Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Diamonds and Guns

My friend, George, keeps telling me I need to see more independent films. Well, if they're anything like Diamonds and Guns, I'd rather slit my cinematic wrists.

Diamonds and Guns follows best friends Ashley and Bria as they set off to Las Vegas to change their luck, caused mostly by ineptitude and a habit of picking the wrong men. In a comedy of errors, they find themselves involved with the mob, chased by a hitman, and falling in love, again with the unlikeliest guys.

Ah, if only what happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas. But, unfortunately, it ended up on DVD after two years of trying to get financing to finish the darn thing. Renee O'Connor, she of Xena fortune, got involved in production to help it along.

The biggest problem, other than the fact that the film looks rather cheaply made, is that the writing is lackluster and there's no plot here. We're not really sure why the girls go to Vegas. The playout of what does pass for a plot is visually boring. Well, except for the part where Renee's character is throwing up, and that's quite often. Still, even that's not visually arresting. It's'd think there'd be gambling. Nope. Just mob guys who don't seem to have anything to do with gambling. Or prostitution. Or, really, anything. But then again, we must realize this is romantic comedy. It's not DeNiro in Casino.

Good parts, and there are a few. There are some interesting-looking people here even if they don't have much to work with. Renee is very good in a comedy role, but that shouldn't be a surprise to Xena fans. Renee had 6 years to hone her skills in that direction. And there's a neat but too short cameo by Ted Raimi (Joxer in Xena), who is terribly funny in anything he touches.

I admire these folks for getting together to make a movie, a la Judy and Mickey, but on the most shoestring of budgets. Still, at an hour and 11 minutes, it's 'way too long. About one hour too long.

Place your bets that Diamonds and Guns doesn't make it into major distribution. Xena fans, however, are giving it 18 stars and buying it off Renee's personal website. Their loyalty is famous.

Thumb's down.


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