Yes, the summer movie season is revving up, but before you switch gears and put your brain on cruise control, there’s a little something on the more thoughtful side to check out. Forget the fact that it involves zero CGI, Skateland is simple, sheerly in terms of story. Some moments do drag, but overall, Skateland is a nice and leisurely walk in some modest characters’ shoes.
Ritchie Wheeler (Shiloh Fernandez) is a recent high school grad and aspiring writer. Well, perhaps aspiring isn’t the right word as Ritchie is reluctant to apply to college and leave his hometown life behind; and why would he? There are weekly parties at his pal Kenny’s (Taylor Handley) place, the wild and crazy Brent (Heath Freeman) is back in town and Ritchie’s got a great gig working at the local skating rink, Skateland. However, when Ritchie learns Skateland is due to close and his best friend and crush, Michelle (Ashley Greene), pushes him to make due on his talent and apply to school, Ritchie is forced to rethink his options.
Yes, Ritchie’s predicament is established early on, but Skateland doesn’t have very much forward momentum. For a good portion of the piece, we’re basically wading in this 1980s Texas town while Brent drags Ritchie from party to party and Ritchie mopes around afraid to take the next step in his life. This does slow the film quite a bit, but generally, it works.
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Chris Evans does have the comedy What’s Your Number? hitting theaters in the fall, but otherwise, we likely won’t see him much on the big screen as anyone but Captain America. As his final film before the July release of Captain America: The First Avenger, we have Puncture making its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The film is based on a true story and stars Evans as Mike Weiss, half of the Danziger & Weiss law firm. Unlike his more practical partner, Paul Danizger (Mark Kassen), Mike is rather reckless and harbors an intense drug addiction not only constantly popping pain pills, but indulging in a great deal of cocaine as well. Regardless, Mike manages to keep up a sound performance in the courtroom and, fueled by his success, is eager to take on Vicky’s (Vinessa Shaw) case, a Houston nurse who contracts HIV when she’s accidently stuck with a contaminated needle. Mike makes Jeffrey Dancort’s (Marshall Bell) “Safety Point” syringes fitted with retractable needles the center of his case, striving to get hospitals to stock the needles regardless of a massive healthcare GPO’s resistance.
There’s so much more to this story and, in honor of the film’s run at the festival, Evans, director Adam Kassen and his brother, co-director and Evans’ co-star Mark Kassen sat down to tell us all about the process of putting this iconic case on screen. Check out everything they had to say about making Puncture, a little about Evans’ thoughts on Captain America and what the Kassens are up to next in the video interview below.
Click here to watch the interview.