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This Is Martin Bonner 2013 R CC

(17) IMDb 6.6/10
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In this Sundance Award Winning film, two men each search in their quiet solitude to begin a new life amidst an unspoken need for encouragement and support.

Starring:
Paul Eenhoorn, Demetrius Grosse
Runtime:
1 hour, 23 minutes

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Format: DVD
"This Is Martin Bonner" (2913 release; 83 min.) brings the story of Martin Bonner (played by Paul Eenhorn), an Australian native but long-time US resident who recently has taken a job in Reno, NV, helping inmates at the Northern Nevada Correctional Facility to prepare for life back on the outside. By happenstance, Bonner gets to know Travis Holloway (played by Richmond Arquette), who was just released after a 12 year stint (we only learn much later what for). Both men being new to the area, they come to rely on each other for moral support. As the movie unfolds, we learn more of the personal background of each. To tell you more of the plot would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is one of those "little movies that could", and delivers a deeply moving story of two men trying to adjust to new circumstances. "This Is Martin Bonner" moves at snail's pace, and I mean that as a compliment. Check out the scene in which Travis finally meets up with his now 24 yr. old daughter Diana (played by Sam Buchanan) for the first time since his incarceration 12 years ago. It is for me the pivotal scene in the movie. The performances are ace throughout, although I will see that I was very much taken by Sam Buchanan's performance (she has maybe 15 minutes of screen time, but sure makes the most of it). Finally, kudos as well to writer-director Chad Hartigan, who has delivered nothing short of a gem. But what is with the movie title? This movie is as much about Travis Holloway as it is about Martin Bonner, and so on that account it could've just as easily have been called "This Is Travis Holloway".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Laurence Raw on August 5, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
THIS IS MARTIN BONNER focuses on the lives of two misfits trying to
adjust to a new life in the desert city of Reno, Navada. Australian
émigré Martin (Paul Eenhoorn) tries to adjust to life as a volunteer in
a local jail after having experienced a crisis of faith followed by
long-term unemployment. Travis Holloway (Richmond Arquette) is released
from the same jail, and attempts to forge a new life outside by living
in a seedy motel and working as a car park attendant. Both men have
grown-up children: Martin communicates mostly by phone, while Travis'
daughter Diana (Sam Buchanan) hasn't seen her father since he went to
prison twelve years previously. When father and daughter do meet, the
conversation remains awkward, to say the least. Chad Hartigan's
low-budget drama focuses on the loneliness of the two protagonists'
lives as they spend their evenings in nondescript rooms, roam the
streets either on foot, in the car or on the bus, and try to connect
with people around them. Reno is hardly the place for lonely men to
live; the streets are deprived of pedestrians, while cars endlessly
shoot by on the interstate highway. The skies are crystal-clear, but
the architecture seems to be deliberately designed to shut out as much
daylight as possible. Sean McElwee's cinematography sums up the
protagonists' lives through a clever use of framing; on several
occasions their profiles are seen at the extreme left or right of the
frame looking desolately at the landscape stretching endlessly before
them. Even when they try to communicate, they are verbally challenged:
what is not said is more significant than what is said. The narrative
of THIS IS MARTIN BONNER unfolds at a slow pace, but the film remains a
penetrating study of life in an impersonal city.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dee J. on July 30, 2013
Format: DVD
For some, this may be a slow-moving film, but that's really the whole idea, as Martin Bonner and a just-released prisoner find a friendship based on discovering that they have more than a few things in common. You'll believe that the actors are, indeed, the characters they are playing! For older teens and above, since this is rated "R" for language and sexuality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ted Felouzis on January 6, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
These characters are so real that the movie may seem too boring for some. In a way, it reminds me of the part in the excellent movie 'Adaptation' where Nicholas Cage's character (Kaufman) asks Brian Cox's character (Robert McKee) 'What if a writer creates a play where nothing much happens?'. Before McKee really rails into Kaufman he somewhat calmly responds, 'If you write a screen play without conflict or crisis you'll bore your audience to tears.' The conflict and crisis in 'This is Martin Bonner' is so subtle compared to 95% of the films today, that most would find it boring. For some of us who appreciate an occasional 'real-life' movie with no melodrama, this movie has good acting and ended right when I was about to get bored, but with a good anticlimactic open-ended finish. Watch 'This is Martin Bonner' with your MSO at home and enjoy.
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Format: DVD
The action here is not slow. Except for some encouraging scenes early on, it's non-existent.

The story begins with two men from an ex-con recovery ministry conducting a stormy interview with a convict named Locy (Demetrius Grosse), who is hostile to their proposal that he avail himself of their help after his release from prison. Once that scene has ended, the fiery Locy disappears from the story forever.

Next to appear is an ex-con named Travis (Richmond Arquette, who signs up for the program. He meets and begins to develop a relationship with his program mentor Steve (Robert Longstreet), but that plot thread is also abandoned abruptly, as Travis decides Robert is "too Christian" for him.

In terms of the plot, two most alive characters are now dead. And so is the rest of the movie, which tortuously takes the viewer through slow, flat scenes, while the too-loud and uninteresting score tries its best to keep us awake.

I gave the movie three stars for the acting by the Martin Bonner character (Paul Eenhoorn), Arquette, Grosse, and Longstreet, who are unfortunately portrayed in the script as smaller than life. Travis' distant daughter April is overacted by Kristin Slaysman.

I recommend the movie for insomniacs.
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