Skip to main content

Blood Empires



2014

Directed By: Peter Rajesh Joachim

Written By: Stevie Jay and Peter Rajesh Joachim

Staring: Kassandra Santos, Stevie Jay, Amanda Barker |


Blood Empires is an independently produced crime drama focused on street level gangsters, cops and the middle class families that are affected by having loved ones on both sides of the law. At its heart the film is about individuals grasping to hang on to there humanity while their professions strip it away. The film seems to ask if people who are involved in such brutal lives can find and maintain love. 

Less can be more. If there is one thing I can say about the visual style of the film.... its in no way restrained. The film opens with a 3 or 4 minute slow motion sequence that leads to an execution in front of a church. The droning organ music and slow motion let us know where the scene is heading as soon as it starts but it takes a while to get there. We the audience are one step ahead of the film and when the inevitable happens, the scene has lost its potential impact due to a stylistic choice. The same thing can be said about the make up and effects in the film. I would have enjoyed them in smaller doses. This is something quite common in first time directors. They want to throw everything they know how to do at the screen and sometimes lose sight of audience in the process. 



The film has interesting compositions and good performances especially when you consider it had a 12 day shooting schedule.While Stevie Jay and Kassandra Santos are perfectly capable in their leading roles it was Jackie Laidlaw who really pulled me into the film. She gives a subtle but engaging performance that really highlighted the films strengths. Blood Empires is at its best in its quiet, human moments. When the film is focused on character work it excels. Its clear this film is influenced by 70's films like Death Wish, The French Connection and Serpico but it feels more comfortable when it heads into Five Easy Pieces or Rocky territory. 


There is a lot to like about this film. Its in no way a perfect film but its certainly an interesting one for a first time filmmaker. Blood Empires is currently being submitted to festivals and I understand Joachim is putting together his second feature. With this film he has grabbed my attention and I'm curious to see whatever he does next. If you don't mind a film that's a little rough around the edges I'd give this one a shot. 







Popular posts from this blog

Internet Trolls and Critics in the Age of Rotten Tomatoes - A Look at the Critical Response to GOTTI

Hate, intolerance, and cruelty are the most valued currencies in the digital age. Online publications deal in the same eye-catching tabloid headlines that were once exclusive to rags like WEEKLY WORLD NEWS and the NATIONAL ENQUIRER. The monetization of clicks is ruining many forms of journalism and film criticism is just one of them. When organizations can see what headlines are generating revenue its only natural that sensationalism would start to rise. There is no consorted hivemind like conspiracy to destroy certain films but rather internet activity that has boosted a certain type of writer. From the outside, online film critics share quite a bit with their Twitter troll counterparts.

The critical response to John Travolta's passion project Gotti has been less than favorable, in fact, it has been downright abysmal. A project over ten years in the making, Travolta has poured his heart and soul into this venture. And many writers seem to take pleasure in the film's failure.

I…

NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…

99 FROM 99: Cruel Intentions

On our latest episode of99 FROM 99, one host discovers some disturbing secrets about his co-host. All will be revealed in this episode on guilty pleasure CRUEL INTENTIONS! Namely that one host disagrees with the verdict of feeling guilt for enjoying this look at the cutthroat world of the powerful and wealthy transported to the realm of high school drama. Meanwhile the other host just feels bad for Selma Blair and all parties involved, including our dear listeners. Did we mention to give us a follow and a listen at the links below? Support what we do with bonus content and early episodes onPatreon Listen iTunes/Podbean Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @99from99