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'Funeral Kings'

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Reviewed by Nora Ankrum, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW Film

Funeral Kings

Emerging Visions
D: Kevin McManus, Matthew McManus; with Alex Maizus, Dylan Hartigan, Jordan Puzzo

    It's not easy being 14, or at least not for Charlie (Maizus), who'll do seemingly anything to prove he's not "just a kid." At first, that just means stealing communion wine and devising elaborate ruses to snag porn from the local video store, pastimes afforded Charlie and his best friend, Andy (Hartigan) – both altar boys – whenever there's a funeral, which allows them to cut class. But as Charlie grows increasingly disgruntled, the boys' penchant for mischief approaches mayhem. Funeral Kings is the first feature for brothers Kevin and Matthew McManus, who said they wanted to explore "what it's like to be 14 ... to have a lot more bark than bite." They build a genuine tension between that bark and bite while drawing moments of real comedy from their young stars. It also doesn't hurt that their command of the script's "ripe language" (in the parlance of the McManus brothers' aunt, a nun) rivals Glengarry Glen Ross.


Friday, March 16, 1:45pm, Alamo Ritz  

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