C47Houston FlixReview:

"Overdose: Death of a Punk Rocker"

 

 

A former band member learns that his best friend, a member of a high-profile band, has died of an apparent drug overdose. Not convinced, he begins to unfold the truth about what happened and the reasons why his friend may not have really overdose but was involved in something more sinister and twisted.

Written by Dwight 'DJ' Yarotsky the story follows Brian, (played by Kareem Ghuneim) former member and bass player for the triple Platinum album award winning "B-Movie Nightmares", a punk rock band and the once singer/songwriter for the band is now a working guitar string salesman at Mr. G's Guitars.

When his best friend and the lead singer of the "B-Movie Nightmares", Brad Stanley (played by Chadsworth Garza) dies of an apparent heroin overdose, the news strikes Brian kind of odd. Not convinced that Brad's death was as obvious as an overdose, Brian starts his own investigation into the death of his best friend. Talking with people that were part of Brad's "inner-circle" Brian pieces together the truth and something more sinister.

Things were going well with Brad and Brian until Snarf (played by Christian Thorne) the new drummer, junkie and someone that is always looking for the new high. joined the band. Since then, their relationship started to come apart with Snarf pulling more and more hijinxs and bringing in more and more drugs. When Snarf pulls an almost deadly prank on Brian, an ultimatum is made, it's either Brian or Snarf.  When Brad is forced to pick Snarf, Brian decides to quit the band one-week before a scheduled gig in front of a couple of music executives. The rest is history for the "B-Movie Nightmares" and Brian is selling guitar strings as the band bullets the record charts.

Now with the death of Brad Stanley, Brain is determined to find out what happened. 

The story itself. The story was written by Dwight 'DJ' Yarotsky, the majority of the story is told through a series of flashbacks and conjectures with a conversation Brian is having with a drug dealer/philosopher by the name of Marley Burroughs (played by Maye Hunta) and a music executive and manager for the band by the name of Darrell Franks (played by Christopher Phipps)   Mr. Yarotsky told a very interesting story and filled it with music factoids, pharmaceutical knowledge, high induced visual trips, twists, turns and some side bars that lead the viewer to explore the reason why Brad Stanley is dead. There were times, where the story seemed to go on tangents, and, initial viewing may give you that feeling that the movie lost track of what was happening, but after viewing it again, the story was excellently delivered. It was entertaining, humorous and uniquely brought to life on the big screen.  Basically, "Overdose: Death of a Punk Rocker" is a who-done-it amateur detective story. But, don't let that stop you from watching this movie. "Overdose" is good story-telling on the part of Mr. Yarotsky. 

The Technical side: This is Mr. Yarotsky's directorial feature motion picture. Initially, we were apprehensive about the production value of a first time feature director, but from opening credits to the ending credits we were surprised at what he was able to accomplish with a minor budget. (WE have seen a lot worse with bigger budgets)

Mr. Yarotsky was not only the director but the cinematographer/DP for this project, as well.  His camera work was creative and fluid. His particular style utilized close-ups and extreme close ups and a variety of shots in between, green screens, stock photos, stock video, computer generated graphics and flash backs. Mr. Yarotsky was creative in his editing from take to take and from scene to scene using over the shoulder shots, using creative angles and some interesting composition all while and using face-room and thirds to compose his frame. 

Sound was good. It was consistent throughout the movie. (there were a couple of scenes where the sounds was compromised, but it it didn't take away from the majority of the movie experience. Intermingled with the movie was music. When appropriate, the music complimented the scene and it was not overwhelming. 

Editing was outstanding and seamless. Cuts were clean, transitions were unremarkable. Lighting wasn't bad but lighting was a bit flat, in some of the scenes (it didn't have the 3d effect or didn't pop-out). This is what make the movie an indie movie.  Not to say that this movie isn't worth the time to watch  because the lighting didn't always maintain that "pop-out" value to it, on the contrary,  this was a fantastic attempt on the part of the director/cinematographer to light some of the more difficult scenes without having a trillion dollar budget or hundreds of thousand of dollars worth of equipment. Actually,  I was impressed.

The team did a great job in casting this movie.  I think there was a couple of mis-cast actors that were stretching and forcing their lines rather than delivering them naturally and, I have to admit that their performances were less than adequate but overall, everyone did an excellent job in their performances.  

The Director, DJ Yarotsky, was able to get some very outstanding performances from actors in this movie (even though a couple may have been miscast) There were some very strong performances, some very emotional performances and some strong comic relief from the actors. This is why this movie is a good movie, the interrelationship between the actors and how they interacted with each other made for an interesting ensemble and made for an entertaining motion picture.

The director created a nice montage accompanied with music near the middle of the movie that was cleaver and humorous and a drug induced sequence that worked very well in capturing the essence and the under-tone of this movie. 

The Director had a small crew and in many aspects Mr. Yarotsky was the crew. However, and saying that, the director did a great job in getting his vision and what he wanted onto the final stages of production, through post and finally through screening.  Without the team effort of everyone involved this movie would not have been half as good. 

