Noble Things



Austin Film Festival

AUSTIN, Texas -- For a movie that wears its family values on its sleeve -- from the Bible quote on the poster to the good Samaritans named Moses and J.C. -- "Noble Things" sure does enjoy the spectacle of brutal fist fights in which moonlight shines on the brawlers' rain-slick, naked torsos. Absent some hard-core heartland promotion, which might sustain a theatrical tour of small-town screenings, prospects are slim.

Perhaps the first film ever to give prominent brand placement to a mobile-home manufacturer, "Things" offers a one-hit-wonder country star (played by Brett Moses, who also co-wrote and co-directed), who returns to his small-town Texas home to care for a dying father (the town's sheriff) and address the sins of his youth.

The intermittent flashbacks that reveal said sins arrive at a clunky pace, negating much of the drama on that side of the story and demanding that the here-and-now pick up the slack. Unfortunately, the rural melodrama is underwritten and doesn't get enough mileage out of cast member Gordon Parks ("Kill Bill") to make up for some of the lesser performances.

Production values are competent given the obvious low budget, but the life-or-death finale rings laughably untrue.

Production company: Noble Productions, Ltd.