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  • Lightning Bug [Blu-ray] [2004] [US Import]
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Lightning Bug [Blu-ray] [2004] [US Import]

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 25 reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Catching light and life in a bottle 17 Nov. 2005
By Madelyn Pryor - Published on
Format: DVD
Lightning Bug is a movie that is painful to watch, but only in a good way. The semi-autobiographical story of Robert Hall himself, this movie follows one young man's journey to find himself and perfect his art as everything around him is in a constant state of flux. However, life is rarely like Hollywood, and Hall makes no attempt to make this story a pat Hollywood `boy saves everyone and himself' story. Still, the characters themselves are very real, and the story is too compelling to rip yourself away from.

Both Bret Harrison and Laura Prepon give remarkable performances that show their range as actors. The directing and editing make the film fast paced and consuming.

Still, this isn't a feel good movie. It's someone's like told in naked and brutal detail and that's where the magic of this film lies.

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Repressive Small Town Convictions in Good Coming of Age Film... 20 Aug. 2005
By Kim Anehall - Published on
Format: DVD
A hopeful future often travels together with the notion of dreams and aspirations. This is often depicted out of the perspective of youth seeking a direction on their journey through life. Often it is a difficult journey, which can even be harder to commence while parents, friends, and other people of various significance begin to affect the decisions of those who are coming of age. Lightening Bug touches on this very theme in a remarkably clever manner, as it deals with a young man's desire to leave his small Alabama home for a better life elsewhere.

A criminal suggestive opening leads the audience into think of why and who are the people involved in the scene. The identity and motive of the people involved in the wrongdoings are not revealed, but it leaves the audience wondering and thinking. These notions will leave audience's with an ominous sense of forthcoming trouble, but when and where remains unknown until the appropriate moment when the audience least expects it. The audience might have the ability to guess why and who is behind the suggestive opening. However, the director and writer Robert Hall delivers several situations in the film that continue to cloud the audience's judgment and logic to get a clear idea of who and why. This displays that Hall has thoughtfully put together an intriguing story for the audience.

Shortly after the troubling opening, the audience gets to witness Jenny Graves (Ashley Laurence), who many will recognize from Hellraiser (1987), arrive to Alabama from Detroit with her two sons. Jenny seems to have fled something, which is never revealed, as they arrive to their new home in rural Alabama. In addition, her older son Green wonders if they can go trick or treating, but Jenny informs her son that they have missed Halloween. This might suggest why Green later in his late teens has such a fond attachment to this frightful holiday and to horror.

The film quickly moves forward into the late adolescence of Green (Bret Harrison), as he turns 18 and has discovered that he has an artistic talent that he uses to create frightful creatures and other horrific creations. However, most people in his small town seem to be in complete disconnection with the world while Green has to face this ignorance on a daily basis. Oppression by an abusive stepfather and Christian persecution are some of the difficulties that Green has to struggle with while also thinking of his little brother and mother's well being. There are many chains that keep Green from beginning to bloom artistically while the greatest of them is misconception and ignorance of people in his environment.

In the woods outside Green's trailer home, he can find small lightening bugs that give him a chance to separate himself from the ignorance of the small town. It also allows him to play and have fun, which provides a chance for hopes and dreams. Green desires nothing else than to work in the film industry creating monsters and other horrific beasts to create a fright, or scare within the audience. However, can he break the chains that keep him in the small Alabamian town in which he grew up?

Lightening Bug is a small film that completely missed the theaters, but now is released on DVD. It is fortunate that some of these independent films get an opportunity to be seen, as this one delivers an amusing and intelligent story that deals with coming of age and the social pressures of being a teen. It also has a mild dose of existentialism, as it addresses the issue of choosing a direction in life. In one of the opening shots the audience can see a car chose a direction while approaching a fork in the road. This very scene could symbolize the importance of choosing the right path for oneself, as the individual will only have the opportunity to live the life of oneself. Thus, it is essential to seize the day, and live a life to the fullest while staying true to oneself. Lastly, the ill-omened opening continues to linger throughout the film, which adds another intriguing ingredient to the film.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A keeper 24 Jun. 2012
By Beverly A. Roark - Published on
Format: DVD
This is a movie that I bought based upon the synopsis and reviews by others. What a great never lost my interest for one moment. the acting is top-notch, you hate the villains, and love the victims. The story is very believable and interesting. A lesson for all ..with an attitude of never giving up and the support of great friends, a person can change his life for the better. Give it a "watch"
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Lightning Bug 1 Feb. 2013
By Carl Manes - Published on
Format: Blu-ray
Green Graves only dreams of becoming a special make-up effects artist for the movies, but his dreams are shattered by an abusive stepfather and the disenchanting denizens of his small Southern town. Renown special effects artist Robert Hall delivers this powerful fictionalization of his own childhood experiences in the 2004 drama, LIGHTNING BUG. Hall speaks with raw emotion through his heartfelt characters, painting a tragic true-to-life tale that is equally inspiring. This could not be achieved without the help of his incredible cast, led by Bret Harrison and Kevin Gage. Harrison loses himself in his character, bringing his full range to the role of Green. He could only be overshadowed by Kevin Gage as the monstrous Earl Knight, who presses his terrifying strength and oppressive control over Green and his family. Gage is more frightening in all of his drunken rage than any man or monster in the genre. Laura Prepon, Ashley Laurence, Hal Sparks, and Lucas Till provide stunning support as well, and help to sell the realism of the desperate small town condition. A great debt is also owed to Brandon Trost, Joshua Charson, Rob Prior, and the rest of the talented crew, who make Green's reality our own. LIGHTNING BUG has a reach that expands well beyond the genre, but Horror fans in particular will empathize intimately with Green's personal struggle in an unaccepting society. This is Robert Hall's love letter to movie making, and his own personal masterpiece beyond the realm of make-up and special effects.

-Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies
Laura Prepon (-: 12 Sept. 2013
By SR - Published on
Verified Purchase
If you're a Laura Prepon fan, ie: Donna from that 70's Show, Alex Vause from OITNB, Hannah from October Road.... then you will want to watch simply for her. Her character doesn't come in for almost the first twenty minutes, but then she has a solid role the remaining 1 hour and 10. No full nudity from her, but there are some steamy worthwhile scenes. She gives a GREAT performance as well. Talented young lady.

On another note, the film is nice. It is a good story of a talented, kind young man and his struggle with living in poverty and in an abusive home. It is the life story of Robert Hall who has done makeup for Teen Wolf and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It is definitely a low-budget feel. There are some heart-tugging moments though. I recommend. Especially to film buffs.
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