Wes Clark brings his movie expertise to HeavenHollywood.Com as he reviews the hot new independent film ‘Criminal Behavior
By Wes Clark
Went to the Screening of “Criminal Behavior” Last night at the AMC Loews Theater in Elizabeth NJ. The Jersey Gardens Mall. 2 Shows, (7pm and 9pm) both sold out and pack to capacity. Major love and support from Jersey came out to see this film. Criminal Behavior is an independent urban film filled with fresh new comers, tested indie actors anchored by a couple of urban film vets.
The film starred Seasoned uprising/indie actor Usman Sharif (3 Can play that game/Miracle at saint Anna) as the lead character, Newcomer Verina Banks as his female lead, Seasoned indie/rising actor Bryant Pearson (The Trade Off, Miracle at Saint Anna) and newcomer Kibwe Miller. Rounding out the cast was the well-experienced TV and film actor Sharrieff Pugh (In the cut, Person of interest, law and order) and the well-known veteran urban star Clifton Powell. The film was written and Directed by Warren Pemberton.
Criminal Behavior is about a young couple, Nathan and Jewel (Sharif and Banks), are enduring financial and emotional hardship, when past criminal friends (Pugh, Pearson, Miller) re-emerge into their lives and force Nathan to partake in a robbery. Now, he must find a way to stop his past from destroying his future.
Usman Sharif did a good job holding down the lead role. He was witty, sincere and at times down right hilarious portraying the classic “EX thug gone straight “character. His performance was what kept the interest of the film by wanting to know more about this past that he has been hiding but often has nightmares about. Verina Banks Was delightful to watch onscreen, although a newcomer she did a pretty good job and held her own with the more experienced Sharif, a thing of beauty indeed she is. The two seemed to form a chemistry that warmed the hearts of everyone in the room. Sharrieff Pugh was solid in his role as Darrell, the ringleader of the 3-man crew of bank robbers. Kibwe Miller was not bad for a new comer as the laid back weed smoking and sometime clueless Isaac. Bryant Pearson was very good in his performance as “Tank” the buffed fowl mouth pervert that took a liking to Jewel and went out of his way to grab her attention. Everyone in the theater was HATING HIM by mid way through to the end. That means YOU did your JOB Bryant. (Remember that Got Denzel his Oscar). Clifton Powell made somewhat of a cameo appearance. I would have liked to see a little more of him and his character however his lack of presence did not kill the film. I had the pleasure of meeting director Warren Pemberton to congratulate him. The film had interesting shots/angles and the story did not drag to his credit. It looked to have been shot DSLR and translated pretty well on the big screen (For all you film makers out there). Overall I think the DVD world will enjoy this film. My thoughts? If given a larger budget, this film could have become a cult classic. Congratulations to all involved in this film.
Legendary R&B group Allure
Director Wes Clark & Star Bryant Pearson