Bad Frank
Drama, Thriller
IMDB rating:
Tony Germinario
Tom Sizemore as Mickey Duro
Lynn Mancinelli as Crystal Duro
Paola Grande as Veronica
Nino Bless as Dash
Brandon Heitkamp as Travis Lugar
Mu-Shaka Benson as Lennox
Amanda Clayton as Gina Pierce
Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini as Charlie Pierce
Russ Russo as Niko Scarpezzi
Kevin Interdonato as Frank Pierce
Joe Sernio as Joe
Brian O'Halloran as Donny Shakes
Storyline: Frank Pierce leads a seemingly normal life, but when a disturbing past reemerges & something precious is taken from him, his mask of sanity loosens & unearths the urge to be violent once again.
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Wow. (Spoilers)
Normally when watching movies on my computer I watch a movie while doing something else at the same time but for this movie I couldn't take my eyes away.

I loved it. From the first minutes where he put the hammer onto his hands, you felt that this guy is not right. There are some cheesy things in the movie and some of the dialogue is not the best. But in the end you have two (three? ) psychopaths against each other.

I really loved it. Gonna rate it at 8, would have been higher if some of the scripting would have been better. But from acting, story etc it is amazing.

Some are comparing it to Taken which is not right, I rather compare it to 'A History of Violence' which is a great movie on it's own albeit this one a bit darker.
Good Frank, Bad Frank
With a wild set of mood swings, the character Frank Pierce moves from a committed recovering alcoholic to a monstrous force of nature in a heartbeat. There is a defining scene early in the film when Frank is hammering in his yard. The pace builds along with Frank's blood pressure and intensity. Suddenly, he inflicts an intentionally hurtful blow of the hammer on his hand. The balance of the film is a tug-of-war between Good Frank and Bad Frank.

The plotting of this film was contrived with a potboiler story of how Frank is drawn back in to the world of crime and violence. We slowly learn the history of Bad Frank's rage attacks, which landed him in trouble with the military and necessitated intervention from his father, who was a police chief.

But Frank also proved to be a loyal friend to the shady underworld figure, Mickey Duro (Tom Sizemore). Frank refused to rat out Frank and spent time in prison on behalf of his old buddy. As the film begins, Frank has rebuilt his life with a woman whom he met in his recovery group. Curiously, however, Frank does not request a refill of his meds. That is starting point for his decline.

Frank uses poor judgment is agreeing to meet with an old chum named Travis Lugar. The result of the meeting is an ugly drug deal with Mickey Duro killing the two drug suppliers in cold blood. Frank tries to do the right thing by reporting the incident to the authorities. Mickey retaliates by kidnapping Frank's wife. In turn, Frank kidnaps Mickey's daughter. It is with this double hostage situation that the film begins to unravel.

MAJOR SPOILER ALERTS: When Frank and Mickey decide to put their differences aside and exchanged their loved ones who have been kidnapped, the most shocking moment is when Frank chooses to kill Mickey's daughter in full view of the father. This gratuitous act of violence put completely new spin on the depth to which "Good Frank" could become "Bad Frank." Moreover, it was unclear why Frank would not untie the ropes binding his wife Gina as he drove away from the scene. Another entirely confusing moment was the scene that occurred in Frank's home when his father was confronted by Niko, a hooligan who was the minion of Mickey. Clearly a struggle between the two men had occurred. But it was clear that the father was wounded, but was not dead. He was still breathing as he was seated in the chair in Frank's home. What this shoddy filmmaking or was the scene intentionally ambiguous? END SPOILERS.

There were too many loose ends and far-fetched scenes in this film. The strength of the film is in the development of the complex personality in Frank Pierce. Kevin Interdonato turned in an excellent performance in this deeply troubled and conflicted character. The supporting cast was also good. If one overlooks the the plot holes and focuses on characters, the film was above average as a character study.
3/10 rating and not well written
Bad Frank, this one starts off slow, however you soon understand the script, you can visualize what is next to happen, shame as the writers could of added more into it.

One area that they goofed up on was the racing scene in the bar, Bonecrusher is a Kiwi racehorse what won the 1986 AJC Derby, why they used an old race call is beyond me, however my ear's opened up, plus woke me up from a slight sleep at this point in time.

From this point on the action of the movie is predictable.

Rating this movie would be in the mid 3's, the story line from start to finish is easy to see where it is heading.
Oddly enough, even though this was a gripping movie and Frank was indeed very bad, I think there were still levels to which he could sink that we didn't witness. I would have liked to have seen these avenues explored as there was so much more to come from him. Still as it stands, the film is a good one and Kevin Interdanato is just excellent. And! actually I think this is the best performance I've seen from Tom Sizemore, and that is seriously saying something. In fact rather than account for individual performances I will simply say the whole cast is outstanding... as is the direction.

