The Brass Teapot

discs rectify header

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Rectify Daniel Holden (Aden Young) is released from prison after serving 19 years on death row for the rape and murder of a teenage girl, but his return home opens up a world of troubled complications for everyone involved. The small, Southern community is divided on the issue of his innocence as the DNA evidence seems at odds with his own confession, and those doubts are just some of the issues he now faces. Character actor Ray McKinnon moves behind the camera here as the show’s creator, and the result is easily one of the year’s finest and most affecting shows. The story shares some thematic similarities to the brilliant Boy A, but it quickly finds its own rhythms and strengths thanks to a smart ensemble filled with heartbreaking performances and characters. It’s not needed, but the show also features some suspense and mystery surrounding Daniel’s possible guilt. It’s a short season at only six episodes, but happily Sundance Channel has ordered an additional ten for season two. [DVD extras: Featurettes]

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review brass teapot

John (Michael Angarano) and Alice (Juno Temple) are a young couple high on love and low on net worth. He goes to a job he hates every day while she struggles to find even that much, but their lives are upended when she’s compelled to steal an old, brass teapot from a rundown antique shop. The teapot, like something designed by O. Henry’s more sadistic brother, dispenses cash when in the presence of pain. As John states and promptly ignores early on, this is going to end badly. Almost immediately the duo are taking turns hurting themselves and each other for the blood money that fills the pot. They smash, hit, and burn themselves. They get tattoos, Brazilian waxes and root canals. And they agree that they’ll stop as soon as they reach $1 million. But greed has a funny way of helping people rationalize even the most idiotic decisions, and soon they’re in well over their heads with the pain, the cruelty and with a pair of Hassidic Jews prone to using their own brand of violence to get what they want.

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trailer_brass teapot

It was a rare thing once upon a time to see films debuting on VOD before hitting DVD or even theaters, but that’s no longer the case. While there have been several successes in recent years the most buzzed about involves the film Bachelorette which made barely $400k in theaters but took in $5.5 million from its pre-theatrical VOD run. That’s no chump change for a low budget independent film. One of the many smaller films hoping to duplicate that success is Ramaa Mosley‘s The Brass Teapot. Michael Angarano and Juno Temple star as a young couple beaten down by life who soon discover that if they have to suffer why not do it for cash? A magical antique purchase seems to offer them a shortcut to happiness, but the cost may be more than their bodies and hearts can afford. Check out the Twilight Zone-inspired shenanigans below.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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