If you love cinema, this film is for you. While I watched Showdown at the Grand, a smile came up each time I heard a reference to films of the decades gone by. I would have loved to have watched the movie in a theater with other film fans who would have had fun with what the filmmakers had prepared for the audience. It is fun to see two characters having fun trading movie quotes.
The “Grand” in the film title is about the Warner Grand Theater that opened in the early 1930s and is now a community landmark in the San Pedro Arts District (California). This historic theater is the setting for the film. It is one of several reasons to view the action/comedy feature film written and directed by Orson Oblowitz (writer of The Five Rules of Success, The Queen of Hollywood Blvd.) It is beautiful and an excellent venue to portray the beloved cinema owned by George Fuller (Academy Award® Nominee Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow), who grew up in it when his great-uncle originally owned it. George proudly wears his Western suits, hat, and coats – as if in character.
The proud movie theater owner must defend his business from corporate developers led by Miss Shrader (Amanda Righetti, “The Mentalist” TV series). She wants to establish a high-end community and makes an offer, expecting him to agree to sell, but George does not comply. She dislikes rejection and sends in the thug types, Burton (Jon Sklaroff and Reed (Mike Ferguson), to pressure and intimidate. George is not one to give in to that behavior, but once someone harms his good friend, Lucky (John Savage, The Deer Hunter), a local pawn shop owner and loyal customer, the action kicks in.
George handles all the duties to keep the establishment running and only hires a film school graduate, Spike (Piper Curda), to learn what it takes to run a theater. George has less profit than before but keeps showing titles that appeal to his faithful customers. He is a loyal Claude Luc Hallyday (Dolph Lundgren) fan and has a special event with him in attendance. It is a sold-out event. Hallyday trusts George (said more than once in the dialogue) and is game to help keep the cinema open. The former action star may not be as great at public appearances as he used to be, but taking on thugs is something he can still do.
Cinephiles will enjoy this tribute to retro films. It is fun also to see a movie within a movie. Terrance Howard fans will enjoy his cinematic performance and gush over his vocals when he takes to the piano and more.
A Christian De Gallegos Films, Benaroya Pictures Production, and An Orson Oblowitz Film
Showdown at the Grand is in limited theaters and available on VOD platforms now.
Source: SHOUT! STUDIOS