Tribeca Film’s NEON FLESH Premieres On Demand TodayFebruary 24, 2012

Tribeca Film’s NEON FLESH Premieres On Demand Today

Tibeca Film

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: NEON FLESH (Tribeca Film).

By Joe Charnitski


The gritty street drama that shines a bright light into the dark corners of crime and punishment has been a part of cinema since the beginning of movies. Warner Bros. built their studio on bold gangster pictures in the 1920’s and 30’s. Many cinephiles would credit Scorsese’s MEAN STREETS for invigorating the genre and spotlighting the common hoodlum over the mafia don. The 1990’s gave us Tarantino, and his many imitators, and just a few years ago the Italian film GOMORRAH received raves for its brazen depiction of modern Italy and the expendable, low-level thugs running its streets.

NEON FLESH is a new Spanish film that forces its way into the canon of down and dirty, rough and tumble, life on the street pictures. Its protagonist, Ricky, a 20-something hustler who’s only know life in the gutters, defines the film’s philosophy in a very early voice-over, which I’ll paraphrase: there are two kinds of people, those selling flesh and those buying. There’s plenty of flesh being sold in this movie, both literally and figuratively, but who’s buying and who’s not? Well, that’s what makes the story worth telling.


Ricky’s mother, Pura, is due to be released from prison any day now. She abandoned Ricky a decade earlier when she was working as a prostitute. Instead of holding a grudge and cursing her name, Ricky anticipates his mother’s release like they’ve always been the best of friends. He even goes to great lengths to save money (earned by selling drugs) and buy her a very special gift: a brothel. Not my first choice on Mother’s Day, but this isn’t your average family.

Ricky recruits his friend Angelito to help him acquire the women, fix up the real estate and get his bar/club/house of ill repute up and running. Angelito warns his young friend that the big boys of the local crime scene aren’t going to be too happy with his attempts to climb out of the gutter and into the upper reaches of perversion for profit. That’s their turf. The kid won’t listen. He’s doing it for Mom after all.

As the plot builds more than one crime boss comes after Ricky and his business, his first encounters with his mother after all of these years are not what he hoped for and he eventually finds himself in the middle of a war of revenge between local police and Chino, an underworld overlord who’s son was killed under suspicious circumstances. By the end, ala PULP FICTION, it’s amazing how everything is connected.

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Exclusive Clip: Barry Levinson Discusses Digital Revolution In SIDE BY SIDEAugust 24, 2012

Exclusive Clip: Barry Levinson Discusses Digital Revolution In SIDE BY SIDE

Fleet and instructive, with a solid contribution from an engaged and respectful Keanu Reeves, it’s a can’t-miss film for anyone who’s ever said “let’s watch a movie.” A celebration of film’s past and anticipation of its future, SIDE BY SIDE is one of the finest movies of the year. - Chris Claro, On Demand Weekly.


Exclusive Clip: Barry Levinson Discusses Digital Revolution In SIDE BY SIDE




SIDE BY SIDE (Tribeca Film) can be found on demand.


See Chris' Other Reviews & Interviews...

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VOD Spotlight: Chris Kenneally (SIDE BY SIDE)November 04, 2012

VOD Spotlight: Chris Kenneally (SIDE BY SIDE)

Chris Kenneally / SIDE BY SIDE

Kate Asche Wilson (@KateDoesLife) interviews filmmaker Chris Kenneally of the documentary SIDE BY SIDE (narrated by Keanu Reeves).

Kate Asche Wilson (KAW): Tribeca Films’ SIDE BY SIDE is currently on demand. I’m Kate Asche Wilson of On Demand Weekly and I’m interviewing the documentary’s director Christopher Kenneally at the Palo Alto International Film Festival. So first off, Chris, what interested you in screening the film for Silicon Valley audiences in Palo Alto, California?
Christopher Kenneally (CK):
Well It just seemed like a natural fit since our movie has a lot of technology in it. The subject matter is about how digital technology is changing how films are being made. So it was kind of perfect. I saw some of the names of the people that were attending PAIFF and I was like wow that’s great I’m really honored to be here.

KAW: What are the origins of SIDE BY SIDE?
The idea for the movie really came from Keanu Reeves. Keanu and I were working on a movie called HENRY’S CRIME together that he was the producer of and was also starring in. A lot of the conversations and the topics that we cover in SIDE BY SIDE were things that he and I were talking about during filming. One day he said to me you’re a documentary filmmaker, why don’t we make a movie about this topic, and I said of course.

KAW: And he was down to narrate it and everything?
Yeah he and I had a bunch of meetings and tried to figure out what the movie was really going to be about. We made a hit list of the people that we wanted to interview, and really set out to document this moment in time when the industry is really changing.

KAW: How did you get financing for it?

CK: Keanu Reeves!
SIDE BY SIDE (Tribeca Film)

KAW: Keanu Reeves! My god he’s amazing that man.

CK: Yeah he’s had some success in the past.

KAW: Oh just a little.

CK: But even though it was Keanu Reeves, and we have a lot of famous directors and people like that in the movie, it really was low budget. We had probably a crew of three or four people. One of which was Keanu who was dragging lights around, jumping in vans, and flying all over. It was down and dirty. Which is a fun way to make movies.

KAW: You had such illustrious filmmakers that you got interviews with? How did you do that? How did you go about that?
Keanu Reeves!

KAW: Keanu Reeves! No!


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