Jersey Justice

When Polly O’Bannon witnesses her husband gunned down on the streets of Philadelphia, she takes revenge on the perpetrators over a 24 hour period. Her journey takes her to New Jersey, where she meets a cast of other vengeful characters who are more than willing to help her in her quest.

JERSEY JUSTICE is an interesting, quirky independent film. Interesting because instead of casting a rugged “tough guy” in the vigilante role, we are given a soccer mom who has lost everything and decides to take revenge. The film’s quirkiness comes from its cast of characters that are at times bizarre and goofy. These two aspects of JERSEY JUSTICE make it a strong entry in the indie market.

Another commendable aspect is that the villains are not faceless, cartoonish baddies. Instead, they are real people entangled in a wicked world. One of the villains responsible for Mr. O’Bannon’s death is a regular guy with a wife and a home, conducting his crime behind the scenes. He’s afraid and even feels regret for having killed an innocent.

Polly and her husband’s backstory, with the loss of their son in an Arab country, and their frustration with the reprecussions of it, also brings another dimension to the story. It makes her struggle real because it’s pulled from today’s headlines.

With a strong cast, including Bo Svenson (KILL BILL VOL 2) and Christopher Mann (THE WIRE), well-fleshed out characters, and a fast-paced story, JERSEY JUSTICE is a fun revenge film. Folks who enjoy films like DEATH WISH, ABOVE THE LAW, and MAD MAX are sure to enjoy JERSEY JUSTICE. Props to indie filmmaker John Charles Hunt for bringing it!

BOOLEY

Christian Grillo’s BOOLEY is a thrill-one-minute, laugh-the-next film, and that approach works extremely well. The story concerns Angus Booley (Tom Detrik), a marginalized man with an unfaithful wife (Raine Brown, THE SUPER), a bullied daughter (Carmela Hayslett aka Roxsy Tyler) and a job that just outsourced his position to India. Things turn around for Angus when he discovers the teaching of motivational speaker, Jack Harrington (THE WIRE’S Christopher Mann), and he uses these lessons to transform himself into a force to be reckoned with. The chaos that ensues is violent, darkly humorous, and often disturbing.

The independent production has a lot going for it. First and foremost, Grillo’s script creates a strong tension between comedy and thrills. The suspense in each death scene builds and builds until a piece of quirky dialogue provides a wonderful break. The humor, carried out through the dialogue, is really what makes the film stand out amongst its peers in the genre.

Another commendable aspect of it is the cast. BOOLEY brings together an ensemble of professionals, and everyone performs quite nicely. Detrik is sympathetic and darkly funny as Angus; Mann’s scenes as Jack Harrington are impossible to look away from. Hayslett and Browne also turn in outstanding performances as Angus’ troubled family members.

Add in a musical score (also by Grillo) that keeps the atmosphere beautifully bizarre, a script that moves at a tight pace and cameos by various cult and comedy celebrities, you have a gripping thriller that is also tons of fun to watch. Highly recommended, folks.

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