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Two Ways To Go West - Movie Review

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Two Ways to Go West

The darkness in Two Ways To Go West hits hard. It's also unapologetic, making it essential viewing for anyone inspired by independent filmmaking.

Two Ways To Go West is a film about addiction; forget any idea about this being a western should your mind read that title and wander a bit.  Sure, the location is Las Vegas, but there’s no “Hi Ho, Silver, Away!” in this drama.  Nor is there a chuckle emitted once The Hangover-like aspect of this film as friends reunite for a Bachelor Party washes away.  No, this is a film about demons and the emotions that kick about within males.

"Intimate and confined to a hotel room, Two Ways To Go West is an independent drama that any fan of Sam Shepard’s take on the use of dialogue and conversation will appreciate"


 

From director Ryan Brookhart, and written and produced by James Liddell, Two Ways to Go West slaps viewers hard in the face as a night of fun - thanks to the bachelor party for Shane (Drew Kenney) - but the past demons of Gavin (James Liddell, who also wrote the screenplay), a recovering drug addict and former TV star, forces Shane and Marty (Paul Gennaro) into a confrontation that the walls of their hotel room can hardly contain.

Gavin’s friends feel abandoned.  It hangs in the air in their conversations about him and his past addictions before he even arrives to the hotel room.  That’s one thing this movie does RIGHT; the portrayal of young men and their emotions.  Never once does the dialogue - or the acting for that matter - betray the reality of what it’s like to be a male in modern America.  But, yes, while he’s busy calling his “savior” girlfriend - stalling, if you will - and staring at a sign for Las Vegas on the side of the road, they talk about the shadows overhanging their past history.

When he arrives, though, the intimacy in their friendship comes into focus as they attempt to stand strong, respecting his perceived fragility due to his past addictions.  And then the past - thanks to a homemade board game comes out and, well, those demons come back with a vengeance as Gavin’s buddies let their betrayals known.  From having sex with past girlfriends to questions about the dancing girlfriend who got him on the safe and narrow. Two Ways to Go West

Intimate and confined to a hotel room, Two Ways To Go West is an independent drama that any fan of Sam Shepard’s take on the use of dialogue and conversation will appreciate.  Speaking as someone who once associated with addicts, much of the content here hits home. HARD.  The mood swings. The abuse.  It's all here and the actors deliver commanding performances, responding to the demands of the script, at each and every turn. 

Two Ways To Go West shouldn't be approached lightheartedly.  This is intense, feels very real, and gets a grip on you that it doesn’t relinquish until the final moments of the film thanks to the sudden darkness that descends upon those suffering from addictions.  

From director Ryan Brookhart, and written and produced by James Liddell, Two Ways To Go West is a powerfully confronting drama featuring superlative performances from a top ensemble cast including James Liddell, Paul Gennaro, Drew Kenney, Levy Tran, Gino Cafarelli, and Kathrine Narducci.

Three men and a bachelor party.  What could go wrong?  Two Ways To Go West premieres July 17 thanks to Global Digital Releasing.

3/5 stars

Two Ways to Go West

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor:
Available on Blu-ray

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Two Ways to Go West

MPAA Rating: unrated.
Runtime:

Director
: Ryan Brookhart
Writer:
James Liddell
Cast:
Gino Cafarelli, Paul Gennaro, Drew Kenney
Genre
: Drama
Tagline:
Sometimes the Journey is the Destination.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I never understood why people would think that addicts didn't know they had a problem."
Distributor:
Global Digital Releasing
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 17, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: After testing his sobriety at a bachelor party on the Vegas strip, Gavin, a recovered drug addict and former TV star and his childhood friends return to their hotel room. Gavin finds that his unresolved past with his friends and his "savior" girlfriend present much more of threat to his sobriety than the strip did. As the night escalates, Gavin and his friends are forced to face their demons within the walls of the hotel room…with or without each other's help.

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Two Ways to Go West

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