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In the Dark

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Product Details

  • Actors: Brian Luna, Matt Clouston
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Vanguard Cinema
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2007
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NA6CQI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #810,041 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

He's called Taco Pepe Chi-chi all nicknames designed to describe his skin color. He is a messenger seemingly bound by color and status within the motion picture industry. But he tolerates the racism as he struggles to make a living in Hollywood because he has a dream of making it big. Always at the beck and call of three Hollywood uber-agents his disposable status is exploited to deliver questionable merchandise to the stars. When they propose a lucrative yet dangerous venture he sees it as his only chance for success. As the stakes get high very quickly the messenger must question how well thought out his plan to succeed really is.Runtime: 89 minsFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: COMEDY Rating: NR UPC: 658769721133 Manufacturer No: VF7211


Dave Davis April 28, 2006

In the harsh realm of Los Angeles, a beleaguered young Latino messenger grits his teeth and bears a constant stream of racist insults from just about everyone he encounters, whether it's nicknames like "Taco", "Sancho" or "Pepe", or simply a greeting of "Do you speak English?" His bosses are a trio of powerful Hollywood agents, the kind of Buddy Ackerman-esque dickheads who feel that since they endured years of abusive behavior on their way up, all underlings should similarly suffer.

As part of his slow journey to becoming an agent, the messenger delivers important "packages" for the agents - narcotics for pampered celebrity talent who can't find their motivation without a hit. The agents are looking to be players in drug trafficking as well as showbiz, but when they realize the messenger alone may not be sufficient for their quantities, they convince him to involve his blind best friend Chris (against his girlfriend's wishes). Needless to say, things do not turn out well.

"In the Dark" was certainly a pleasant surprise - the comedy is never excessively quirky, the dialogue and crime aspect don't come across in that ubiquitous self-conscious post-Tarantino manner, and it makes a social statement without being cloying or didactic. The solid cast (there are only a half-dozen major characters) deliver very natural performances without feeling "written", particularly our protagonist. And the movie looks far better than a little no-budget digital film has any right to, thanks to first-time feature director Letia Miller's confident eye and guidance of a clever and unpredictable story.

-- CHUD.com

Jeffrey Wells, June 3, 2006

A young, very determined Hispanic man (Brian Luna) wants to get out the mail room at a major Beverly Hills talent agency, and so he delivers drugs for and constantly sucks up to a small group of slithery agents, hoping for favors. Of course, they respond with racial epithets and dismissive attitudes. (They're agents, right?) But Luna and his sightless pal (Matt Clouston) are up to more than just brown-nosing.

Letia Miller's underplayed drama is, of course, a critique of the reptilian mores that are said to be commonplace in the film industry, but the saddest and most penetrating thing about "In the Dark" is Luna's willingness -- eagerness -- to humiliate himself with his agency superiors. You want to grab him by the crew neck of his T-shirt and say, "Stop it dude!"...but then, in the final act, you realize what's really up. Are agency people and their clients really as foul as Miller portrays them? I've heard plenty of agency stories, but they tend to be funny rather than repellent.

Nonetheless, "Dark" deserves respect for sticking to its thematic guns, and especially for its performances and its dramatic tempo, particularly the back-and-forth in a scene between Luna and an African-American agent (Lionel Carson) that renders an uncommonly frank admission of how the agency pecking-order system works.

-- Hollywood-elsewhere.com

Some Light Moments In In The Dark, Louis B. Parks April 28, 2006

"In the Dark" is an appropriate title because it has several meanings in this modest, sneaky little film. But the less said about that the better. At first we think we're getting social commentary with wry humor. Somewhere along the way Dark turns into an offbeat buddy comedy and caper film.

Paco is a star-struck Los Angeles messenger of Hispanic heritage in his late 20s. He delivers for three Hollywood agents who treat him like an illegal immigrant and an easy target for lame racist humor. When the agents see that his Anglo buddy Chris is blind, they switch to sight jokes.