Our assessment of this Movie: Again, we were skeptical about the production value of this movie. However, after being invited to the World Premiere screening of "Overdose", we have to say that we were impressed by this first-time director. The production value of this movie is in par with some bigger budgeted indie movies we have seen over the past several years. We are not saying that this is the best movie we have ever seen. We are saying that this particular movie has merit as they have done a more than good job in utilizing the elements of the filmmaking process to create a visually aesthetic and entertaining movie that has some excellent performances, some creative shots, very nice camera techniques, an interesting story, some good music and just a decently made movie that is fun to watch and one of those movies where you just pop into a DVD player or stream on your wireless device and watch on a rainy day.  This is a good movie by Director and writer Dwight 'DJ' Yarotsky. WE hope that he continues making movies and we can't wait to see his second feature movie. 

C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine rated this movie using the TSIRS rating system and scored this movie as a strong 4.7 out of 5 stars

Title: Overdose: Death of a Punk Rocker

Premiere: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 Wellborne Cinema Four, Alvin Texas

Production company: Lo2No Productions

Produced by: Dwight 'DJ' Yarotsky

Writer: Dwight 'DJ' Yarotsky

Director: Dwight 'DJ' Yarotsky

Assistant Director: Chad Garza

Cinematographer/DP: Dwight 'DJ' Yarotsky

Edited by: Dwight 'DJ' Yarotsky

Sound: Brian Dean Hoff, Jacob Wells, J.J. Foster, Nick Chamberlain and Kamau Andrae

Casting by: Dwight 'DJ' Yarotsky

Set Decorations by: Antoinette Anders and Lindsay Faust

Make-up by: Antoinette Anders

Special MU Effects artist: Lindsay Faust

Art Department: 

Medical Set Design by John Stulco, 3d Modeler/Sculpture artist by Lindsay Faust, Funeral Wreaths Creation by Lindsay Foust, Bologna Car Design and Creation by DJ Yarotsky, Casket Design and Creation by DJ Yarotsky and Lindsay Faust, Drug Room Prop design by Danlmal, Drug Room Prop Creation by Danimal, Lindsay Faust and DJ Yarotsky, Prop Fire-Arms Provided by Danimal, Joseph Trevino and Thomas Henley, Lemon-Ade Sign Initial design by: Danimal, Lemon-Ade Stand Final Image composition by DJ Yarotsky, Frouche Box Design and Creation by: DJ Yarotsky, Ronald Reagan Mask Donated by: Steve Arvedson, Ronald Reagan Devil Make-up by: DJ Yarotsky, West Side Earring Design and Created by: DJ Yarotsky, Additional props by: Lindsay Faust.

Special Effects by: DJ Yarotsky

Camera and Electric by Lindsay Faust - Lighting Tech

Casting Associates by Antoinette Anders, Chad Garza, Joe Grisaffi, Thomas Henley, Helena Le, Marque McCoy and Carl Wesley

Costumes and Wardrobe by: Lindsay Faust

Script Supervisors: Lindsay Faust, Danimal, Antoinette Anders, Chadsworth Garza, Darius G. and M. Gibbs

Casting: Kareem Ghuneim as Brian, Christian Thorne as Snarf, Chad Garza as Brad Stanley, Maye Hunte as Marley Burroughs, Kasey James, Jennifer Lockstedt, Julitta Pourciau, Joe Grisaffi, Troy Parker, Antoinette Anders, Miami Johnson, Nathaniel Turvey, Ash Thapliyal, Barbara Ackles, Chris Vij, Justin Thomson, Marque McCoy, Chleo Paz, Jack Gonzales, Elijah Beckett, Randi N. Hall, Melanie StarLynn Veal, David Kufner, Catherine Webre, Mordecai E. Mose, Katelyn King, George Davilla, Wes Linnenbank, Joseph Trevino, Lindsay Faust, Darius G., Charles Viney, Ethan Doung, Russell Pierce, Bruce Ryle, Michelle Helgerson, Ashley Joyner, Carl Wesley, Jackie Le, Amanda Duong, Frank Gonzalez, Helena Le, Max Valdez, Van Stanley, Heather L.S. Diaz, Sarah Canik, Thomas Henley, Leonardo Vu, Ronald Woodard, Andre Campbell, Julia Lyons, Andrew Howard, Krista Hill, Ailea Patrinely, Joe Garcia, Greg Vetter, DJ Yarotsky

Websites: 

Movie IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3118034/ 

Director IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5873906/ 

FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/439323316091728/ 

FB page:  https://www.facebook.com/overdosefilm 

Sneak Peek: https://youtu.be/yCatRnrfyKg 

Writer/Director Dwight 'DJ' Yarotsky is C47Houston WEEKLY no. 36's Featured Director. There he talks about the "Overdose" and gives our readers insight into making a feature movie. You don't want to miss out.  You can read the interview by ordering an eCopy at: 

www.C47Houston.com/C47Weeklys2015E36.htm

Reviewed by H.Luna, C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine August 17th, 2015 2008-2015 All Rights Reserved 

 
 

             

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