Payback (2021) online

Year: 2021
Country: USA
Time: 1h 31min
Director: Joseph Mensch
This is newb/amateur writer, director and producer Joseph Mensch's first full length feature film, with only one prior short film to his credit. Sure, it was flawed, but for an amateur filmmaker, he did better than some seasoned filmmakers productions I've seen lately.

For a low budget B film, the score was surprisingly on point, and was not your typical constant, loud, overbearing and unfitting score. His directing was actually decent, but there were some scene fluidity issues. It's as if many parts where cut short with information the viewer needed. I'm not sure if the issues were bad editing, or screenplay related, or both. The story concept was great, but there were many plot, continuity and technical issues in his screenplay. Had Mensch consulted a seasoned screenwriter to edit his writing prior to production, his film wouldn't have had that missing scene fluidity and continuity issues. The pacing was on point for the film's 91 min runtime. Casting was decent, although many performances here and there felt flat, and I'm sure it was due to Mensch's lack of experience in directing his cast properly. Cinematography was excellent, especially with the use of 90's color filters and sets. It seems much detail went into staging that era, and seemed convincing I was watching a film made in the early 90's.

Overall, it was a great first effort for a newb filmmaker. With its flaws, I saw it to the end, and I enjoyed it. It's a well deserved 6/10 from me, and certainly not worthy of anything less than a 5/10, because new filmmakers have to start somewhere, right?
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