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Thursday, May 20, 2010

HOLY ROLLERS

By D.E.Levine

Director: Kevin Asch
Writer: Antonio Marcia
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, Danny A Abeckaser, Ari Gaynor, Jason Fuchs, Q-Tip, Bern Cohen, Mark Ivanir, Charlie Hewson, Elizabeth Marvel et al.
Producer: Danny A. Abeckaser, Jen Gatien, Per Melita and Tory Tunnell
Executive Producer: Kevin Asch and Dave Berlin
Co-producers: Robert Profusek and Ryan Silbert
Original Music: Mj Mynarksi
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English, Hebrew, Yiddish, Dutch
Genre: Crime; Drama

A low-budget film about a real life Ecstasy drug smuggling ring that operated in Williamsburg Brooklyn during the 1990s, Holy Rollers stars Jesse Eisenberg playing a Hasidic Jew whose quest to accumulate money leads him become involved in illegal activities and draw others into the same ring.

Danny A. Abeckaser orginally read about the case and decided he wanted to play the role of Jackie Solomon so he raised the production money and hired Kevin Asch to direct.

The performances are straightforward and convincing as Yosef Zimmerman, older brother to Sam Gold's best friend and the criminal living right next door lures the gullible Sam Gold into the Ectasy ring.

Sam, who comes from a family where his hard working father is consumed with him becoming a rabbi, is convinced that his activities are actually bringing helpful medicine into the US and simply circumventing red tape. But, deep down, as he falls into the fast life, lose the Hassidic girl he wants to marry and falls for Jackie's girlfriend, who is far from an approved Hasidic girl.

While the film is interesting, and the back story is true, there's no depth to Sam's character and no real excitement. The characters seem stereotypical and in the end we're left with a sense of wonder that the story could and did happen.