Marc Powers, Gabrielle Salvi, Kris Salvi, Justin Thibault
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
"10:59 PM" a Creative, Entertaining Short
With 10:59 PM, writer/director Kris Salvi steps out of his usual cinematic comfort zone a bit to tell the story of Joe Maxwell (Marc Powers), a low-level criminal having the worst night of life after his girlfriend (Gabrielle Salvi) leaves him, his local bar hang-out leaves him dry, and weird-ass Mikey (Kris Salvi) hires him for a quick drive across town that proves to be a nail on the coffin of normalcy that takes the night from bad to worse.
Salvi has never shied away from the darker fringes of daily life, though 10:59 PM is a bit quirkier, lots more unusual, and even a tad funnier than he usually goes with his material whether he's acting, writing, directing, or all of the above. Indeed, it's never quite clear where Salvi plans to go with 10:59 PM but it's sure a lot of fun getting there.
Marc Powers is an absolute gem as Joe, who struck me as a cross between your usual low-level mafioso and George Carlin. Powers gives an exasperated performance here, reminding us that even bad guys can have bad guys and some bad guys have to work a little bit harder to be bad. Gabrielle Salvi shines as Sicilia, his long-suffering girlfriend who finally gives up on her low-level "bagman," a smalltime crook whose aspirations to move up in the criminal world have never quite panned out. Joe is seemingly good at what he does - he just doesn't do a whole heck of a lot.
The film's real secret weapon, pun intended, is Salvi himself as Mikey. Mikey seems to exist on the fringes of the dark side himself, an even lower-level crook with a fear of the Westside Strangler and an aura that exists somewhere between Sandler's Bobby Boucher and Sandler's Howard Ratner. It's a weird performance that Salvi actually makes work.
If there's an aspect of 10:59 PM that doesn't quite click it's the film's hit-and-miss lighting, not completely unexpected for a low-budget indie short but still worth noting as it pulled me out of the action on a couple of occasions. On the flip side, Chris Esper's always precise lensing is solid throughout along with Esper's editing for the film.
It's always a treat to review a Kris Salvi film. Salvi seems to have established himself a consistent, talented film community with which he works regularly (not unlike the aforementioned Sandler) and it's clear they're all in sync with one another. 10:59 PM is yet another gem from this filmmaking squad and it'll be fun to watch the film travel the indie/microcinema fest circuit.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic