ROAD TO PALOMA | DVD REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

The hunky and huge Khal Drogo, oops I mean Jason Momoa, directs his debut in ROAD TO PALOMA. Most of the time I have just found him to be a big man with a small brain but then I only really ever knew him as Drogo and then the quickly forgotten CONAN THE BARBARIAN in the remake from 2011. I guess this says more about my judgemental douchisness than his intellect – I stand corrected. The man is talented and ambitious, no doubt about it. Kernel John reviews this biker looking road movie. ROAD TO PALOMA is releasing on September 10th on Blu Ray and DVD in Australia from the folks at Anchor Bay Entertainment Australia.  It is rated M and runs for 90mins – and if you check it out after you read John’s email below you can win one of two copies the peeps at Anchor Bay have given us to giveaway. All the best……….JK.

 

ROAD TO PALOMA MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
ROAD TO PALOMA | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY JOHN MCPARLAND

I was first introduced to the tour de force that is Jason Momoa nearly a decade ago when he played Ronon Dex on the television series STARGATE ATLANTIS. His character back then was quite the presence: tall, muscular, powerful, and aggressive, dispatching Wraith with a viciousness borne of Dex’s torturous past. He next slashed his way into our lives as Khal Drogo in the epic GAME OF THRONES. Ruthless, fearless, and undefeated in battle, shortly after meeting the Dothraki warlord Drogo is seen killing prince Viserys by pouring a pot of molten gold over Viserys’s head. I quickly got the picture that Momoa’s characters are not to be trifled with, unless one enjoys agonising deaths.

Momoa’s character in ROAD TO PALOMA, Robert Wolf, is a lovely change from his usual kill first, kill later, never ask questions personas. There is a true sense of decency and kindness in Wolf’s heart. He is a good man, who through desperation and sorrow committed a terrible act, but at his core still retains a noble level of integrity and grace. It is revealed that before the events of the film Wolf’s Mojave mother is raped and murdered. Though apprehended, the perpetrator is released without charge as the prosecution sees little benefit in pursuing a Caucasian man for the murder of a Native American. Appalled at the blatant racism and lack of empathy, Wolf does what any of us would probably do in the same situation: he hunts down the criminal and kills him, brutally. The film picks up several months later as Wolf travels across the country evading capture from the authorities.

 

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ROAD TO PALOMA | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW| WOLF (JASON MOMOA) AND ANOTHER RIDING

 

Not just the star, Momoa also wrote, produced, and directed this gorgeous film. The back-story adds a certain element of tension to the tale, but at no point does this movie become a race between Wolf and his captors. This is not THE FUGITIVE; ROAD TO PALOMA never becomes embroiled in that action pursuit vibe. This is a drama from the outset, and a wonderfully crafted one at that. Momoa outdid himself with this movie; wearing multiple cinematic hats throughout the project, he has managed to deliver a truly beautiful product.

For me, the movie is a journey. Though Wolf is being chased by the FBI, he never seems to be actually running. That the direction he is moving happens to be away from the law is purely coincidental. Wolf is on a mission to honour the memory of his mother one final time. Having avenged her death, he now wishes to pay tribute to her life. To this end, Wolf seeks out his mother’s ashes, now in the hands of his sister, so that he may spread them at a location he knows his mother loved. He wishes to perform the proper Native American rituals over her remains so that her spirit may find some measure of peace, and return his loved one to the earth from which she came. He knows that he cannot flee from his recent deeds forever, yet is determined to do this one final thing before he is brought to justice.

And what a journey it is. Above all else, this is a magnificently artistic film. Travelling the dirt and desert roads of America, the film displays some stunning visuals. Striking sunsets, dazzling weather, and always the constant spectacular scenic shots and landscapes, Momoa’s direction in this regard is brilliant.

 

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ROAD TO PALOMA | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW| WOLF (JASON MOMOA)

 

Along the way, Wolf picks up fellow traveller Cash, played by Robert Homer Mollohan. Cash is a reckless, angry individual, who loves nothing more than causing trouble and being beaten up. There is one particular scene of a brutal bare-knuckle brawl involving Cash, which really drives home the point that Cash actually enjoys getting into fights. Win or lose, he just seems to revel in the pain that his body is put through. A tortured soul, Cash and Wolf bond over their separate, though equally consuming, dark pasts, and Cash agrees to join Wolf on his journey.

Throughout the film, we are given constant reminders and hints to Wolf’s good-hearted nature. He does not say very much at all, but when he does, it is to voice assistance or encouragement. Those he runs into along his passage who know of his crime do not judge him for it. Instead, many of them, while not condoning his actions, support what he has done. The movie makes it clear that he is surrounded by sympathisers, some going so far as to protect him from those seeking his capture, not necessarily because those others agree with what he did, but simply because they know of and support Wolf’s kind heart. Far from being Dex or Drogo, Wolf is the sort of character you can fall in love with, rather than simply cheer for in support of more bloodshed.

 

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ROAD TO PALOMA | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW| WOLF (JASON MOMOA) AND MAGDALENA (LISA BONET)

 

I loved Momoa in this role. Getting to see a softer side of a typically action oriented actor is always a pleasant change, and with this film Momoa displays his range of talent brilliantly. Mollohan is just a solid in his performance, with the two stars interacting with each other wonderfully.

The film is light on dialogue and light on story. The plot itself is relatively simple, but the movie is just so gorgeously put together that it does not drag and you never feel bored. There are lighter moments and some fantastic one-liners that come completely out of the blue to help tie this film together and give it that occasional lift. I went into this screening with low expectations, not because of the stars or film itself, but simply because direct to DVD movies are not usually cinematic gems. However, I am very pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Moving, powerful, and amazingly shot, I hope this film leaves as surprising a memorable mark on you as it did on me.

 

3 and a Half Pops

 

With special thanks to ANCHORBAY ENTERTAINMENT to win one of the 2x DVDs of ROAD TO PALOMA  you need to either like and share this post on Facebook or retweet/ favourite it on Twitter, you then need to answer the following question. 

Firstly, just an FYI on how to increase chances of winning a salty comp; commenting on the review generally holds you in better stead of winning as opposed to just comp sexing :)

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FILM SET ON THE ROAD AND WHY? Mine – probably THELMA AND LOUISE, or perhaps THE DOOM GENERATION, THE HITCHER, SIDEWAYS, THE CANNONBALL RUN, SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT, MOTORCYCLE DIARIES, or DUEL :) 

If you do not have Facebook and Twitter then you can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jking@saltypopcorn.com.au telling me you don’t have social media (you still need to enter the comp on the website).

Prizes will be awarded based on skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels, more likely ME.

PRIZES WILL NOT BE SENT UNTIL EARLY OCTOBER – I AM ABOUT TO GO AWAY FOR A FEW WEEKS OVERSEAS. Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.

 

 

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