• Review: Sole Proprietor (2016)

    From Mark R. Leeper@21:1/5 to All on Wed Sep 28 19:20:59 2016
    (a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

    CAPSULE: A CIA operative hoping to retire finds himself
    drawn back into one last piece of deadly work as his
    ticket to retiring. Jack of all cinematic trades Don
    Eberle does the most of everything creative on this
    film. He produces, writes, directs, for this film that
    stars--who else?--Don Eberle. With nobody
    to tell him when he is wrong he lets himself go a little
    astray stylistically, but he has a few nice moves in the
    screenplay as his story goes on. Rating:
    high +1 (-4 to +4) or 6/10

    In SOLE PROPRIETOR Don Eberle plays Crowley, formerly an agent for
    the CIA. Crowley is used to traveling the world, but this story is
    set almost entirely in Manhattan (likely perhaps so that the
    production could economize). Now he is weary of the killing-people
    vocation and wants to retire. However retiring is not easy. The
    film is about Crowley, a man of action, very strong, very
    masculine--a role that Eberle might well enjoy playing. But
    Crowley has Michael Corleone's problem. "Just when I thought I was
    out they pull me back in." Eberle has to do one more piece of
    work. And while that job is prepared for him he is amusing himself
    with a very top-grade prostitute, the mysterious Sophie (Alexandra
    Hellquist). Soon the characters will be closely linked.

    Eberle says that he gives actors the space to excel in the films he
    directs. I wonder if that is voluntary. It seems to me that he
    might have to give up some control on the performances. With all
    the tasks he has assigned himself, he perhaps does not have
    resource to manage each performance as well. So the title of his
    film may be apt and refer to him. He most likely does not have
    time to spell things out for the cast. Eberle is the star of the
    film; he is the sole source of the story; he is the sole writer of
    the screenplay; he is one of the producers; and he is the sole
    director of the film. He has given himself a lot to do wearing all
    those hats on making SOLE PROPRIETOR. As a result the acting is
    spotty, some good, some just okay. Chris Graham could have had an
    ounce more ethnicity in his part as a Russian killer. Alexandra
    Hellquist on the other hand is intriguing as the prostitute.
    Eberle plays his own role as strong and a little in the mold of
    actors like Jason Statham, particularly with two day growth of

    While at times the film runs a little slow, by the time it is all
    over there has been a story told. Some touches seem a bit
    artificial. While everything in the city seem to be shown in cold
    steel blue and gray, scenes shout in the countryside break out in
    yellow-green. SOLE PROPRIETOR does not rise far, but it does rise
    above it very low budget. While some corners might have had to be
    cut on the production, Eberle had the freedom to make the story as
    good as he could write it. It does not fall into the trap of being
    a typical action film. Just when it is needed to wake up the
    viewer enough plot elements come together to make the film at least interesting. I rate SOLE PROPRIETOR a high +1 on the -4 to +4
    scale or 6/10.

    August 12 SOLE PROPRIETOR was released Internet download and to
    limited theatrical release.

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    Mark R. Leeper
    Copyright 2016 Mark R. Leeper

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