C47Houston Flix Review:

"Hardball: All Balls Don't Bounce"

 

 

An assassin working for the police department, the Russian mafia, the Asian mob, Human trafficking, the sex trade and the killing of a kingpin starts the adventure that will put a man in the middle of them all in this feature motion picture by Director Jerry Ochoa, “Hardball: All Balls Don’t Bounce”.

Written by Mr. Ochoa and Anthony Watson, “Hardball” tells the story of a man named Hardball (played by Cilton J. Beard III) a vigilante/assassin working under the table with the police department to rid the city of bad guys. After killing a Russian kingpin, Nicolai, (played by Danny Kamin) who deals with human trafficking of women for the sex trade business, one of the women seeks out Hardball to help them get free from the mob.

While talking, members of the Asian mob who work with the Russian mafia enter the restaurant and violence ensues and several members are killed, including the young woman. Now, Hardball is a target and must find out what is going on. He finds that not only are the two gangs targeting him but the people he works with, the police department are also involved with the Russian mafia and the Asian Mob and are using him to kill others in order to stuff their own wallets and bring in more girls.

Now, Hardball is determined to help bring down this human trafficking business and expose the culprits.

Shot, in part, in Houston, Galveston, Austin and Corpus Christi, Texas Director Jerry Ochoa did a good job in this action/adventure feature movie. Location scouting was excellent and the audience was shown some very photogenic areas of town. Sound was consistent throughout the movie and it was a treat to see some care taken in foley work. It added to the overall uniqueness of this feature. The fight Choreography in the movie was pretty realistic and fast. WE admit there were times where some of the fight scenes were beyond belief, but in total it worked for this movie. They took a lot of care in making sure that it worked for the audience as well.

Behind the camera as cinematographer, Mr. Ochoa did a great job in moving his camera to tell the story. Camera angles were utilized and created a visual canvass. He did a great job in framing and blocking his shots. Cuts were smooth and seamless as should be expected.

One thing we noticed was that there may have been more than one type of camera being used to shoot this movie. There is a noticeable distinction between scenes with the movie exhibiting grain for some scenes and clarity in others. Not a huge factor in the overall viewing of this movie, however, it is noticeable and somewhat of a distraction when looking at the technical value of making this movie.

As well, a factor in the production value of this movie is the use of computer-generated explosives. Realizing that permits and insurance may be needed for such an endeavor, the use of computer animated or constructed explosives in this particular project made this movie less than perfect. It looked fake and cartoonish.  All being said, it was a fun movie to watch. Some of the scenes ran a little long and editing could have been just a little tighter, but I think you will enjoy the technical side of this movie. Not a bad job for Mr. Ochoa’s directorial feature debut feature motion picture.

The story itself was interesting…crime, sex and adventure. The writers did a good job in expressing the hardships of human trafficking. There is a lot of comic relief in the movie to the extent that it came across as campy and slapstick. Had the team, director and writer stayed focused with the theme of the movie, it would have come across the screen a little better and reinforced the problems of human trafficking.

Performances from the actors came across as believable. Casting was decent and each of the selected actors/actresses complimented each other with regard to ensemble. It was a good cast of talent for this movie.

In all, this was a good movie and one that has given director Jerry Ochoa the opportunity to continue making movies. We saw his last movie, a short called “This Neighborhood” and this director is making some outstanding projects.

Judge for yourself, pick up a copy and watch it. Support independent movie making and help by becoming involved or becoming a producer with your funds.

The TSIRS rating: C47Houston gives this feature a 4.0 out of 5 on the TSIRS scale.

C47Houston was at the premiere of “Hardball: All Balls Don’t Bounce” and we took some pictures. You can see those pictures at:  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2231858235469.2137383.1218281768&type=1&l=5f7dfeee8d

And, C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine was able to grab Director Jerry Ochoa prior to the screening of his movie and he talked about it. You can see that video on our YouTube channel at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGkrP_0yd5A

Title: Hardball: All Balls Don’t Bounce

Running time: 85-minutes

Production company: Street Legal Productions

Released: July 2008

Houston Premiere: July 30, 2011

Director: Jerry Ochoa

Writers: Jerry Ochoa, Anthony Watson

Producers:  Jerry Ochoa, Sophia Vassilakidis

Associate Producers: David Lowey, Jerry T. Ochoa, Robert Ochoa, John Schiffmayer, Robin Watson

Cinematographer: Jerry Ochoa

Editor: Jerry Ochoa

Special Effect: Allan Hutton

Stunt performer: Venda D’Abato

Stunt Coordinator: Lascelles McCarthy

Music: Scott Szabo

Casting: Cilton Beard III, Anthony Watson, Venda D'Abato, Terry Wong, Caleb Curtis,  Jill Brumer Danny Kamin Michael Roy, Ariana Allen,

Websites:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1273214/   (Hardball)

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2619673/  (Jerry Ochoa)

 
 

             

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