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Capone has special words for and kind thoughts about TOUCHING HOME, starring Ed Harris!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here, with some thoughts on a film that might even be too small a release for my Art-House Round-Up column. This is one of those works that is literally going around the country one theater at a time in hopes of picking up a well-deserved grassroots following, and I wanted to make sure you all know about this special film. While I try with all my might to judge a movie as a movie and not as a sequel or an adaptation or a remake or whatever the case may be, each film brings its own baggage whether it be in the form of the actors, the director, the writer, the source material, or, in the case of TOUCHING HOME, the story of how this film got made. I've reviewed a lot of films and interviewed a lot of people who have called certain works "passion projects," but I'm pretty sure none of those come close to what twin brothers Logan and Noah Miller have accomplished in the years since their father Charlie died. The brothers were fledgling baseball players who each looked like they had a shot at the majors when they were ready to graduate college. The brothers play themselves in this family drama that takes a whole lot of chances and manages to pull off what could have been a disastrous, self-serving work. Instead what the Millers--who wrote and directed TOUCHING HOME--have accomplished is one of the most personal and moving films you may see all year. Of course, Logan and Noah (who play characters called Clint and Lane; don't ask me who's who) didn't do this alone. The film kind of lives and breathes thanks to the great Ed Harris, playing the alcoholic Charlie, who barely bats an eye as he's stealing his sons' savings to buy booze and gamble away as fast as he can get his hands on it. Charlie was not a bad man, despite what I've just said about him. But the alcohol does exactly what it needs to to wreck his life and destroy the fragile bonds between father and sons. Watching Charlie work his way back into his sons' lives and systematically chip away at their trust and love is so painful to watch, you're almost forced to look away from the screen. Another familiar face is the always-reliable Brad Dourif as the boys' mentally challenged Uncle Clyde. He's brought in more as a foil for Charlie to bounce his thoughts off of, but it's still a solid performance. Rounding out the main cast is Ishiah Benben who plays a school teacher named Rahael, who falls for one of the brothers and is exposed to Charlie from time to time, making the entire situation that much more embarrassing for the sons. She certainly pretties up the film, but this isn't a movie about a romance. It's about the brutal reality of living with (or near) a man who is so deep in the hole that he will likely never come out. I've seen Ed Harris play some pretty messed-up guys in his time, but Charlie takes him places most actors would fear to tread. The Miller brothers aren't the greatest actors you'll ever see, but it helps that they are playing versions of themselves. Their baseball skills are unquestionable, and considered how many seriously heart-wrenching scenes they've written for themselves, they do pretty solid work exhibiting rage and hurt thanks to their father's behavior. But the film gets exponentially better when Harris is on hand. Charlie isn't an abusive drunk, as far as we can tell. He gets in bar fights, but usually the result is him getting his ass handed to him. The bleak and sorrowful look in Harris' eyes tells us Charlie's whole story, one loaded with regret and shame. When the local sheriff (and the brothers' former high school baseball coach) Jim Perkins, played by Robert Forrester, begins to take Charlie to AA meetings, it actually seems to make a difference, and the family comes together for the first time in perhaps forever. But that isn't the end of the story. I guess technically the making of this movie is the end of the story, but there's a bit more in between that's worth getting out and finding this film. After a limited run in certain theaters in California, TOUCHING HOME begins playing moving across the country in these cities on these days. Make the effort and don't let the exceedingly downbeat tone of the film scare you away: May 14th -- New York, NY at the Village East Cinemas May 21st -- Huntington, NY at the Roslyn 4; Montclair, NJ at the Clairidge 6 Cinema; and White Plains, NY at the Cinema 100 May 28 -- Santa Cruz, CA June 4th -- Tampa, FL at the Tampa Theatre June 18th -- St. Louis, MO at the Plaza Frontenac Cinema
-- Capone capone@aintitcool.com Follow Me On Twitter



Readers Talkback
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  • May 14, 2010, 12:29 p.m. CST

    The brothers story is truly remarkable

    by skimn

    and the fact they got this made with well known actors is amazing.

  • May 14, 2010, 12:32 p.m. CST

    First?

    by I_shot_Cyrus

  • May 14, 2010, 12:33 p.m. CST

    No I lost to skim milk

    by I_shot_Cyrus

  • May 14, 2010, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Check out my passion project on you tube 'fbk movie trailer'

    by I_shot_Cyrus

  • May 14, 2010, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Is this a downer or an upper

    by estacado1

    I'm not in the mood for a downer.

  • May 14, 2010, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Brad Dourif!

    by umbral_shadow_

    Awesome actor.

  • May 14, 2010, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Maybe there should be some kind of men's Lifetime

    by skimn

    channel, that would air this, Brians Song, Rudy and Field Of Dreams on a never ending loop.

  • May 14, 2010, 1:02 p.m. CST

    They can't get it in San Francisco or Berkeley?

    by Jaka

    San Rafael and Santa Cruz are both 90 minutes each way (minimum), which means I probably won't catch it until it's available for home viewing.

