The phrase from Charles Dickens’ ‘Tale of Two Cities’ seemed to be the best fit for the title of this article in regards to the past week and a half. During the aforementioned time frame, some of the best news and events have occurred alongside some of the worst news. In order to efficiently explain, we must go back to Friday, April 28th.
Independent film ‘Carter and June’, from director Nicholas Kalikow, starring Michael Raymond-James and Samaire Armstrong in the title roles along with this writer’s favorite actor Timothy Omundson made its US premiere at the Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida. The film had been screened in LA for cast, crew and production VIPs and again in Germany for the Berlin Film Festival, but April 28th was the first time it had been viewed in front of a full theater audience of non entertainment industry folks.
Kalikow, Raymond-James, Armstrong and Omundson attended the festival’s screening along with several others involved with the film, including: producers Sean Covel, Diane Richey and Kyle Roper and cinematographer Dagen Merrill. It was shown on one screen, in one theater and while the film played, the cast and crew shared popcorn like the rest of us. Below is my review of the movie.
‘Carter and June’ was filmed during the summer of 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana and for nearly two years (!) I waited to see any piece of it. I feared I would wait and be just as disappointed with it as I had been with Hugh Jackman/Darren Aronofsky’s ‘The Fountain’. I waited three years for THAT thing to be released and when it was, let’s just say I felt like refunding the ticket price to the family members that I dragged with me. My fear was doubled with ‘Carter and June’ simply because it’s an independent film; usually associated with terms such as “low-budget” or “artsy”. Independent films have been known to take even longer to be released than films backed by a major film studio and I certainly didn’t think I could survive waiting longer than three years to see this movie.
Thankfully, I was saved the wait by news that ‘Carter and June’ had been added to the Sunscreen Film Festival’s schedule. A huge bonus for me was that cast and crew would also be in attendance for its screening. So, I did not have to wait as long as I had initially dreaded I would have to. Next questions: was it worth waiting nearly two years? Yes. Wait, hells yes. It was worth the wait and for ‘Carter and June’ I would have gladly waited three years to see it. (I’m glad, of course, that I didn’t, but if I’d had to… worth it!) Did it turn out to be another embarrassing ‘The Fountain’ experience? It was nowhere near the travesty of that Jackman/Aronofsky film and I’m so relieved to report this news to all of you.
Now, I do realize that everyone else not lucky enough to be in attendance at the Sunscreen Film Festival will have to wait for ‘Carter and June’ to be released, either limited, widely, direct-to-video, or on an Indie Film channel; but when you get the chance to see it, watch it.
Michael Raymond-James and Samaire Armstrong bring to life very relatable and real characters that have found themselves in an extremely wild situation. The setup: Carter plans to pay off a psychopathic strip club owner (Omundson) by ripping off bank robbers as they pull off their heist. Naturally, this does not go as planned. So many things go wrong, but I found myself not knowing whom to cheer for as nearly everyone has a very good reason to pull off the heist. I think I’m just going to go ahead and proclaim Commissioner Reid IV (played by Paul Rae) the movie’s “bad guy”. I think everyone wanted him to lose his money by the end of the movie. The surprise breakout performance of ‘Carter and June’, in my opinion, was brought by Lindsay Musil as Darla May Twitty. My goodness, that woman was a powerhouse. I do not want to give anything away, but I’ve never seen such a small woman handle such a large semi-automatic weapon in my life or in any other movie. Darla May, sweetie, you ROCKED your crazy self all the way to the end of the movie. Above all, the comedy in the film works perfectly and compliments the powerfully profane language and sexual situations.
Be fully aware that this movie is NOT, and never claims to be family friendly. Rather, it is absolutely geared for mature audiences. The language ALONE would render it an R-rated movie in the first five minutes. Add to that, a strip club (shown with topless strippers), a working dominatrix and a few violent beat downs, ‘Carter and June’ will sit firmly in its adult rating and thrive. An R-rating may lower its chances in finding a wide release in theaters, but it should not keep away those wanting to watch a fun shoot ’em up. It delivers the funny along with the adult language and scenery.
I was, obviously, drawn to the movie and knew of its existence purely because I am a fan of Timothy Omundson, who plays the strip club owner on the wrong side of the law, Spencer Rabbit. His place of business is aptly named ‘The Rabbit Hole’. Omundson’s performance in ‘Carter and June’ has to be one of my favorite of his roles (second only to his ‘Psych’ role, Carlton Lassiter) and it shows that he had fun playing Spencer Rabbit. After the screening he asked me how I liked the movie. “Nothing like Lassie, right?” I think he seemed nervous to hear how I would respond, as he knows how much of a fan I am of his ‘Psych’ character. No, sir, nothing like Carlton Lassiter and that isn’t a bad thing; quite the opposite as I explained to him that I love seeing him take on roles and characters that are different from one another. I enjoy watching him BE different characters and get to do what actors are supposed to do. As Omundson put it, “Playing the same thing all the time would get boring.” Well, Spencer Rabbit is NOT a boring character.
These days a fast-paced, funny movie for adults is hard to find. ‘Carter and June’ exemplifies such a film and was an absolute delight to watch. Hopefully we will see a release of some sort soon as Nicholas Kalikow’s baby needs to seen and enjoyed by as many people as possible.
Remember I said at the beginning there were great things and bad things that happened in the last week and a half? ‘Carter and June’ getting its premiere was one of the great things. Another was the news that the TV show ‘Psych’ will be getting a TV-movie in time for Christmas this year!
Official news about the ‘Psych’ movie was broadcast yesterday (May 8th) and fans, known affectionately as PsychOs, rejoiced around the world. The loyal and sometimes rabid fans of the USA Network cable show have been vocal about wanting a reunion movie since it’s series finale March 26, 2014. We have finally been rewarded! As Shawn would say, all we had to do was “wait for iiiiit.” Production is slated to start May 24th in Vancouver. The entire cast is said to be attached to the holiday special which was co-written by its original creator, Steve Franks and star James Roday. Franks will also be sitting in the director’s chair for ‘Psych’s return to television.
PsychOs are cheering and jumping for joy all over social media and for good reason. ‘Psych’ was one of those great shows that we all enjoyed, could watch with our families and re-watch over and over. (In fact, many still gather online each Wednesday night at 10pm Eastern to participate in PsychRewatch. It’s an hour each week where fans get to live-tweet and interact as we rewatch the series from beginning to end.) This holiday special is a gift that all fans will appreciate and maybe some new ones will be found when it airs.
You’ve all been waiting for it; the bad news. Well, along with the official announcement that ‘Psych’ was getting its reunion movie came confirmation of rumors that Timothy Omundson had suffered a stroke. Reports are stating that Omundson collapsed in the Tampa airport Saturday (April 29th) in the morning and was taken to a local hospital. From there, it’s now known he had a stroke and allegedly had surgery Monday May 1st. The Deadline article about the ‘Psych’ movie mentioned that he is on the mend. The location of his convalescence is currently unknown.
Last night (May 8th) at nearly eleven o’clock, Omundson posted his first tweet since going silent the evening of the ‘Carter and June’ premiere. The post was a reply to a lovely photographer who had entered a photo contest with some of her photographs of Omundson. It’s unknown what his “Wllellarose” response meant, but many of us are optimistic of his recovery now that he has seemingly resurfaced on social media.
Several fans have made donations to the National Stroke Association in light of Timothy Omundson’s condition and I do encourage others to do so if they are able. My thoughts/prayers/energies and every other positive, optimistic thing I can muster are being sent his way as I wish him well on his journey to getting better.