A film that is very mainstream and mature in its sensibilities

Greg Wright’s (Past The Popcorn) Knuckle Draggers Movie Review

The spirit of Barry Levinson is apparently alive and well… and living in L.A.

A cadre filmmakers led by east coast expatriates has been working together on low-budget projects for a number of years and has now turned out a romantic comedy as engaging (and still relatively wholesome and endearing!) as anything I’ve seen since, frankly, Diner. The ensemble cast is led by producers Paul J. Alessi (raised in Queens) and Amie Barksy (New Jersey); crewmembers Reuben Steinberg (cinematography) and writer/director Alex Ranarivelo are veterans of several Alessi/Barksy-produced films; and also along for more than their first ride with the producers are supporting players Brandon Olive, Karrie MacLaine, James D. Owens… and others, I’m sure.

To date, Alessi and Barsky’s oeuvre has been shorts; but clearly, they’ve not only been learning the ropes as they’ve worked their way up to their first feature-length production, they’ve also been having fun and building up a solid core of professionals with whom to work consistently. That investment has paid off, and the newcomers to the crew blend in seamlessly. I wouldn’t mind working with these folks, either, if I were in the biz—and I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing a lot more of these characters.

I also expect I’ll be watching Knuckle Draggers a few more times over the years. Hopefully, you’ll be able to as well!

At the … READ MORE

Newport Beach Film Festival Photo of Some Cast


27 April 2009 – Newport Beach, CA – Paul J. Alessi producer/actor, Katrina Law, Amie Barsky, Jolane Lentz and Serah D’Laine. “Knuckle Draggers” Premiere at the 2009 Newport Beach Film Festival held at Edwards Cinemas. Photo Credit: Byron Purvis/AdMedia

In this photo: Paul J. Alessi (photos), Katrina Law (photos), Amie Barsky (photos), Jolane Rae, Serah D’Laine (photos)

27 April 2009 – Newport Beach, CA – Paul J. Alessi, producer/actor, Ross McCall and Danielle Nicolet. “Knuckle Draggers” Premiere at the 2009 Newport Beach Film Festival held at Edwards Cinemas. Photo Credit: Byron Purvis/AdMedia

In this photo: Paul J. Alessi (photos), Ross McCall, Danielle Nicolet


27 April 2009 – Newport Beach, CA – some of the cast & crew of Knuckle Draggers. “Knuckle Draggers” Premiere at the 2009 Newport Beach Film Festival held at Edwards Cinemas. Photo Credit: Kyle Vogt/KyleClicks Photography

In this photo: Sara Sanderson, Amie Barsky (photos), Serah D’Laine (photos), Krystal White, Reuben Steinberg, Alex Ranarivelo (photos), Brandon Olive, Paul J. Alessi (photos), Justin Baldoni, James Owens, Brian Guest, Steven Gaswirth.com, Chase Jezowski

Partners In Crime Films Announces the World Premiere of Knuckle Draggers

artners In Crime Films, an emergent L.A. based production company is proud to announce the World Premiere of the feature film Knuckle Draggers at the 10th annual Newport Beach Film Festival on Sunday, April 26th, 2009, at 4 p.m.

Written and directed by Alex Ranarivelo, produced by Paul J. Alessi, and co-produced by Amie Barsky, Baptiste DeRivel, and Lamese Williams. Knuckle Draggers takes a humorous but very real look at the state of modern male/female relationships. Knuckle Draggers is the relationship movie from a male perspective.

The story follows Ethan, an all around nice guy who gets dumped because he wasn’t able to provide his fiancée with the plush, stable life her friends were living. Desperate to get her back, he seeks help from his older brother Kyle, a tough talking sexist who seems to have a way with the ladies. Kyle gives Ethan a crash course on women and dating much to the disgust of some of Ethan’s female friends. Just when it seems Kyle’s misogynistic theories are about to prove themselves to be true, things take an unexpected turn and force Ethan, Kyle and their friends to reassess their views on relationships.

In the spirit of movies like Swingers and Brothers McMullen, Knuckle Draggers gives us a unique point of view, a timely message, and a lot of heart. Not another indie film about friends hanging out, Knuckle Draggers provokes questions about what modern couples want versus what they need, and how their needs may not have evolved much from those of our caveman ancestors.

The Credits:

Alex Ranarivelo is the editor, writer and director of Knuckle Draggers. This is Alex’s debut feature film following a string of award-winning short films.

Ross McCall heads a dynamic ensemble cast in the lead role of Ethan. Ross’s extensive credits include the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers and most recently Crash, the Starz TV series.

Paul J. Alessi is the co-founder of Partners In Crime Films as well the film’s producer. Paul also stars as the co-lead in Knuckle Draggers, playing the part of Kyle.

Amie Barsky is a co-producer on the film and stars as Ethan’s good friend, Patricia.

Danielle Nicolet plays the feisty Renee. Her long resume includes 3rd Rock From the Sun, Heartland, and she currently co-stars on the USA series, The Starter Wife.

Justin Baldoni plays Gavin, the Rocker. Justin is the newest Hero on the hit NBC show Heroes.

Jennifer Alden plays Ethan’s ex-fiancée, Heather. Jennifer’s list of credits includes Wedding Crashers, and the upcoming Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Serah D’Laine plays Erica. Serah’s list of credits includes General Hospital and Wild Things: Diamonds in the Rough.

Brandon Olive plays Kyle’s buddy, Matteo. Brandon will be co-starring in this summer’s highly anticipated A Perfect Getaway alongside Timothy Olyphant, and Steve Zahn.

And Omar Gooding stars as Ethan’s best friend Russell. Omar’s list of credits includes Baby Boy, the HBO series Deadwood and he’s just joined the cast of an upcoming Jerry Bruckheimer TV series.

Knuckle Draggers features a musical score by Austin Wintory, whose credits include Captain Abu Raed and Grace. A dynamic soundtrack accompanies the score, featuring tracks by J Mello & Dave Navarro, Tyler Hilton, Marching Band, Pollyn and Jennifer Love-Hewitt.

The World Premiere screening takes place on Sunday, April 26th, 4pm at the Edwards Islands Cinemas (in the Fashion Island mall) 999 Newport Center Drive Newport Beach, 92660. For more info, go to www.newportbeachfilmfestival.com or call 949-253-2880. Tickets go on sale April 1st.

For all inquiries please contact Paul J. Alessi at paul@partnersincrimefilms.com

See the trailer at www.KnuckleDraggersTheMovie.com