C47Houston Flix Review:

"Mulberry Stains"

 

 

Lost, angry, broke and followed by a past that still haunts her, one woman now has to confront what happened to her by going home in this Texas made feature motion picture by Director JT Villalobos.

An emotional feature and written by Tiffany Heath, “Mulberry Stains” tells the story of Harper (played by Tricia Jo Hoffman) a young woman whose life really hasn’t been the same since her childhood. Older now and away for a decade, her marriage has failed, she is constantly running from her ex (played by Denton Blane Everett), she has a 12 year old child, Navy (played by Bailey Gambertoglio) who hasn’t seen her father, they move from place to place and broke they now have to move back home and back to Savannah, Harper’s mother (played by Joey Lauren Adams). While home, Harper struggles with the scars of her past that seems to be enveloping her daughter but there is more to the story...there are family secrets on both sides of the track and Harper is going to find out the truth and give her daughter the things she didn’t get.

Behind the camera is cinematographer Brian Vilim who did an outstanding job in shooting this movie. The shots are moving and dramatic. Camera movement, angles and composition of frame are consistent throughout the movie.  With the Directors vision and the Cinematographers eye “Mulberry Stains” is a visual canvas – it was a visually and aesthetically pleasing movie to see. The opening scene is haunting, dramatic and sets the tone for the film – both emotional and dark.

Initially, the story itself was a bit hard to follow. The focus didn’t come to the surfaces until later in the film and there really wasn’t a reference point to give the audience reason for Harper’s problems, frustration and anger. Actress Tricia Jo Hoffman did a great job in capturing the frustration and anger characterized by Harper. At times, however, that anger was misplaced but taking the movie as a whole one realizes why there were outbursts. From the moment you are introduced to the Harper character there was a sense that something in her life was causing her to act out but one didn’t know what it was until later.

 Another outstanding performance came from actor Robert Works who played “Percy”, a soft spoken and manipulative drunk who lives in the trailer next to Savannah’s home. Director JT Villalobos was able to bring out a convincing and pretty messed up character with Percy. You didn’t know whether to like him or hate him. His presence on the screen was brilliant.

One other notable performance came from actress Joey Lauren Adams who played Savannah. You may remember Ms. Adams as the lead in “Chasing Amy”. In “Mulberry Stains” Ms. Adams’ performance was outstanding. She is cunning, smart and the center of controversy in this movie. Director JT Villalobos was able to bring out of Ms. Adams’ a cold, strong and unemotional character in Savannah. When you first meet Savannah one thinks she is sweet and nice, but just when you think things are all flowers, her persona changes to reveal her strong side and a side that takes no crap from anyone. With alcohol in one hand a cigarette in the other; Ms. Adams’ nailed this part completely.

The entire cast did an amazing job in the performances of their chosen characters. This was an ensemble and a well thought out casting of actors and actresses. All casted talent, in “Mulberry Stains” complimented each other and each was able to stand on their own merits in this movie. Unforgettable characters filled with secrets.

As well, a single person does NOT make a movie. The entire crew did a fantastic job in delivering a well-made feature motion picture to the big screen.

What we didn’t like about the movie was the perpetuation of the “Texas” image and the constant portrayal of cowboy hats and trucks, longnecks and do-drop-ins. All you had to do with this movie was to show a couple of old trucks and you would have been transported back to the 50’s.  We also didn’t like the emotional state of the Harper character. We thought it was a little over the top to be in constant sorrow and upheaval especially lugging around a pre-teen that you desire to be stable.

Technically, “Mulberry Stains” was good movie and in par with what you would expect a movie to look like and feel like. Sound was consistent throughout the entirety of the film, lighting was dynamic, color was consistent and the music score flowed from one scene to the other, set the mood and was not overbearing. As well, editing was outstanding, smooth and flowing. Cuts were tight, although there were times when continuity might have been a problem and outside suspension of belief.

The story was just a little slow in coming to the point and having to keep up with the triad of stories that intertwined is going to be a bit much for the average viewing audience. Some would consider “Mulberry Stains” to be “chick” flix and perhaps one will have a hard time trying to convince a man to watch someone that is constantly crying and exhibiting anger in an emotional state, but we disagree. We gave it a chance and found it appealing enough to want to see why this character is acting the way she is acting and to find out what happened to her. Near the last third of the movie one will definitely empathize with the character and cry with her.  Check it out for yourself. Decide for yourself. Go watch the movie.

TSIRS rating: 4.3 out of 5 on the TSIRS scale.

C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine was invited to the set while in production June of 2012 and we took some pictures. You can see those pictures at: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4187288199996.2181426.1218281768&type=1&l=dd1f09c9db

Also, producer and writer Tiffany Heath was on the cover of C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine, You can view that issue at: http://tinyurl.com/C47HoustonNovDec2013 

Title: Mulberry Stains

Production Company: Mulberry Stains Productions

Running time: 90-Minutes

Director: JT Villalobos

Written by: Tiffany Heath

Cinematographer: Brian Vilim

Editor: JT Villalobos

Stunt Coordinator: Mark Chavarria

Utility Stunts: Tim Mattfeld

MUA: Mandy Holverson

Special Effects: Cliff Holverson

Original Music by: Rich Douglas

Produced by: Tiffany Heath, Robert Lott, Barry Strickland and Mark Chavarria

Casting: Tricia Jo Hoffman, Bailey Gambertoglio, Joey Lauren Adams, Kelvin Payton, Robert Works, Chaz Wood, Robert Lott, Benton Blane Everett, Connie Cooper, Julie Oliver-Touchstone, Jacqueline King, Kaelynn Wright, Patrick Sane.

IMDB: www.imdb.com/title/tt2262788/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MulberryStains

 
 

             

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