DVD - 2009
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In the cold winter light of the Mississippi Delta, three lonely people stumble under the weight of a shared tragedy. Lawrence is paralyzed with grief after the suicide of his twin brother. Twelve-year-old James drifts into the perilous orbit of local teenagers while his single mother, Marlee, is too exhausted from her menial job to interpret the clues. Sudden violence forces mother and son to flee their home and they alight on Lawrence's property. This safe harbor rekindles the fury of a bitter, longstanding conflict.
Publisher: New York : Kino International, c2009
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (96 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


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Dec 27, 2014

When a twin brother commits suicide the resulting emotional fallout has a profound effect on his estranged wife, son, and surviving brother. As longstanding resentments pit the man and woman against each other, the young nephew finds himself caught in the middle. The boy is desperately seeking a sense of stability in his life but his well-meaning mother is barely able to keep food on the table and his deeply troubled uncle is incapable of providing a strong male presence. Like the ornamental pair of deer on the front lawn all is pretense with little substance. Hammer combines long shots with a handheld vérité style to dramatic effect, concentrating on small gestures and minimalist dialogue in order to tell his story. He also draws upon a wintry palette of cold blues and dilute light to heighten the the sense of disconnection between the main characters....each one frozen in their own personal misery. “Ballast” is an examination of the forces that unite and divide families, the many ways we injure each other and the power of reconciliation. It is also a decidedly masculine film addressing the nephew’s uneasy transition into adolescence and his volatile relationship with his uncle. So why did it fail to have more of an effect on me? To begin with it suffers under the weight of its own entropy...when the characters aren’t brooding on the edge of a bed they seem to be shuffling in circles. Their repetitious behaviour becomes tiresome and fails to elicit any sympathy. Secondly, the acting is glaringly uneven with Tarra Riggs’ powerhouse performance as the mother upstaging the other two actors. All the ingredients of a great film were there for me, it just failed to ignite

Aug 15, 2014

I never heard of this movie ever before i discovered it on the shelf of the library that is closest to me.I knew just from looking at the cover of the DVD case that this was a black film but didn't know what kind of black film it is until now.To my surprise i found this out to be a LIGHTWEIGHT crime drama.I say lightweight because just like the black film ''Fruitvale Station'',it is too hideous for it's own good aka leaving multiple,but significant questions about certain characters and things in this movie unanswered period.This always happens to me every time i actually find myself really caring about the characters in what should have been,or could have been,or what i thought was probably going to be a masterpiece film.More than likely real life movie critics over hyped and overrated this MEDIOCRE movie calling it a masterpiece,because the hideousness of this film made them think or was mentally stimulating to them,BUT I DIGRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jan 02, 2012

This is a good story, perhaps all too familiar for some people, without any of the whistles and bells typically found in alot of todays movies. It does move a little slow due to this but at the end you feel as though you know what you got.

Feb 05, 2010

Skip It - Ballast (2008) 96 min. I felt as if I was supposed to like this movie but just couldn’t. The film is dark, dreary, and not engaging. Like most indie-films, it willingly sacrifices the hoopla of Hollywood fanfare for realism. Yes, it’s realistic in presentation but films are also supposed to entertain. This one didn’t.


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