The agents, scum in fancy suits, use Paco to make illegal deliveries such as cocaine to their clients, figuring if he gets caught, so what? Paco looks the other way in the hope of getting into their "junior agent" program. When the agents start branching out into bigger drug deals, they get Paco to recruit Chris, because no one would suspect a blind man. Kate, Chris' girlfriend, gets wind of what's up. She throws a fit, but Chris and Paco decide to go through with one last big run.

The description sounds darker than it is. The tone is amusing, much of the dialogue is funny, and the climax is satisfying. Director Letia Miller, who plays Kate, uses her limited budget wisely to flesh out the clever script by Matthew Clouston, who plays Chris. All the acting is good, with Brian Luna especially effective.

-- The Houston Chronicle

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mountain Boy on May 6, 2007
Format: DVD
When I sat down for the first time to view IN THE DARK I had prepared myself for yet another esoteric Indy film characterized by a sketchy plot line and bland unlikeable characters which requires a good amount of patience and persistence in order to just get though it. What I discovered was this Hollywood fable worthy of Aesop. The story is well written and moves along at a comfortable pace developing the characters and plot while holding the viewers interest right up to the O Henry/Hitchcockesque twist at the end. Presented as an indictment of the Hollywood film scene it becomes a metaphor of our society as a whole. Luna and Clouston head a solid cast of actors some of whom seem might seem familiar to many viewers. They play a likable pair whose friendship runs deep and true. The three movie agents are petty and self-serving as one would expect of men of their vocation. The directing and cinematography are superb, belying the low budget nature of low budget film making. The film reminded me of the "morality plays" of early television which left the viewer feeling that good prevails over evil and all is right with the world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ComposerCook on May 22, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Hi, all. I was one of the composers for this film. Matt Clouston (writer and actor) is the older brother of one of my college buddies, Christian (bartender in the film). I had done some music for one of Christian's projects while we were at the University of Michigan, so when Matt had this movie idea, Christian suggested my name. I had done several soundtracks before, both for movies and documentaries, so I knew what I was getting myself into. I sent a CD of my music to Matt, and he and the rest of his team approved. They formally asked me to write the soundtrack, but I told them I would only do it if it was a good movie. I had done work on terrible movies before, and I wasn't going to waste my time again.

Well, they sent me the first rough cut, and I was shocked at what I saw. It was actually good! I told them I'd do it. I knew I was going to be rather busy over the next several months with graduate school, so I asked my buddy, Sam Bottoni, to help me out. Sam is incredibly talented and has a similar style, so I knew it'd all work out.

It was a blast working on this film, and I hope you all enjoy it.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MovieDestroya on May 30, 2007
Format: DVD
I'm a hypocrite. I admit it. I whine and whine about movie like Pirates 3 and Spider-man 3 and Driving Miss Daisy 3 and yet continue to find myself in the theatres watching these big budget films. Don't get me wrong, these movies serve a purpose and are ultimately unapologetic about the entertainment they provide.

But for every movie you roll your eyes at, there is a little film like this one. A good movie with a cool story that made me laugh out loud more than once.

The only reason this movie is "small" or "indie" is because there is no million dollar actor walking through the scenes. And when you watch the behind-the-scenes clip, you'll know why. These guys wanted to make a good movie and didn't strive to shoehorn in some actor in some vain attempt to get notice from Sundance.

They wanted to make a movie and they did it. I didn't want to check it out- I'm honest about it. I wasn't out there searching the indie scene to alleviate my Hollywood-worn heart. I just saw it on Netflix, and since I consistently look for ways to stick it to the man, I put as many movies as I can on my queue.

I watched it, shoved it back in its red envelope and then bought it. I've watched it twice since then and still laugh at some of there idiotically fun extras.

If you've ever come out of a film moaning and groaning about how bad it is and screamed out into the night "I could have made a better movie on my own," then you need to get this movie. These guys made a fun, smart movie and I truly believe it should be seen.
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