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A Bag of Hammers (2011)

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Seems to me I always come late to films like this, and I do love those Indie films. This one from last year's lineup I seemed to have missed until the DVD came out.

Directed by Brian Crano, and written by Crano and Jake Sandvig, who also has a leading role, Bag of Hammers is a quirky little film. At first I thought this was just a typical 'buds' film, two guys in their 20's who have known each other forever and just never grew up. But that was just the set-up.

The film is labeled as a comedy, and there are some silly moments probably best forgotten. Then life gets serious for these guys and the plot pivots around a 12 year old boy. Reviews suggest that the film is presented in vignettes, cutting from one point in time to another, but it works, at least it did for me.

I know many actors get concerned when there is a child in the script...kids are notorious scene stealers, and young Chandler Canterbury does just that. His emotional appeal in the role of a boy with secrets kept me focused on his character throughout and he certainly delivered on his assignment, a good little actor in the making.

But I would be remiss if I didn't give you my take on the undercurrent in the film. This is NOT A SPOILER since nothing is said about it in the film, there are only clues: I began to wonder if the two 'buds' were in a gay relationship. The plot drops in a few hetero moments for the guys, but then backs away from them leaving us to wonder. Most of the clues are in the dialogue.

It wasn't until I watched the interview with the director that Crano suggested he was careful not to show any scenes with the two guys in the bedroom. Why say that if he didn't mean to suggest there might be something going on. But if they were meant to be a gay couple it had very little impact on the storyline...until the last 10 minutes of the film. That's all I will say.

Some tense moments for the viewer, but some very heartwarming and emotional scenes as well. The story is light and based upon some silly observations made by the characters. But it evolves, just as each of the characters has to face up to their own shortcomings and make changes in their lives. Indie films are often difficult to understand, but this one wears its heart out in the open. Worth seeing.

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