The story is a fairly simple one but done well. Most of the fat has been trimmed from body of this movie and what's left is a very tasty morsel indeed. The direction is very good and though the script is slightly odd in places, given the story and development it does well.

There are a couple of things I didn't like. Firstly, given Franks character, a clearly deranged psychotic individual on medication to deal with his mental state, his wife (a nurse no less) seemed oblivious not only to his temperament, but also his propensity to become unstable when distressed or provoked; all while she was blatantly aware he had run out of medication. I mean that's just insane. With such lapses in judgement, she could benefit from medication of some kind herself.

The scenes where Frank holds Crystal takes Stockholm syndrome to another level. Even with the alcohol to supposedly 'calm him down' (something which is contrary to medical opinion) this is out of character for our edge ridden hero. Her behaviour is equally bizarre given she's kidnapped and wakes up tied to a chair with her dress almost around her waist. Yes, she initially thinks its by one of her 'liaisons', but even after finding out it's by an associate of her father who she knows is a thug and a criminal she's not perturbed for long. The ease with which the seduction occurs, though well portrayed, is unlikely. I personally think Frank should have been a really bad boy and raped her in a fit of psychotic sexual abandon. He's Bad Frank for Christ sake, don't start pulling punches when we've seen him bite a guy in the face and act with levels of aggression not seen since Max Cady.

Additionally, I would have preferred a more comprehensive ending; not that the outcome isn't implied clearly, but still I felt a little short changed. I wanted more, and it seemed like things were just gathering steam when the end came all too quickly and a little abruptly. Again, I just think a little more 'Bad Frank' and a little less of (or in addition to) the in-between would have really put a sharp edge on this one.

But anyway, as usual I digress. All that said, this is a great film with great acting, screenplay, and a good amount of action. Well worth watching. I hate writing reviews with spoilers. I try to avoid them whenever I can for obvious reason, but with this one I just can't help it... some things just will not stay buttoned up.
You got something that belongs to me
Frank (Kevin Interdonato) is a recovering alcoholic who has burned a lot of bridges. He has a bad reputation well deserved, although at this early stage he appears wimpy. His wife Gina (Amanda Clayton) is supportive. While helping a friend (Brandon Heitkamp) he runs into an old acquaintance Mickey Duro (Ted Sizemore) and the film finally stops limping along and takes off with killing and torture.

The film starts out slow and picks up to be a decent crime thriller with some personal drama and a small twist that had clues. Neatly done.

Guide: F-word, sex, and nudity (Amanda Clayton)
Definitively Not "Taken"
What prompted me to track this film down and have a peek was the paradox presented by the mainstream reviews.

They were skewed in every possible direction.

BAD FRANK was clearly one of those rare films you either loved or hated, but no middle ground.

If you loved it, you loved the performances, the quirky dialog, the oddball plot development and direction, and the whole "film noire" mood (even though it was shot in color). And also it was nominated for a whole bunch of awards I had never heard of, even won a couple.

However, if you hated it -- and a lot of mainstream reviewers did in fact hate it -- you saw it as a poor knockoff to Taken; you saw it as failing to deliver on its "action" promise; and you saw it as overlong, jumbled, and generally disappointing.

In other words, for a reviewer, this was a challenge. I had to find out for myself.

And I did.

Here is my take on BAD FRANK.

1. Critics who saw it as a cheap knockoff of Taken did not understand the film. In spite of the story and the casting, even in spite of the PR package put out by the distributors, this is much more a film that belongs in the class of "artistic horror" than an action story.

TAKEN, with Liam Neeson (the first one, not the horrible sequels), was a jewel of writing and direction. Action, reaction. Action, reaction. A straight arc from beginning to end. BAD FRANK benefits from, and yet also suffers from, Tony Germinario's intention -- as both writer and director -- to break as many scriptwriting conventions as he possibly can. And he does it just to show he can. (Like George Carlin's gag -- "why does a dog lick his privates? CAUSE HE CAN!")

2. When judged in its proper class -- as idiosyncratic horror, like LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT -- it is pretty interesting, and stays with you after the credits roll, which is saying something. Which is not to say it is perfect, or even close to perfect, or even that it could get a table close to perfect at a fancy restaurant. It is overlong, some of the dialog is terrible -- and Tony Germinario may possibly have seen one too many Tarantino movies, and it shows.

But the acting is astounding. Interdonato never breaks character even for a split second, and Sizemore matches him pound for pound in the race to see who is crazier and deserves to have PLANTERS stamped on his butt.

3. The ending (which I will NOT give away) shows, once again, Tony Germinario's obsession with breaking rules. Remember the happy ending in Taken? Well, this ain't Taken. Not even close! Once again, a wackjob ending like this one is the hallmark, the fingerprint, of a horror film, not an action film.

