Feature film review
No Blood Of Mine
Written by: Wesley Ellenwood | Directed by: Wesley Ellenwood | Genre: Mystery | Length: 113 minutes
"No Blood Of Mine" is a slowly unfolding mystery where not everything is quite as it seems.
Family is tough. They say blood is the thickest but most of us know that's not really true. Estrangement is common. Even those who have no real reason to drift apart, sometimes find it hard to keep in contact. But what about those children born from an affair? What about Victoria Schaffer (Sierra Schermerhorn) who was brought into this world in just such a way? Her father Arthur Borglund (Dale R. Botten) is a shipping mogul worth loads of money, but considering her situation, Victoria has never had a privileged life. Now, with a failed business under her belt and a considerable debt to a dangerous loan shark, Victoria is on the run and looking for a way out. Something her estranged pops may be able to help with. Could he possibly feel guilty enough to buy her dead business? Could that be the answer to her debt problems? Initially the answer is yes. Much to the dismay of Arthur's son Evan (Nathan Christopher) it looks like Victoria could actually get her way. Until Arthur is murdered in his sleep. We're left with two important questions. Was it Victoria or was it Evan? Now, with the loan shark closing in from one direction, and the police from another, we're left with a mystery that may not be earth shattering in originality, but it does the trick. "No Blood Of Mine" is a slowly unfolding mystery where not everything is quite as it seems. Focusing on characters and atmosphere, this is a title that is not crammed full of needless action. Only as much as is needed, a movie for the thinking man or woman. Although Wesley Ellenwood gets many things right, a few aspects of the film are puzzling. We'll get into that below.
With a film that is intentionally slower paced, it's sometimes necessary to trim the fat as much as you can. Keep the story moving forward with as little drag as possible. With this title, that didn't happen. With a run time of around two hours, this is a long micro budgeted movie. The problem comes from the fact it doesn't need to be this length. Right from the start, there was essentially 6+ minutes of Victoria driving. Stopping. Getting out. Driving some more. Completely not needed. This is just one example, but this title contains a lot of material that was really unnecessary. I feel this same movie could have been done within an hour and a half. This would effectively have quickened the pace and forced Ellenwood to only keep the best of the best. The driving points of the film.
I was also a little put off by the inclusion of a native detective. Not because he was native, heavens no. I was put off by the fact he was so under utilized. It felt like so much effort was put into establishing this character. So much emphasis and little return. With all the attention to his quirky personality, his clear desire to keep his family life apart from his work life. His sayings, quotes and general appearance, why did he really have so little to do with the story? Even the way his character was concluded, made little sense for him ever being in the film to start with. I suppose I'm a little upset that Larry Yazzie, who played the native detective had so little to do with the actual plot. Even though so much time must have went into creating the character. Made no sense.
What i 'did' like was the top notch quality of the production, and the way this title unfolds. Save my thoughts on the native detective Dupree, everyone else had a part to play that was crucial to the film. The audio was crisp. The edit was polished. From a production standpoint, "No Blood Of Mine" was obviously handled by an experienced crew.
The acting was a little hit and miss. Although Schermerhorn as Schaffer did a well enough job, there are plenty of wooden deliveries elsewhere. Just enough to notice, but not enough to really distract me from the film. I couldn't help but wonder sometimes if these awkward deliveries now and then were the fault of the script. It's really hard to tell.
When it was all over and the credits begin to roll past, I really began to think about what I had just watched. In the end, "No Blood Of Mine" was a well above average title. My few complaints were barely noticed as I watched, and only came to mind when it was done. Wesley Ellenwood has set out to entertain for a few hours. He's succeeded. This may not be a perfect title - but perfect movies are a rarity. If asked I would definitely recommend. "No Blood Of Mine" has some twists. Some turns and a lot of heart. Thumbs up.
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