Title: Black Ruby
Rating: Not Rated
Director: La Raza, Zachary Laoutides
Starring: Zachary Laoutides, Ric Morgan, Krystal E. Heredia.
Runtime: 1 hr 31 mins
What is it: Jules and Louis, hustlers and Jazz musicians struggle to create a hit when a Black-Hispanic escort named Ruby interrupts their lives distracting their music and causing Louis to fight his friend’s debts away.
What we think: After reading the synopsis to this film, I initially began this film very excited. However, what started as excitement soon after turned into disappointment. Definitely was not what I was expecting at all. It is very unclear to me as to what the intention was for this film. The sound was decent and the cinematography was questionable during certain scenes but definitely not the worst part. Part of what sparked disappointment and ultimately confusion was the inconsistency with lighting and the music choices. It seemed as if the director was trying to make this film a period piece since this film gave off a Goodfellas/Casino vibe with the lighting, costumes, and music involved and the characters talking as if they lived in the 1970s. However, that specific tone was not completely captured when they added music that one would expect to hear after the 1970s. The other aspect about this film that was quite unsettling was not only the acting but the lack of character development in the majority of the characters and the relationship between them. In general, the acting either seemed over the top as if they were trying too hard or their expressions seemed blank and they looked like they were uncomfortable and didn’t know what to do. Certain scenes, including the love scenes, were very cringe-worthy because of the cinematography as well as the choreography used for these particular scenes. The fight scenes were also not very believable. Overall, it was very confusing. The characters themselves lacked depth and dimension within their personalities. I found myself having a rather difficult time trying to get emotionally involved with any of the characters. To make this film better, the music needs to be more consistent, the acting and choreography need to be more believable, and the characters need more layers to their persona.
Our grade: F, This is a film which needs more character and story development in order to be successful. As is, it is rather difficult to follow the story because of the inconsistencies and underdeveloped aspects of the film. With more work, this story could be great.