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The Money Trail (2009)

DVD Cover (Golden West Films)
Crime, Crime Thriller, Escape Film, Prison Film
Ray Etheridge Ray Etheridge
William Charles Bresch William Charles Bresch
Lucas Bush Lucas Bush
Patrick Campion Patrick Campion
Gilbert Cannatella Gilbert Cannatella
Julian Cuevas Julian Cuevas

4.6 / 10 - 1 vote

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Review by Tobes
Added: January 24, 2010
As a member of this site, this is the first indie movie that I've had the opportunity to review. Other then the small summary given on the DVD, I had no idea what to expect with the film. The Money Trail is the seventh "micro-budget" film by Ray and Migdalia Etheridge, a two person movie team from Florida.

Lenny Scarpelli (Shane Andries) is sitting in jail, when all of a sudden another inmate gives him a book. He says that he doesn't care if Lenny wants it or not, but he needs to take it because "the plans in action". Lenny opens to book to reveal a cell phone, which he uses to call his dad Armando (Gilbert Cannatella). Through this conversation, we find out that Lenny took the rap for his dad's drug dealing, and that his father is so thankful, he currently has a few guys coming out to spring Lenny from jail, to the tune of a two million dollar payday. He also points out that if his guys can't do it, the payday can go to anyone who brings Lenny home. While out on work release, the plan springs into action, but with a few flaws. Bullets are fired, and one of the police officers who were watching the work release handcuff Lenny and runs away with him. They decide to work together to escape the bounty hunters, since at this point the bounty hunters want both of them at this point.

The acting as a whole is a little pained in this film. It seems like the actors are reading their lines off of cue cards during the film, and there's a pause between each person's lines. The main family (Scarpelli) in this movie is supposed to be Italian gangsters/mobsters, and both son and father have extremely plain delivery of their lines. You would have no idea that they were supposed to be gangsters other then the fact that the dad keeps talking about how important the family is, and how no one tells him how to run his business while he's in charge.

The outdoor visuals are all very lush, as most of the film takes place in the Floridian outdoors. However, the indoor visuals are also a little off. Most of the scenes are green-screened (which is fine), and once again, while I wouldn't expect A+ special effects from a small budget film, whenever the actors move in front of the screen you can see the "interaction" with their clothes and the green screen. There are videos online made by random teens/young adults who use a green screen better.

As a whole, it seems like I'm giving the film a lot of shit just because of the "indie" aspect of it, but it's not. I can respect the work that Ray/Migdalia put into their film, but there's a lot of little flaws in The Money Trail that could have been avoided, and not just in aspects that would cost lots of money to fix.

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