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Cast: John Diaz, James Primo Grant
A member of the notorious Bloods since he was 12 years old – both in the film and in real life -- Primo takes John, the son of his slain mentor, under his wing, versing him in the code of the streets. Set in East New York, FIVE STAR blends documentary and fictional storytelling as director Keith Miller carefully avoids worn clichés of gang culture to offer a compelling portrait of two men forced to confront the question of what it really means to be a man.
"Five Star" is Director, Keith Miller's second feature film after doing several short films as a before hand. He also wrote the script and I have to say this looks like the one that will put him on the map as a director to look out for. As the film opens Primo recalls that he wasn't there when his son was born, he was in prison. He is teary eyed and this scene of him letting his defenses down is such a powerful scene that it sets the tone for the rest of the film.
I am not going to go into any more plot details here because the synopsis about covers all you need to know and to be honest, this is a film that really needs to be seen rather then told about.
Using non-actors in any film is risky at best but having real life gang member, James "Primo" Grant play the lead role was genius. It not only gives the story a lot more realism but his performance has to be one of the best breakout performances of the year. John Diaz plays john who Primo takes interest in helping after the boy's father died. Diaz has been in one short film before this but that is all going to change after his stellar performance here.
"Five Star" is not your typical gang movie because it doesn't try to show lots of lavish fight scenes and shoot outs. Instead it gives everyone a look inside what gang life is all about. It is powerful, gritty and engaging. Many gang members wish they had a better life but the opportunities are not there. I am not a big fan of gang related movies but this film is something special. The story and characters bring a human side to it all and you really feel for these characters and their families.
Easily one of the best films I have seen this year and one I highly recommend owning. Available now on DVD with Special Features that include:
From Script to Screen: The Making of Five Star
You can order the DVD HERE.
"Five Star" has to be the most realistic films of it's kind and it is most definitely one of this year's finest so do not miss checking it out.
Released by XLrator Media
***** Out Of *****