THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 753, January 12, 2014
The wages of moderation are political death.
Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
I had heard about this movie about a year ago, but until recently I never got the opportunity to see it. Sadly, I had forgotten about this movie up until Davi Barker decided to trash this movie, while simultaneously attacking J. Neil Shulman's other movie, Alongside Night. Thanks to Neil I was able to view the movie on his YouTube page. The movie begins with our main protagonist Agent Jack Goldwater, an IRS agent on lone to the air marshals program, profiling a suspicious looking middle-eastern man. When it appeared that he was wrong about his suspicion, Goldwater was taken before a Senate committee, which was led by a snooty women who seems to represent everything that is wrong with the government.
Our protagonist is then exiled to Lady Magdalene's a brothel in Nevada owned by a madam who owes back taxes. When he arrives at the brothel, we meet Lady Magdalene played by Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek fame, who for some reason breaks into a song, while introducing the girls to the man she thinks is a customer. Since Magdalene owes the IRS so much money, Goldwater takes over the brothel, where he meets Angel, who was once a former agent assigned to Lady Magdalene's. She claims that she was exiled there when she filed a sexual harassment claim against a fellow agent. Since they were treating her like a ho, she decided that she may as well act like one. Not surprisingly chemistry seems to bloom between the two.
I don't want to give away too many spoilers about the movie, but I can say that there were a few things that were surprising and some not so surprising. Before I discuss the flaws of the movie, I want to point out that I have taken into account that this movie was filmed under a limited budget. Though l do feel the need to point out that the acting of Ethan Keogh as Jack Goldwater left much to be desired. I know that I shouldn't expect Oscar caliber acting in a movie with a limited budget, but I thought the acting of the rest of the cast was spot on. Everybody except for Keogh who was the movie's lead. The lead seemed like he was supposed to be charming, yet his performance seemed somewhat wooden. I even thought that J. Neil Schulman's performance as a homegrown terrorist was much stronger than that of Keogh's. Though, as I said before I have to grade this movie with a curve, so the less than stellar acting is part of that curve.
From the very start I found Nichelle Nichols' character funny and likeable, especially when she would break out into a song. My favorite scene with Nichols came when she sang an ironic song about a reformed harlot in public to drum up more publicity for the struggling brothel. I also liked the "date scene" where Goldwater and Angel go the gun range at Front Sight. While the couple shot up the targets, a kickass song about it being better to be judged by twelve then carried by six played in the background.
I have to give Schulman credit not just for his first time as a director, but for his first attempt at acting. When I first heard that Schulman was making an appearance in the movie, I figured that he would make a Stephen King or N. Night Shyamalan style cameo in the movie, as opposed to playing one of the comic reliefs. Schulman played a homegrown version of Al-Qaeda, but acted more like Smithers from The Simpsons (give or take his closet homosexuality). Throughout the remainder of the movie, he acts like a brown nosing groupie that is willing to answer every beck and call of his Al-Qaeda superiors. I had a good laugh when Schulman's character as well as the other fellow American members of Al-Qaeda, were relieved that the mission that they were assigned wouldn't involve martyrdom. When one of the Al-Qaeda masterminds asks them why they are so relieved, one of the other American cell members says that he has a family, while the Schulman character says that his biggest reason for living is to see the revival of Cats. Personally, I would regret not seeing the new Star Wars movies done by J.J. Abrams, but that's just me.
For a first time effort and a limited budget, Lady Magdalene's was done quite well. The movie was funny and entertaining and is definitely worth seeing. However I must warn whoever is interested in this movie, the viewing may be limited since J.Neil Schulman has informed me that he plans to find a way to release Lady Magdalene's in theaters, though he was nice enough to allow me to view it on his YouTube page. When he does manage to get a theater release I would be more than happy to view it on the big screen. It would also make a good double feature with Alongside Night, another movie that I am anxiously awaiting to see in the theaters.