Jacob Motsinger, Christopher Alice, Kristi Engelmann WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Christopher Showerman MPAA RATING
NR RUNNING TIME
102 Mins. DISTRIBUTED BY
"Radio America" Picked up by Indie Distributor Indican Pictures
Jacob Motsinger and Christopher Alice star as Eric and Dave, two farmers dreaming of a better life in music whose dreams start to come true when the two appear in a local music competition and before long the two land put a band together, land a contract and begin enjoying all the spoils of family before, as one might expect, it all comes crashing down in fairly dramatic ways.
Written and directed by first time helmer Christopher Showerman, Radio America is a fairly straightforward semi-cautionary, semi-inspirational and semi-entertaining tale that covers familiar territory done in a far more satisfactory manner by any number of Hollywood and indie cinematic productions. This doesn't mean that Radio America is a waste of time - it's not. For a low-budget indie, and I have to add that disclaimer here, it's a decent enough effort indicate of some solid talent in Showerman for constructing a story and bringing it to life. Unfortunately, the story's actually the weakest part of Radio America, a fairly paint-by-numbers story with paper thin character development and an emotional climax that feels hollow given the lack of emotional resonance throughout most of the film.
The music in Radio America doesn't particularly help as it's difficult to buy into Eric and Dave's seemingly overnight success given that their tunes don't really stand out.
Of course, I still can't explain the whole Justin Bieber thing.
Among the key players, relative newcomer Christopher Alice shows the most promise with a performance that is emotionally honest and seemingly always on the edge of something awesome if the script wouldn't keep letting him down. Motsinger's not quite up to Alice's level, but the two enjoy a nice chemistry and that may very well be enough to keep you watching.
Radio America is the kind of film that may very well open doors for Showerman, not because it's a brilliant film but because it does a decent enough job of showing how much he can do with so little. A film that you'll likely want to like far more than you actually do like, Radio America is a promising debut from Showerman and one can only hope he lives up to that promise in future projects.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic
The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge
The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.