Review: ‘Death Of A Telemarketer’ is a cleverly written double entendre.

DEATH OF A TELEMARKETER

Ace telemarketer Kasey (Lamorne Morris) is in a close sales contest with newbie employee, Barry (Woody McClain), and must score a big sale by midnight or he’ll lose the largest commission to date. Out of desperation, Kasey waits until everyone leaves the office and finds the Do Not Call list. He thinks he’s found the perfect mark, but instead finds himself held hostage and at the mercy of Asa (Jackie Earle Haley), the man he tried to swindle. Now Kasey must pass Asa’s twisted test on ethics if he wants to live to sell another day.


The title alone makes your ears perk up. Death Of A Telemarketer is revenge porn for all those dinnertime phone calls. Half the time, a caller doesn’t even get your name right. Or, maybe they’ll ask if your husband is home. Really? You have to respect the people who work these jobs. I cannot imagine anyone choosing this as their life’s passion, but as this film’s leading man Kasey comes to explain, when you’re good at something, it makes you feel accomplished. But, knowing that their goal often involves a scam makes things a bit more complicated. On the other hand, life is never as simple as we want it to be. Death Of A Telemarketer tackles all that and more. It’s a surprisingly nuanced story and funny as hell. 

Haley Joel Osment makes everything better. I have loved watching his career spring back to life through meaty indie roles. He is meant to do this for a long time. Jackie Earle Haley, as Asa, knocks it out of the park. Haley’s career is eclectic, and his talents never fail to shine. As Asa, you kind of love to hate him. Lamorne Miller, as Kasey, is a bonafide star. You’re buying what he’s selling, pun 100% intended. His comic timing is something you can’t teach. He begs your attention in every frame. Death of a Telemarketer is a whirlwind of jokes and an unexpected emotional rollercoaster. Writer/Director Khaled Ridgeway draws from personal experience, and it shows. He nails the absurdity that accompanies this profession but never lets the genuine humanity of his characters slip past the audience. It’s a breezy watch that will make you laugh and maybe make you want to call your Dad.


DEATH OF A TELEMARKETER

In theaters and VOD December 3, 2021


Directed by Khaled Ridgeway

Starring Lamorne Morris, Jackie Earle Haley, Haley Joel Osment

Release Date: 12/3/21


Review: Catherine Keener and Charlie Heaton navigate the ripple effects of addiction in ‘No Future’.

NO FUTURE

After the tragic overdose of his estranged friend, Will, a recovering addict, returns home, where he is reunited with Claire, his friend’s grieving mother, with whom he begins a secret but volatile affair.


Grief is an unpredictable monster. It manifests in ways we will understand. In the new film No Future, writer-directors Andrew Irvine and Mark Smoot give us a study of human emotions. It is a film that will hit home for many families. Addiction and its wake of destruction is something we cannot seem to escape. No Future boasts brilliant performance and a ceaselessly engrossing screenplay. It is quietly devastating.

Catherine Keener is a mother mired in grief. As Claire, she looks for answers in Will, the only remaining connection to her son. The stages are all present in her weary tone of voice and mannerisms. The justifiable anger and emptiness become a shared experience through her. Charlie Heaton, as Will, sits on the fence of morality as a former addict wracked with survivor’s guilt. He carries the burden of past transgressions in his daily struggle to stay clean. Knowing that he’s hiding the truth from Claire eats at his soul. Heaton’s vulnerability will say shake you to your core. It’s award-worthy.

Keener and Heaton’s chemistry is palpable. Their connection lands somewhere in between conceivable and inappropriate. They are using one another to process hurt. No Future speaks to the daily challenges and ripple effects of addiction. Jon Natchez‘s score of heavy strings and synth adds an unsettling hum to the entire film. It’s beautifully powerful. The script does not tread lightly, and rightfully so. The explosive and inevitable final act is a catharsis for our leads and the audience. Or so we’re led to believe. Everyone must sit in contemplative mourning. No Future will break your heart.


NO FUTURE opens nationwide on Friday, October 22nd, 2021.

NO FUTURE is written and directed by Andrew Irvine and Mark Smoot and stars Catherine Keener, Charlie Heaton, Rosa Salazar, Jackie Earle Haley, Jefferson White, Austin Amelio, Heather Kafka, Jason Douglas, Kia Nicole Boyer, Mollie Milligan, Jasmine Shanise, and Marissa Woolf.