  • May 14, 2010, 1:05 p.m. CST

    If this was a post from Harry

    by Magnus Greel

    it would be called Touching Stallone.

  • May 14, 2010, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Jaka

    by dancetothebeatofthelivingdead

    Well, I'm in Chicago and if I were in your position, I'd make the trip personally based on everything I've heard about this one. <br> <br> Hey Capone, your here in the city like me, where'd you see it?

  • May 14, 2010, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Can't wait to see it

    by bowiebot3000

    These brothers went to high school in my home town and it was filmed out here. There are posters all over the county for this. They even sent a signed poster to my local video shop :D. Can't wait to check it out. Oh and Jaka, San Rafael is like 20-30 mins from Berkeley and SF, not 90 each way.

  • May 14, 2010, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Capone, bring that shit to Chicago!

    by Davidhessstation

    This sounds great! Finally a movie that isn't a remake or filled with CGI or based on some comic book. An actual movie! Leave it to Ed Harris to always be in original films.

  • May 14, 2010, 1:39 p.m. CST

    bowiebot3000, yes, but I'm...

    by Jaka

    ...an hour from Berkeley or San Francisco. Hence, the 90 minutes each way. Worse depending on traffic.

  • May 14, 2010, 1:43 p.m. CST

    I'm still considering it, though

    by Jaka

    Heading to the Shattuck Cinema in Berkeley tomorrow to catch the Banksy movie (and hopefully Casino Jack). That's my movies for this week. I'll see how I feel about the drive next week.

  • May 14, 2010, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Catwoman is in it.

    by Sailor Rip

  • May 14, 2010, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Saw it last year....not bad

    by drewlicious

    Once again the story behind the movie is more interesting than the movie itself but it really is worth it to see Ed Harris play this role. I also reccomend the book they wrote about making this movie "You're Either In, Or In the Way." And they have yet to make any actual money on either project.

  • May 14, 2010, 2:08 p.m. CST

    N GB3 N ! I O !!!!

    by theDannerDaliel

  • May 14, 2010, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Ed Harris as an alcohoolic child beater? I'm in!

    by ricarleite2

    This smells Academy Awards all over it.

  • May 14, 2010, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Oh it's a 2008 film. No Oscars then.

    by ricarleite2

    My mistake.

  • May 14, 2010, 3:02 p.m. CST

    trailer and interview at end with Harris and bros

    by slatefish

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJSPluCR2PE

  • May 14, 2010, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Slatefish - thanks

    by Mennen

  • May 14, 2010, 3:24 p.m. CST

    you're welcome

    by slatefish

  • May 14, 2010, 3:52 p.m. CST

    I Rarely Want To See These Passion Projects

    by kevinwillis.net

    And I want to see this think. I want to see what convinced Brad Dourif and Ed Harris to listen to two kids who had never made a movie, and make a movie, with the kids playing themselves . . . that's something else.

  • May 14, 2010, 6:38 p.m. CST

    JamesWest

    by jimmythesaint

    I see what you mean, but he was self-aware enough to do an interview on the UK Special Edition DVD of Creepshow talking about his bizarre dancing - that alone gives him a pass in my book!

  • May 14, 2010, 8:16 p.m. CST

    I see Ed Harris as being a bit like Clint Eastwood

    by Jaka

    You don't really ever see Clint Eastwood taking himself lightly. And when you do it still looks like he might reach across the couch and rip you face off if you laugh at his joke.

  • May 14, 2010, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Ed Harris is THE MAN

    by kwisatzhaderach

    He'll always be Bud Brigman to me.

  • May 14, 2010, 10:23 p.m. CST

    too much like frank's actual life

    by frank cotton

    but will likely watch it anyways, someday

  • May 14, 2010, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Harris looks fucking amazing in this...

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    When he's good, he's one of the best.<BR><BR>I'm all in for this one.

  • May 14, 2010, 11:12 p.m. CST

    But is this in 3-d?

    by I_shot_Cyrus

  • May 15, 2010, 12:50 a.m. CST

    Among movie actors, Harris has the Midas Touch

    by Rocco Curioso

    Whether it's fending off Cuba Gooding Jr's full-retard histrionics in "Radio", a brilliant near cameo in "A History Of Violence", a finely-tuned integral supporting role in "The Truman Show", or a tour de force performance in "Pollock"... the man's a fucking solid professional. He always brings his A-Game, and Ed Harris on the mark raises any movie way up.<P>If he never wins an Oscar for a performance further down the pike, the Academy goddamn well better give the man a Lifetime Achievement award. He's aces... always has been, always will be.

  • May 15, 2010, 7:31 a.m. CST

    to Rocco

    by Potsy

    I couldn't agree more.

  • May 15, 2010, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Touching (snicker) cotton...

    by obijuanmartinez

    Get it? WAKAWAKAWAKA! (Yes, I'm an idiot. I know. Couldn't resist)