random taste in all flavors of cinema (from Rashomon to Mars Attacks!) continues to thrive. His ultimate goal is to write a script for his boyhood crush, Michelle Pfeiffer.
Bradly Martin (Screener Squad, Eye on the Prize, Breakfast Pub)
Bradly Martin was born in the united states and grew up on a healthy diet of sports, films, and books. A rather shy lad who kept to himself, Bradly soon discovered the best way to know a person was to know what people liked. Throughout the years Bradly became a fan of many things and a fanatic of none. From Doctor Dre, to Doctor Strange and the who’s who of Whos. From Playstation to the Dreamcast and Marvel to DC. From LeBron James to James Bond and Lord of the Rings to Lord Palmerston (or Pitt the Elder if you agree with Wade Boggs) and is a huge fan of dad jokes and randomly obscure Simpsons references. Armed with a vast knowledge of comics, films, and pop culture. Bradly traveled the world making friends and sharing takes. As a young man Bradly married the love of his life young and grew older every year with each new child brought into the brood. If trends continue, Scientists predict that .2% of Canada (where Bradly and family reside) will be populated by Bradly’s children by the year 2029. You can hear him leading and listening to his favorite critics on the Screener Squad and Eye on the prize and maybe even provide some comments of his own.
You can subscribe to the Highly Suspect Reviews and Screener Squad series of podcasts on iTunes, Spotify, and more, or use our RSS feed on whatever podcast service you use: https://oneofus.net/feed/theatrical-movie-review-podcast/ and please leave us a review!
Please think about becoming a paid subscriber to Oneofus.net, support our huge network of shows, and get access to tons of bonus shows and videos in our forums! We cannot keep this site going without support from our listeners. For added information about being a subscriber, the benefits, and the forums, please go here.