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Press Release Lionsgate Press Release: Red Rocket (Blu-ray) (1 Viewer)

Ronald Epstein

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Written and directed by Sean Baker (The Florida Project, Tangerine), the movie features Simon Rex (Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie V, Superhero Movie), Bree Elrod (in her major debut role), and Suzanna Son (feature film debut). Red Rocket will be available on DVD for the suggested retail price of $19.98 and on Blu-ray for the suggested retail price of $21.99.


OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS
Mikey Saber (Simon Rex) is back home in small-town Texas after burning bridges and flaming out all over Los Angeles. A hustler, operator, and charismatic con man, Mikey quickly learns that no one wants him back. When he meets a teenager working at the local donut shop, he sees his ticket back to the big time, in this darkly funny, live-wire film from acclaimed writer-director Sean Baker (The Florida Project, Tangerine).


BLU-RAY / DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
  • Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Sean Baker, Cinematographer Drew Daniels, and Actor Simon Rex
  • Audio Commentary with Film Critic Kat Ellinger
  • Making Red Rocket

CAST
Simon Rex Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie V, Superhero Movie
Bree Elrod In Her Major Debut Role
Suzanna Son Feature Film Debut



PROGRAM INFORMATION
Year of Production:
2021
Title Copyright: © 2021 Red Rocket Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Type: Catalog Re-Release
Rating: Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and pervasive language.
Genre: Comedy
Closed-Captioned: N/A
Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH
Feature Run Time: 130 minutes
Blu-ray Format: 1080p High Definition 16x9 (2.39:1) Presentation
Blu-ray Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio™
DVD Format: 16x9 (2.39:1) Presentation
DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Audio
 

JoeStemme

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Director Sean Baker and his co-writer Chris Bergoch like to focus on the outcasts of mainstream society. They may be set in major states like California, Florida and here, Texas, but, again, like their characters the locations are on the seamy side. Here, down on his luck pornstar Mikey (Simon Rex) returns to his grungy Gulf Coast town to crash with his estranged wife, Lexi (Bree Elrod) and her crabby mother Lil (Brenda Deiss). He ends up selling dope to make some cash but his outlook brightens when he sees a sweet-faced young girl at the local donut shop. To his surprise (and delight) it turns out that the barely legal Strawberry (Suzanna Son) isn't nearly so innocent as she appears.

Rex (who did some adult film work himself) is a natural performer and his energy keeps the film moving along. Son has a natural presence that works and the other supporting players similarly feel authentic (many are non-professional locals). The movie is shot on grainy 16mm by Drew Daniels and it adds to the lived in look. Set against the Presidential election of 2016, Baker and Bergoch are obviously using the winner of that race to make a metaphor out of Mikey's hustling ways, but it never really registers. Once the setup is laid out, the movie never truly develops beyond the obvious. To his credit, Baker isn't interested in judging or 'rehabilitating' his characters. He lays them out and lets the viewer sort it all out. Still, as opposed to something like THE FLORIDA PROJECT or TANGERINE, one never gets the sense of why this story had to be told. At one point, Mikey is called a “Homeless suitcase pimp” - and, that he remains true throughout. Also, frustratingly, we never find out why Mikey was persona non grata from the Adult Film industry in the first place. One minute he's a star performer, the next he's crashing on his ex's couch 1,600 miles away?

As a decently acted portrait of a con-man, RED ROCKET (it's title is slang; one for the reader to look up themselves!), has some interest, but it never elevates its game beyond that, Simon's energetic Spirit-award winning performance and all.
 

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