I could do without the whispering-narration indie film cliché, but otherwise Cheung delights the audience with his personal vision, thanks to his astuteness in the art of photography. While what has happened isn't spelled out, what is clear and poignantly portrayed is the effect poverty and hopelessness have on families and the young people left behind. Mickey decides to go looking for answers outside of his Salton Sea community, the discoveries he ends up making too ambiguous and vague to be as deeply moving as I think Cheung intends them to be. When the sons and daughters imagine the Moon, they imagine a kind of paradise. But their relationship is threatened — and her anger incrementally diminishes — when her prodigal dad unexpectedly returns. Even though the landscape is bleak and the future uncertain, the movie still leaves you with a sense of hope.
When that goes away, the men of the town, including Roman, go away, too. More to the point, those feelings also play out within Mickey's story, as the boy soon learns that being responsible is difficult, love is tricky, expectations for what he should be like as a man are high and specific, and life in what has become a ghost town can be quite empty when it's not all fun and games. It's beautifully shot with interesting camera angles and extreme close-ups of its fresh young stars. I thought it very cool for James Franco to make an appearance in this, and a nice appearance it was; this is very indie, very imaginative and spell binding, I felt quite bad for everyone living without a father figure , it really resonates with single families and the ending really impaled the exclamation mark to what it takes to become a very strong and wonderful parent. But her sons and their friends remain aimless, unfocused and, when they allow themselves to think of their absent fathers, bitterly resentful. Late in his narration, Mickey tells us he imagines his father butt nekkid in a hot tub with beautiful Moon women.
Cheung doesn't spell out any of the concerns of the absent men, partly because the kids don't care to understand what their fathers have done. After getting into a fistfight with some co-workers, John leaves before the factory shuts down but well after the nearby lake has mostly dried up, leaving behind the ruins of a hotel and various shops. In the mind of a child, as well as the mind of the man who bluntly states that he has made a lunar voyage, it's much better than the alternative—that the men simply have given up, abandoned their families, and seemingly possess no intention of returning. It's in the mind of its protagonist, a teenage boy who's learning that life becomes more difficult as the responsibilities of adulthood are thrust upon him, and the other kids like him in this town. The film is light on dialog and heavy on brutally beautiful cinematography painting the mood. With his use of expressive close-ups coupled with long expansive shots of seemingly never-ending desert vistas of a dilapidated, crumbling community on the verge of being gobbled up by the sand, the film is undeniably visually impressive.
The basic thrust of the plot involves an entire community of abandoned wives and kids where all of the men for one reason or another have slowly left to explore their options elsewhere. It's going somewhere, not leaving home without an explanation. Review by Mark Dujsik January 17, 2019 The adult men of a small factory town disappear shortly after the factory closes for good. It would rather lean on male stereotypes involving fighting and virility. I hope he volunteered his time.
Mickey finds himself making meals and generally caring for his initially distraught mother and younger brother Kolya Zackary Arthur , as well as hanging out and causing trouble with other kids They tear apart abandoned trailers for scrap to trade to a local collector. The rationales—the plant closing, the lack of jobs or even prospects, the feeling of complete failure—are self-explanatory. Eva digs in her heels, however, and not once are we privy to her reasoning. Events are centered on 16-year-old Mickey Jeffrey Wahlberg , his father Roman Franco taking time to teach him how to drive before slipping out of town himself to who knows where, leaving the teen to take care of his emotionally devastated mother Eva an outstanding Rashida Jones and younger brother Kolya Zackary Arthur. Every step is dusty and the horizon is an unbroken line a million miles away.
Since we are not given any information, either in the visuals or in the performances, for the choices most of the characters consider making. Cheung designs things in a way that it all ends up becoming a stream of consciousness mash-up of emotional disparities that bounce off one another as if they were a rubber ball trapped inside a hollow cube being shaken by a cantankerous child. In small measures, a bit at time, the town begins to be reconstituted, at least for this generation, for a while. Maybe paradise lies anywhere but home. Film Rating: 2½ out of 4 We are dedicated to creating a distinguished user experience and a website rich in content with solid execution.
These are his kinds of characters—aimless, destructive and horny. Where they go is a mystery. Cheung sends the viewer to the Moon so many times that I began to question if Ralph Kramden had written this movie. The previous reviewer was right - this film deserves an audience and should be showing at more than one out of the way theater in a major metropolitan area. Rashida Jones plays Eva Smalley, young mother of two boys who becomes den mother to the town after Roman disappears. The direction and the screenplay from Bruce Thierry Cheung adapting a novel by Dean Bakopoulos — both first-rate, from the precise nature of the dialogue to the confidently quiet pacing to the almost docudrama-style movements of the camera. Executive producers: James Franco, Vince Jolivette, Jim Reeve, Robert Halmi Jr.
Good acting by the principal stars but slow moving and a little too full of symbolism for my taste. Save Not much happens in this mild narrative. Events are told from the viewpoint of 16-year-old Mickey Jeffrey Wahlberg , whose father James Franco is only the latest in a long line of fathers and husbands to just up and leave their families, never to be heard from again. Cheung and his cinematographer Chananun Chotrungroj utilize their poetically sparse and majestically vacant environment with mesmeric precision, the expressive, tragically persuasive charms of this introduction undeniable. Summary: Don't Come Back from the Moon is a story of abandonment, when all the men in a remote California desert town walk away from their families, one by one. Dirty old man leering aside, Clark might have made a more honest take on this material, or at the very least, one that appealed to the sense of hopelessness by way of debauchery. The second is that his father Roman James Franco left for the moon.
How does the community react? With: Jeffrey Wahlberg, Alyssa Elle Steinacker, Rashida Jones, James Franco, Robert Scott Crane, Jeremiah Noe, Cheyenne Haynes, Zackary Arthur. Crew: Director: Bruce Thierry Cheung. Any movie that tackles broken homes deserves merit. But notice the absence of the mother of his child in the scene where he comes back. Fathers abandoning their families is a normal occurrence in this already dreary neighborhood.
Eventually, he must weigh the value of his life and relationships in Bombay Beach and make his own decision whether to stay. Mickey spends the summer killing time with his friends — drinking, horsing around, tearing up abandoned houses for scrap metal they can trade for goods such as used bicycles. Rage wavers in the air with the desert heat. They leave behind wives and girlfriends and children of various ages, with little to no sign of where they've gone. Violence erupts like steam from a rusted radiator.