Summary: as a first film for a fledgling writer/director correctly niched in its class -- horror -- it is interesting and memorable. As pure entertainment competing for your attention with the other 10,000 movies available in theatres and on the net, it is perhaps less of a sure thing. But still memorable.

Recommended? Yes, m'am.
While far from great, its economy is impressive
Despite my middling grade of C, I was very impressed with "Bad Frank". After all, the film was very quickly made and only cost a paltry $80,000!! It is clearly a great example of getting a lot for very little…something many filmmakers could stand to learn.

When the film begins, Frank is a highly stressed but happy guy. He has a very beautiful wife, a job and life is good. However, there also are signs that Frank is on the edge…and he could easily be pushed over it. To make matters worse, he's been prescribed something, presumably for his anger, and the doctor's office is giving him crap about when he can see the doctor. He wants to see the doctor now…the receptionist isn't about to make an exception… even if he's now out of meds.

In the midst of this tense situation, Frank and a friend of his witness a brutal multiple murder committed by Frank's old 'buddies'….and soon they make it very clear that unless Frank keeps his mouth shut he's a dead man. And, to make this clear, they kidnap his innocent wife…sending Frank on a binge of ultra-violent behavior.

I liked the acting and direction in this picture. For $80,000, it should have been horrible but wasn't. The story was also reminiscent of "Taken" but had enough different about it to make it worth seeing… for some people. This is where the problem is…the film is incredibly violent and features a bit of sexual violence as well… and at times was hard to watch. Plus, unlike what I expected, by the end of the film Frank was pretty much a monster as well and it was hard to root for anyone. It's certainly not a picture to show your kids, your mother or Father O'Malley if he happens to stop by for a visit. But, in spite of this, I cannot help but admire the filmmakers for what they achieved.
It wasn't exactly "Taken" but it was OK in a way.
"I thought you were some sort of monster or something, like f*cking Charlize Theron. But look at this. Nice house. Nice woman. You're not a big tough guy. You're a f*cking pussy."

Frank (Kevin Interdonato) seems like a dead-normal, hard-working guy who occasionally suffers from horrible headaches. But this Frank in "Bad Frank" is a labile person. "He was born bad" as someone says later in the film. Frank is an ex-marine who got into trouble due to his hot-tempered character and he's forced to end his military career. Apparently a course about "Anger management" was a necessity. But now Frank seems to be on the right path. A decent job, a handsome wife (Amanda Clayton), a cozy house and he stays away from people who could have a bad influence on him. A calmer and healthier life with alcohol being banned as well. And this could be accomplished with some medical supervision. frank keeps everything under control when he takes his medication on time. I found it strange however that he had problems with making an appointment when he notices that he's running out of pills. Apparently his medical and psychological condition isn't really clear to the attending doctor. Otherwise his case would be treated with high priority.

It all goes wrong again when his best friend Travis (Brandon Heitkamp) asks Frank to help him with a job. A job causing Frank to look an old acquaintance straight in the eye again. It's Mickey (Tom Sizemore), someone out of his dark past. The rest of the story isn't quite original and has been used repeatedly in films. What you get is a kidnap / revenge movie with Frank releasing his demons again. Demons that made a mess of his life. A violent life full of victims. Not only those who bumped into his muscular body, but also relatives who don't want anything to do with him anymore because of his aggressive behavior and use of alcoholic in the past.

Kevin Interdonato plays the tormented Frank perfectly. You just feel the oppressed rage and you know this uncontrollable aggression can be unleashed any moment. Unfortunately I have mixed feeling about "Bad Frank". There are parts which are excellent. But these are alternated with some weaker ones. I wasn't impressed by the emotional Frank. And to be honest, I thought the outcome during the job looked a little amateurish. So, at that moment, I really feared this would be nothing more than a pale and uninteresting B-movie. Everything changed the moment Frank starts to kick stand like a madman. An individual in a bar and Donny Shakes (Brian O'Halloran) experience this in a painful way.

Even Tom Sizemore surprised me as the psychopathic Mickey. The scene with him and Travis was the most entertaining and frightening part in this movie. A highlight full of pure rage and madness. The last time I saw Sizemore act, was in "Weaponized". But that was too horrendous for words. Sizemore seems to be in money problems, considering the number of post-productions he is currently working on. Unfortunately, this is followed by the weakest moment of the entire film: the conversation between Frank and Crystal Duro (Lynn Mancinelli). In my opinion this scene was way too long and largely unnecessary. In my view this was used as a filler and they could have shortened this part so the movie had a perfect total playing-time of 90 minutes.

"Bad frank" isn't really bad. But you can't really call it a top movie. It wouldn't be fair to compare it to a movie like "Taken" because there's a significant difference in budget. Though it's really suitable as a typical Saturday night movie.

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