Review: RISING STAR Looks To Have a Bright Future

Contributing Writer; Sydney, Australia (@HugoOzman)
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Review: RISING STAR Looks To Have a Bright Future
Rising Star is a romantic comedy that is written, directed and produced by Marty Lang, an independent filmmaker who is interestingly also a university professor of Film. One of the appeals of this film, at least for me, is therefore to see how Lang puts theories into practice. Pleasingly, Rising Star does not disappoint. It is light-hearted and unpretentious, unlike many of the romantic comedies coming out of Hollywood these days. 

Most of the film takes place on one Saturday. When the two lead characters, Chris (Gary Ploski) and Alyza (Emily Morse) travel from place to place after meeting each other and starting to fall in love, audiences get treated to a mini-tour around Connecticut, which includes both the attractions such as the famous Mark Twain House & Museum, and the neighborhood including the poorer areas. Having great company always makes travelling more fun, and the likeable Chris and Alyza certainly make the experience a joyful one. 

It is ultimately the witty conversations between the two characters, however, which make the journey worthwhile. One topic discussed that should resonate strongly with many viewers is finding the balance between work and passion. There are many lines of brilliance in the dialogue, thanks to a clever script written by Lang himself, and it certainly feels as if he has projected himself into the character of Chris. 

Gary Ploski and Emily Morse are fantastic as the film's leads. While playing two characters that are very, very different in their personalities and views of the world, the chemistry between them is great. In support, Michael Barra, who plays Chris' co-worker Brent, offers a genuinely funny performance. 

Also worth a mention is the fantastic music by Thomas Varga, and the film will probably benefit from featuring a couple more songs in its first half. Do make sure you stay behind when the end credits roll if you don't want to miss the hip-hop performance by rapper '3XL'. 

Rising Star is a wonderful independent film that audiences should find breezy, enjoyable and disarmingly charming. It may just be the most relaxing way for anyone to spend a couple of hours in a lazy afternoon. 

Rising Star has had two well-received screenings at Seattle True Independent Film Festival. Check out the official website and Facebook page for more screening information. 

BREAKING: It has just been announced that Rising Star won two Awards at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival, including Best Premiere for drawing the biggest audience and Best On-Screen Romance. Congratulations to Marty Lang and his entire cast and crew for these well-deserved Awards!
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More about Rising Star

Jon PaisMay 13, 2012 8:22 AM

Hugo - You state at the outset that one of the appeals of the film was to see how director Lang puts theories into practice, yet we don't hear anymore about that in your gushing review. Another small quibble is that you mention in the first paragraph that Lang wrote, directed and produced the film, then repeat yourself in paragraph three ("thanks to the clever script written by Lang himself"). In addition, you write, "Having great company always makes travelling more fun, and the likeable Chris and Alyza certainly make the experience a joyful one", then in the very next paragraph we read that "Gary Ploski and Emily Morse are fantastic as the film's leads". In fact, you overuse the word fantastic and great.

Hugo OzmanMay 14, 2012 2:19 AM

Dear Jon,

Thank you for reading my review and taking the time to make comments. I really appreciate them, because my motto as a writer is: Positive feedback encourages me to write more. Negative feedback motivates me to write better.

Now about the specific points. When I mentioned Lang being a film professor, I was really just curious to see how what kind of movie a film academic would make, and never intended to go into a detailed discussion about putting film theories into practice in my review.

Regarding the use of the words ‘fantastic’ and ‘great’, I checked through my review and found that each word appears twice. I guess those words do truly describe how I feel about the film. If repeating them is an issue, those words could easily be substituted with ‘wonderful’ or ‘awesome’ without affecting the overall meaning.

Having said all that, I do hear what you’re trying to say, and will take those into account when I write my next review. So thank you again for your comments… Oops, I have said it twice in my own comments, and hope that you will not complain about my overuse of ‘thank you’. : )

Jon PaisMay 14, 2012 6:07 AM

I will have to check this one out if a DVD is ever released in southeast asia.